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September 13, 2019
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September 13, 2019

Marionettes’ forward home

On Saturday September 14 and Sunday 15 (today), the BP Marionettes will present the concert ‘Forward Home’ at Queen’s Hall. Showtime is at 7.30 p.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $200 and $250 reserved.

Under the artistic direction of Gretta Taylor, this not-to-be-missed event will feature Calling All Dawns—the work the choir performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall last June, conducted by the composer, Christopher Tin.

Over its 56 years of existence, the Marionettes has toured regionally and internationally, winning at least four major international music festivals. Their New York City performance this year, as part of a massed choir, is yet another addition to their already impressive list of accomplishments.

Calling All Dawns is a classical crossover album by Tin released in 2009, which won two Grammy awards for Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the song ‘Baba Yetu’.

It was that song—as performed by the Marionettes—that caught the attention of the producers, leading subsequently to the NYC invitation. Music lovers attending the concert will appreciate the work’s diverse languages, musical styles and traditions from around the world, including opera, Portuguese fado, African choral music, Maori haka chanting and Indian classical.

The concert will feature several soloists from the adult and youth chorales, including Jacqueline Johnson and Hermina Charles, with Errol James and Marc Morancie; Youth Chorale soloists like Dominique Akal, Aysiah McEachnie Assing, Zachary Joel and Annalise Emmanuel; and special appearances by Nigel Floyd and Debbie Nahous.

‘Forward Home’ also includes a special dedication to accomplished musician and educator, Desmond Waithe, with a Calypso and folk celebration of his arrangements through the years.

With a ready smile and keen sense of humour, Waithe is no stranger to local adult and youth choirs such as La Petite Musicale and his very own Stentor Choir. He has also arranged for numerous steel orchestras, and Calypso and folk ensembles.

His relationship with Marionettes began in 1980, when they commissioned him to adapt his celebrated steelband arrangement of Sparrow’s ‘Slave’ for the choir (‘Fantasia on the Slave’). Since that time and over nearly 40 years, Waithe has contributed monumentally both at home and on tour as arranger, chorister and cuatrista.

He is currently the Musical Director of the BP Renegades, having also served in that capacity with Exodus’ Exocubs. He has enjoyed several successes with both orchestras at various music festivals in Trinidad and Tobago, France, Austria and more recently, Germany.

He also taught for over ten years in the Music Department of the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT). In 1993, he was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (silver) for Outstanding Contribution to Music in Trinidad and Tobago.

Concert patrons will be treated to some of his more popular arrangements for choirs, including: Andre Tanker’s ‘Sayamanda’; Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore’s ‘Pan by Storm’; Lord Nelson’s ‘King Liar’; Ella Andall’s ‘Rhythm of a People’; local and regional folk music like ‘John Boulay’ (Jamaica), ‘Salguiero’ (Brazil) and ‘La Porrinden’, from the French-speaking Caribbean. The concert actually takes its name from the classic André Tanker piece of the same name.

For more information, contact: orders@marionetteschorale.com and 790-1751.