After several weeks of rigorous auditioning around Easter, the Marionettes welcomed these 50-odd new young singers, prompting them to form a third choir – this time a Children’s Choir within their Youth Chorale. Among these 50-odd talented youngsters are Music Festival, SanFest, Panorama and Junior Calypso Monarch winners – and the Marionettes’ youngest ever member at a precocious six years old.
Despite initial reservations that parents or teachers might find that the Children’s Choir might interfere with SEA preparations, Artistic Director and conductor Gretta Taylor is emphatic about the value that music and the arts can have for young people’s growth and development. “There is no evidence that healthy creative outlets like music-making are a deterrent to academic success,” explains Taylor, who also taught French, Spanish, General Paper and Music at St. Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain) for nearly 30 years. “The Youth Chorale’s members have emerged as top performers at CXC and CAPE, with several members becoming National Scholarship winners and recipients of prestigious awards like the Rhodes, Fulbright and Commonwealth Scholarships.”
The formation of the new Children’s Choir also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Marionettes’ relationship with corporate partners, bpTT. “The Marionettes has become an institution in Trinidad and Tobago by using music as a force for positive change. I always look forward to their concerts because they reinforce the idea that music can bring together cultures and generations. One of the more interesting points about the Marionettes is their focus on developing young artists who can carry on this tradition,” explained bpTT President and CEO Norm Christie.