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Chorale celebrates golden jubilee

Chorale celebrates golden jubilee

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At the New Kingstown Chorale Golden Jubilee Dinner and Awards Ceremony staged at Government House last Saturday night, musical maestro Patrick “Pat” Prescod, unequivocally spoke of his love and vision for the choir as he took patrons down memory lane reminiscing on the successes, trials and hardships during the past 50 years.

At the gala event, Prescod, a founding member of the choir, and renowned for penning the words of the beautiful songs “The Right Hand of God” and “God Bless Hairouna” said, the 50 years of the chorale have not been plain sailing. They were years mixed with some hiccups only that in this case the love of music has prevailed.{{more}}

The chorale was formed in 1956 with members like Millicent Iton, Clifford Davy and Joyce Cox.

Prescod, said his vision for the choir lies in the young choralites. He implored the management to keep them together and not to let them disband. He said by so doing the choir will survive another 50 years and will not go out of existence as other choirs the world over have done.

The ceremony was attended by His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne and his wife Sally-Ann Lady Ballantyne, René Baptiste, Minister of Culture and several past and present members of the chorale, some who had journeyed from overseas to be there.

Special awards were presented to Prescod, Jeanne Horne, Director of the New Kingstown Chorale for 17 years, Clifford Edwards, a former manager and Jillian John, manager for the past 23 years.

Certificates and commemorative pins were given to foundation members, and past and present members from the 1970, 1980, 1990 and post 1990 eras. The Manager’s Award went to Brenton Bailey, Angela Defreitas, Victor Peters, Cameron James, Trevor Edwards, Rachel Haslam, Yvonne Allen, Calma Balcombe, Noll Patterson, Ishmael Browne, Albert “Jus” Edwards, John Horne, Jennifer Glasgow Browne, and Lennox John.

In his address, Sir Frederick stated that there are few things, which survive 50 years and in our country, 10 and 15 years. He added it is a particular thing to maintain longevity and to do it well. He challenged the New Kingstown Chorale to continue and suggested that apart from its celebrations it should use the period for introspection to ensure it continues to do well.

Jillian John stated that the New Kingstown Chorale cannot rest on its laurels and become swell-headed. She said she believed the time has come for her to pass the mantle on to a new manager as she has held the post for 23 years.

“I will not do it now, but soon and very soon,” said John, emphasizing that she is hoping to find an Elisha who will be ready to take over.

Jeanne Horne and Clifford Edwards also made remarks. Horne said, taking over from Prescod as director 17 years ago was a mammoth task when she considered the “big shoe to fill”. She acknowledged that she still gets frightful even to this day. As Horne expressed thanks to the chorale for recognizing her efforts she described them as her second family. Edwards on the other hand, said Prescod had him singing as early as 1956 at a music festival. “From then I have been singing with Pat forever and ever.” He said he is hoping to be with the chorale as long as he can sing.

The 50th anniversary celebrations was held under the theme “Rejoice Give Thanks and Sing.” Celebratory activities also included two concerts, Thursday, July 13 and Friday July 14, and a family day at San Souci on Sunday, July 16.

René Baptiste, told the chorale that her ministry is pleased to announce that it will be paying for the entire concert to be made into a compact disc, the chorale applauded this.

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