St. Augustine Chamber Orchestra 2014 Christmas Concert
By TriniView.com Reporters
Posted: January 05, 2015
The St. Augustine Chamber Orchestra (SACO) presented their special Christmas concert, “Tidings of Comfort and Joy”, on December 14th 2014, at Bishop Anstey High School East/Trinity College East. This event featured The Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic (TTYP) and the Euangelion Singers under the musical directorship of Mr. Kenneth Listhrop. The performances reflected the seasonal themes which characterize the Trinidad and Tobago Christmas experience and provided an evening of Christmas music for the entire family. It also served as a treat for music aficionados. Notably, the orchestra hosted a range of musicians from various age groups as well as a blend of musical instruments including violins, cellos, flutes, double bass, clarinets, oboes, saxophones, trumpets, French horns and trombones.
SACO featuring TTYP and the Euangelion Singers
The inspiration for the concert was explained in the printed programmes which were distributed to patrons upon their arrival. The year 2014 had proven itself to be a year of “gloom” with various crises afflicting local, regional and international spheres including the flooding and destruction of the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road, the Ebola crisis, the Syrian Crisis, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the Michael Brown shooting and the subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Thus, organizers felt the need to stage an event which would allow for the rebirth of communal hope and personal renewal for 2015.
TTYP led by conductor, Ms. Keisha Daniel
The programme started with a classical flourish by the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic led by the young conductor, Ms. Keisha Daniel. They performed four pieces, including a Tchaikovsky piece titled “Trepak”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “The Christmas Waltz” and a Christmas Classics medley, provoking great delight from members of the audience who appreciated the young talent on display.
The TTYP Advanced Orchestra, conducted by principal cellist and Assistant Music Director Tracell Frederick
The TTYP Advanced Orchestra, conducted by principal cellist and Assistant Music Director Tracell Frederick, followed showcasing the harmonious classical tradition which SACO has developed and maintained over the years. Their musical selections were an eclectic mix of styles and traditions including local favourites “Sleigh Ride”, “Soca Parang”, “Home Made Wine” and “A Most Wonderful Christmas”.
Euangelion Singers accompanied by the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
Another highlight was a grand performance of Christmas songs by the Euangelion Singers accompanied by the TTYP. Their powerful vocals successfully captured the nostalgia of the season. They closed the concert on a high note, rendering a faultless interpretation of the Luther Vandross’ “This is Christmas” much to the pleasure of all in attendance. Members of the choir include Debra James, Daphne Beaumont, Rashidah Vitalis, Annette Hall, Beverly Blanc, Ava Listhrop, Laura Nero-Nesbitt, De-Niece George Thomas, Willis Grant, Roderick Beaumont, Wayne Harris, Evrol Roberts and Bobb Harris.
Mr. Kenneth Listhrop, Musical Director of SACO
Mr. Kenneth Listhrop, Musical Director of SACO, shared that SACO hosts two to three major events for the year, including the Christmas concert. Listhrop explained that classical music provides benefits for young people and attested to the positive influence of musical training in youth development. He stated that music helps to achieve organization skills, time management, critical thinking and creativity. Expressing pleasure in the display of budding musical talent, he further purported that the presence of youngsters, some as young as four years old, is an important part of succession planning.
Mr. Kenneth Listhrop, Musical Director of SACO and his students
2015 promises to be a busy year for the one-hundred and forty member orchestra with additional excitements including preparing for music exams, a tour to Belize, a pop concert in October, their annual workshop, and the end of year Christmas concert. There is also a special concert on the 21st and 22nd of March, 2015, which will feature famed international concert violinist, Andrew Sords on our local shores. This event is generating a special buzz in the classical music fraternity and has already been given the title of “An Evening with Andrew Sords.”
This concert is a significant one in the unfolding history of SACO. For the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, SACO will be featuring an international concert violinist accompanied by the TTYP. Mr. Sords has received critical acclaim internationally for his performances and has appeared as a soloist with over two hundred orchestras across four continents. A regular soloist in the Caribbean, he has performed in Anguilla, Grand Cayman, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. His performance is much anticipated as this will be his debut performance in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
SACO Christmas concert, ‘Tidings of Comfort and Joy’
The SACO Christmas Concert proved to be yet another successful event which highlighted SACO’s virtuosity. The event flowed smoothly as the distinguished talent of classically-trained Trinbagonian youths was showcased in grand style. The public can expect a continued tradition of excellence through upcoming events featuring the TTYP.
SACO/TTYP presents Tidings of Comfort and Joy in pictures: