The Marionettes’ mid-year production usually takes place at Queen’s Hall. But it’s always a pleasure to partner with different communities to make music and raise much-needed funds for our respective projects.
So this year we are singing in support of restoration and building work at the churches of All Saints and Holy Rosary in Port of Spain; the un nished church of the Uganda Martyrs in Longdenville (through the Church of St Philip and St James in Chaguanas); and the parish of La Romaine. We are very grateful for the fact that over the years we have managed to raise almost two million dollars for local and regional causes, and we hope to add to that tally over this series. Part of the proceeds from this series will also go to our Property Fund, which will eventually provide us, at long last, with our own home.
Marionettes conductor and artistic director, Gretta Taylor. Photo: Mark Lyndersay
But, wherever we are, music takes centre stage. This series, as we praise God in sound, we also ask for his support and guidance in these fraught times, when bombs, refugees, child abuse, ethnic cleansing, racial tension and terrorism confront us every day.
The programme features our three choirs, which our assistant musical director Dr Roger Henry joins me in conducting. It includes message songs, excerpts from oratorio and opera, fun songs, spiritual, gospel, and local music arranged by Desmond Waithe. The Youth Chorale will debut Dr Henry’s arrangement of that old Irish blessing, “May the road rise to meet you”.
We are proud to highlight some of our gifted young soloists this evening. Sharissa Camejo is the National Junior Calypso Monarch, and several others were stars at the most recent national Music Festival. Dominique Akal was the Most Outstanding Junior Vocalist, Amelia Emmanuel was the Most Outstanding Vocalist in the 8-10 age bracket, Aysiah McEachnie-Assing won both the solo and duet categories in the 11-12 age group in Port of Spain, and Tamika-Diandra Joseph from the senior chorale won three championships and the “spirit of the festival” adjudicators’ award. Popular soloists Hermina Charles, Jacqueline Johnson, Marc Morancie and Garfield Washington also have leading roles.
We would like to say a big thank you to our hosts this evening; also to our sponsors, especially BP Trinidad and Tobago, whose loyalty and generosity over the years have unleashed so much music and inspiration; to all the members, parents and friends who help with organisation; to our technical crew, our orchestra and accompanists; and to our tireless production team, which includes Joanne Mendes, Jacqueline Smith, Caroline Taylor, Leslie Clement (orchestra leader), Brenda Ayow, and Carmen Williams.
Finally, a big thank you as well to you, our audience, for your support. May you nd in our music something to lift your hearts, as well as the satisfaction of contributing to worthy causes.
– Gretta Taylor, Artistic & Musical Director