One month ago, mother of two, Debe hairstylist Ria Sookdeo, kissed her children goodbye as she dropped them off at school.
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US choir to perform at Divas Live
The Mundo Sonoro Music Academy will premiere Divas Live on July 4, at Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook, at 8 pm. The show’s star-studded cast includes Inge Schluer, Kay Alleyne, Lilian Lopez and Glenda Collens.
On July 5 at 7.30 pm, the cast will be joined by Princeton Girls Choir from the USA.
Concert producer John Thomas said: “The four female artistes are dynamic and impactful and deserve being showcased as ‘divas.’ They are definite role models for young women in T&T so are the best suited for a production as prestigious as this.
“This show began as part of last year’s fund-raising effort for the organ at Trinity Cathedral. The show had a positive impact and was well received by the public.
“So, it’s now a foregone conclusion that it is being brought back due to public demand. It also emphasises the positive collaboration between females in T&T.”
Known on stage as “La Mezzo,” Lopez is a mezzo soprano and is of mixed parentage,
Her father Trinidadian and her mother is Venezuelan. Born in Trinidad, Lopez grew up in Venezuela and now resides in Port-of-Spain.
Alleyne is the 2010 Digicel Rising Stars winner and has done many acclaimed concerts, while Collens, a Rising Stars judge, is owner of Medea, the company which just ended its successful Women in Jazz series. Collens is also the Disney consultant for Lion King in Trinidad.
A gifted violinist, Schluer has performed with almost every local classical orchestra in the land. Also a National Music Festival champion, she is a member of the newly formed T&T National Sinfonia.
Princeton Girls Choir actually comprises six separate choirs with its “concert” segment currently on its annual summer tour. Its choristers come from towns throughout Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The choir was founded in 1989 by artistic director Emerita Jan Westrick.
Thomas said the Mundo Sonoro Music Academy is an organisation of committed professional musicians who aim to develop the talents and skills of young people pursuing performing excellence and social development through the arts.
“We also seek to create employment for musicians living in T&T. We are firm in our conviction that the Trinidadian communities will benefit holistically when its people’s appreciation for the arts and self-expression are nurtured,” he said.
Mundo Sonoro consists of 45 young people whose ages range from 12 to 35, coming from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds. For just under two years, the academy has honed the talents of many young people, and provided an outlet for social, cultural and interpersonal development.
“Mundo Sonoro provides positive alternatives to the youth in the north-western region of the country in an environment which fosters family, culture, dedication, education, and the realisation of dreams, specifically benefiting those youth who may be at-risk. We see our efforts to improve the communities to which we belong as a way of safeguarding the sustainable future of young people.”
Thomas said Divas Live is being staged to raise funds for a musical summer camp for underprivileged children who come from various children’s orphanages in Port-of-Spain. “In this summer camp we will be training students in Latin American traditions in music,” added Thomas.
“In order to facilitate such a mammoth programme, much needed school equipment and instruments that our students may not be able to afford on their own would need to be purchased.”
Girls Choir, directed by Lynnel Joy Jenkins, will also give two other performances. On July 4, at Mount Saint Benedict, at 7.30 pm, with Bishop Anstey High School Choir, conducted by Lorraine Granderson; and The Lydians, conducted by Victor Prescod. On July 6, they will perform at Fatima College Hall, Mucurapo Road, Woodbrook, at 5 pm, with Fatima College Senior Choir, conducted by Kwasi Noel.