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Lydians light the way with Christmas music
This Christmas, the Lydians, comprising singers, steel ensemble, drummers, dancers and more, make a call to the nation to hold out a light this Christmas. Their annual concert – Hold Out Your Light – premieres on Thursday, December 14 and will encompass a full-length stage production.
Billed as “a celebration of light and music,” the production will continue at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, until Sunday, December 17. (All shows will begin at 7:30 pm except Sunday which will begin at 6 pm)
Featured in Hold Out Your Light will be a fusion between a full 100-plus member cast and the creative innovation of North Eleven light projection, and noted lighting designer Celia Wells. For the music, the power and exhilaration of the Negro Spiritual will flow into Christmas to evoke potent emotions reflected through three beacons of light: The Church, The Home and The Community.
One of the most powerful musical genres which has historically represented a triumph of hope and light is the Negro Spiritual. The Lydians have a long and successful legacy of performing Spirituals. The choir’s choral, sound and tone of lush vocal harmonies and powerful, full-bodied sound lends itself perfectly to the ecstasy and anguish demanded by these songs.
The call to Hold Out Your Light is one inspired by light prevailing over darkness expressed through the iconic example of the abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of the enslaved to freedom by the light of her lamp through the underground railroad. She was a powerful example of holding out a light against injustice, cruelty and inhumanity. At Christmas and all through the year, the light of perseverance, selfless service and goodwill remains important and a poignant message for all.
To bring the production together, the Lydians called upon on treasured relationships built over the years with some of T&T’s best creative collaborators. Each represents a spark of brilliance and creativity that enhanced the presentation of this Christmas performance.
The all-star production team includes Creative Director Wendell Manwarren with words by Muhammad Muwakil. Dave Cooper of Hybrid Theory Productions debuts with the Lydians on Set Design and Celia Wells returns for lighting design with the ‘wow’ factor – North Eleven projection. Claudette Edwards with Ian Smith will have the Lydians in fine costumes and sound design will be done by Kino Alvarez, Alan Changoor and Alroy Harry.
Succeeding the iconic Dr Pat Bishop as Lydians musical director/conductor is Lorraine Granderson, also the music tutor of Bishop Anstey High School.
Lydians’ musical collaborators comprise an eclectic mix of composers and arrangers. John Jacob is a long-standing musical collaborator with the Lydians, having worked with the choir on folk and calypso arrangements for many years.
Astra Noel is a composer who has emerged from the Lydian fold to debut such Christmas hits as All I Want for Christmas is a Panman and Ave Maria (O Mary) from her upcoming work, The Missa Lydia.
This year, jazz composer, arranger and musician Mark Brewster will work with the Lydians a third time to bring his unique and exciting performance to the stage.
Finally, Carl-Anthony Hines, composer, arranger and Assistant Musical Director of the Lydians will debut several original pieces, including the title piece of the concert, Hold Out Your Light and Foller.
Tickets for Hold Out Your Light are available now, General Admission; $150 with limited special reserve tickets at $200. A Thursday night $100 special is available along with TTARP and Tertiary-education student discounts available at the Queen’s Hall box Office only.
Other ticket outlets include: Queen’s Hall Box Office (624-1284 Ext 1); Signature 2000 Limited, Hotel Normandie (624-2958); La Tropicale Flower Shoppe, 23A Patna Street, St James (628-0769) Home Land Furnishings Piarco Plaza (669-8626/Gulf City Mall - 657-2220); Got Ya Back Clothing - West Entrance Ground Floor, Long Circular Mall (376-3987); and, all Lydian members.
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