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Hearts beat together for Marionettes

Published: 
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Marionettes Chorales’ July 2018 concert series Hearts Beat Together 3 sees the renowned group take a message of love and unity to three churches between July 6 and 8. The concerts will take place at All Saint’s Anglican Church, Marli Street, Newtown on July 6, St Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain on July 7 and St Mary’s Anglican Church Parish Hall, Tacarigua on July 8.

Saying the theme of the third Hearts Beat Together series is unity in a time of global disarray, Musical Director Gretta Taylor said: “With ego and materialism being the order of the day, we must unite in love for a common cause and work together to improve the world. The music weaves this theme throughout in a range of styles including classical, musicals, samba, calypso, gospel, spirituals, and pop and in several different languages including Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, Swahili, Latin, and Trinidadian Creole.”

Taylor said many of the songs speak to the ways people can try to make the world a better place. “The sheer beauty that surrounds us is being destroyed by greed. Through numbers like Life has loveliness to sell and I dream a world, we picture an ideal world and urge people to strive to attain it. Hatred and resentment must be replaced by love and caring.

“Songs like God help the outcasts, Scandalise My Name and Bohemian Rhapsody remind us that we must shield the innocents and the marginalised from resorting to drugs or suicide as a means of escaping the pain of abuse, exploitation and prejudice. We must believe in ourselves, recognise God-given talents and the positives within us, as celebrated in This is Me, Someone in the Crowd, You Gotta Be and This Little Light of Mine.”

Saturday’s concert at St Joseph’s Convent (SJC) also symbolises a return to the roots of the Chorale, which was formed 55 years ago by two SJC teachers, Jocelyn Pierre and June Williams-Thorne, who were looking to start a new choir which was to be the first choir formed in a newly independent T&T. For male choristers, Pierre turned to her counterpart at Fatima College, Father Tim Corcoran, and recruited graduates from his Dominic Savio choir and keen young voices from elsewhere.

In 1995, the Youth Chorale was formed—first as an all-female ensemble, comprising several SJC students who had studied under Gretta Taylor, and then later as a mixed voice choir. Together, the Marionettes Youth Chorale and Children’s Choir, formed in 2012, number nearly 100 singers from over 60 primary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions.

The concerts will feature some of the nation’s top soloists of all ages, including Hermina Charles, SJC alum Jacqueline Johnson, SJC student Dominique Akal, SJC St Joseph student Annalise Emmanuel, and several other first place and Championship winners from the last T&T Music Festival, including Camille Nicholas, Brendon John and Jake Salloum.

Proceeds will go towards the upgrade and restoration works of All Saints Anglican Church and the St Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain, Chapel, and the construction of the Maloney Anglican Church.

BP T&T has sponsored the Marionettes since 1972. Joint Head, BP Group’s CEO’s Office, and former regional president, bpTT, Norm Christie, said, “the Marionettes is an example of enduring commitment and longterm impact. They have become an institution in Trinidad and Tobago by using music as a force for positive change. They reinforce the idea that music can bring together cultures and generations.”

Taylor said the choir is using its God-given talent to deliver the message that things can be turned around. “We can effect change with confidence, relying on spiritual support through faith in the Almighty. We praise God through both music and movement in numbers like Samba de las escrituras, Baba Yetu (Swahili for the Lord’s Prayer), and the Brazilian Salguiero.

“We love our country and we know that all can’t be gloom and doom. Festivity is second nature to us, and so we proclaim our messages through our own national music as well, with a sense of fun.”

Tickets for all shows cost $150.

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