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Music icon Patrick Prescod, to be buried Thursday, July 18

Music icon Patrick Prescod, to be buried Thursday, July 18

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The funeral service for a nation builder, considered by many to be a musical genius, will be held at the Kingstown Methodist Church on Thursday, July 18 at 3 p.m.{{more}}

However, ordinary tributes to Patrick Prescod will begin at 2 p.m., followed by tributes by the Kingstown Chorale and Cantemus between 2:30 and 3 p.m.

Prescod, a pillar of the Methodist church, will be buried in the Kingstown Methodist churchyard, as were his parents Christopher Wilberforce Prescod and Louise Prescod.

Described as a music icon, Prescod was also regarded as being a great individual, who was generous in showing his appreciation to others.

“There wasn’t an achievement that came to me, and I wouldn’t get a phone call within a minute that Mr Prescod would be congratulating me and encouraging me to go on,” said Lennox John, a former student of Prescod’s and a member of the Kingstown Chorale, which Prescod formed in 1956, told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview.

From the tributes that have been pouring in from around the world since Prescod’s passing on July 11, it is clear that John is not the only one to share the sentiments he heaped on his mentor.

Prescod touched the lives of many from his early days, as a student of the Georgetown Government School, the St Vincent Grammar School and later the Trinity College of Music in London, England.

At the Grammar School, Prescod excelled as the school’s scout troop leader, and was active in the debating society, athletics and football, and of course the school choir.

He taught at the school for six years and trained the choir, before sailing to England to pursue his own career in music.

On his return, Prescod formed the Kingstown Chorale group in 1956, which won its first of many awards on its first outing at the St Vincent Music Festival. The group won the category of best mixed choir for six consecutive years.

His love for music and teaching did not remain with the Grammar School or the Chorale, with which he worked simultaneously.

As the regional coordinator of the Caribbean Conference of Churches, Prescod prepared a collection of hymns called “Sing A New Song No 3”, in which his own composition “ The Right Hand of God” was featured.

That hymn went on to be featured in the British Methodist Hymn Book.

As Music Officer in the Ministry of Education, Prescod kept busy ensuring that music programmes were incorporated into the primary and secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and after his retirement from the post, he opened a music studio, where he taught music to persons of all ages.

Throughout his life, Prescod composed and arranged numerous folk and cultural songs, which are still being sung today.

Most memorable for John, for more than one reason, is the school song of their Alma Mater.

“As a grammar school boy, my most ardent memory of him is that he wrote and composed the music for the school song,” John said.

“It was the first thing I felt growing up that it belonged to me and belonged to the country, because this was pre-independence and all we had was the national anthem of Great Britain. It was something that when I stood to sing that I felt pride and loyalty surging in me, though it was for the school.”

Other achievements of Prescod include Member of the British Empire, Caribbean Conference of Churches staff and consultant awards, Championship Trophy for best piano at the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival, St Vincent Grammar School Centenary Award and St Vincent and the Grenadines Music Association 40th and 50th anniversary awards, to name a few.(JJ)

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