Trinidad and Tobago


Rain Forest at Palm Sunday concert

Apr 08, 2001

THE Len “Boogsie” Sharpe composition that helped the TCL Group Skiffle Bunch Steel orchestra cop first place at last October’s World Steelband Music Festival, “Rain Forest” will be performed today for the first time since the landmark event.

It is one of three local works included in today’s programme. Sharpe’s “Prayer for Pan” and a John Jacob composition for The Lydians will be the other two indigenous pieces, in a concert designed to mark the advent of Holy Week, which ushers in the Christian celebration of Easter.

Reigning national Panorama champion, Exodus Steel Orchestra, who placed third in the World Steelband Music Festival is also on the playbill, as are former winners BP Renegades, Witco Desperadoes and Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove.

The concert, titled Music for the New Millennium, will team four of this country’s top choirs with these five steel orchestras and the National Youth Orchestra (directed by Kerry Roebuck), to serve up a fare of classical and spiritual music at the Jean Pierre Complex in Port of Spain.

The choirs comprising the vocal component are: Pat Bishop’s Lydian Singers, the St Augustine Chorale (under Lenore Mahase-Samaroo, Joy Caesar’s Southernaires and Chanteusse Immortelle, led by June Williams-Thorne.

Bishop, who doubles as musical director of Music for the New Millennium will, at the show’s climax, conduct a performance of “The Hallelujah Chorus” (from Handel’s The Messiah), performed by all musicians and singers on the playbill.

A fund-raising project of the UWI Development and Endowment Fund, which is a source of assistance to deserving Caribbean students, the concert enjoyed tremendous patronage and rave reviews from its inaugural presentation last year.

More than 3,000 patrons turned up at the Jean Pierre Complex for the history-making two-hour show, which featured some 700 musicians and singers in the most powerful performance of its type experienced here.

The completely sold-out house (hundreds of additional seats had to be hurriedly provided out on the court below) rose to its legs on several occasions, to show appreciation for the quality of work presented.

Today’s concert is scheduled to begin at 6 pm and will present a number of new works, Bishop said yesterday. “What we will also set out to present is an absence of the type of confusion so common to local large scale productions,” Bishop said.

Tickets, priced at $75 will be available at the venue all through today.

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