The saying goes that charity begins at home — but the Marionettes believe that, especially during challenging times like these, it must not end there. This weekend, with shows Friday 7 to Sunday 9 July in aid of various parishes, the Marionettes reaffirm their commitment to the principle that’s guided them from inception with Hearts Beat Together 2.
Under the batons of Artistic & Musical Director Gretta Taylor (Hummingbird Medal Gold), and Assistant Musical Director Dr Roger Henry, the three choirs of the BP Marionettes will be partnering with three churches this weekend. On Friday 7 July at 7:30pm, they are at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Port of Spain (627-7004), raising funds for the church’s Memorial Hall. On Saturday 8 July at 7:15pm, the choir heads up to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Paramin (629-2193), to raise funds for the church’s upgrade and renovation works. And on Sunday 9 July at 5:00pm, the choir gives their first performance in recent years at The Abbey, Mount St. Benedict (662-8792), in aid of their water improvement project.
Tickets are just $150, and available from the churches, from Marionettes choir members, and from the Marionettes (firstname.lastname@example.org and 790-1751). They’re aalso vailable to reserve online.
Hearts Beat Together 2 marks the fourth series in a row over the last 12 months where the Marionettes have been raising funds for a range of fellow NGOs. For last year’s Hearts Beat Together and last April’s Heal our Land concerts, they raised funds for the restoration of All Saints Anglican church, Holy Rosary RC church, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain; the unfinished church of the Uganda Martyrs in Longdenville (through the Church of St Philip & St James in Chaguanas); and outreach works in the parish of La Romaine. And last Christmas, they donated part proceeds of their Sing Alleluia series to the far-reaching programmes of the Living Water Community. Altogether, the nine concerts have helped the Marionettes donate some half a million dollars to these NGOs, and the balance to their own Property Fund.
After nearly 55 years, the Marionettes hope to soon break ground on their own home. With a plot of land and approvals from all requisite authorities, all they need now is the funding to construct a rehearsal, performance, and storage space. It’s one which they can also share with the wider national community, as secure and well-equipped rehearsal space is sparse across the country.
Hearts Beat Together 2 will once again showcase the Marionettes’ three choirs performing a range of music — spirituals, gospel, Broadway, calypso classics arranged by Desmond Waithe, and much more. Classical music lovers will especially look forward to a full performance of the ever-popular, dramatic and hauntingly beautiful Fauré Requiem, featuring Garfield Washington (baritone) and Dominique Akal (soprano). And fans of some of the nation’s top soloists of all ages — including Jacqueline Johnson, Gillian Seecharan, and Hermina Charles — won’t leave disappointed.
For more information about Hearts Beat Together 2, visit the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/marionetteschorale.