Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 18th 2013 Contents B4
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 18, 2013
Pat Bishop, the iconic musical director of the
Lydian Singers who died in 2011, was introduced
to negro spirituals in 1940. That was the day she
was born in a Port-of-Spain nursing home and her
father, Sonny, and the four other members of his
group, the Jubilee Singers, welcomed her with the
American gospel songs birthed by the pain of slav-
He changed the lyrics of one song, Mary Had a
Baby, to Ena Had a Baby, after Pat s mother, Gillian
Bishop, Pat s younger sister, recounted fondly during
an interview last week.
Spirituals had been an important part of Pat s life
ever since, said Gina, and are in the Lydians DNA.
But this week will be the first time in decades the
mega choir will stage a full-length concert featuring
negro spirituals. The Jubilee Concert series is named---
like Sonny Bishop s group---after the famed African-
American ensemble who popularised negro spirituals
around the world. It will take place from Thursday
to Sunday at the Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook.
The series will honour Pat Bishop s memory, and
the Lydians managers intend to make it an annual
event, hoping it will become as popular as the choir s
The small, 200-seat Little Carib might seem an
odd choice for the large, fully orchestrated Lydians,
but Gillian Bishop said the venue is a perfect match
for the series.
Acclaimed African-American singer Paul Robeson,
another proponent of negro spirituals, laid the foun-
dation stone for the theatre in 1948.
"We feel that s it s important to have it in a place
of historical significance," said Bishop.
Organising the series was a bittersweet experience
"I had a lovely time," she said, remembered pleasure
in her voice. "(Lydian manager) Patrick (Bertrand)
and myself put the programme together. We went
digging up in the old music cupboards for the old
spirituals, then went on the Internet sourcing new
But, of course, she was reminded of Pat s absence.
"All the time I think of her," said Bishop. "All the
time. All the time. There were some new ones that
she would not have known, which made me think,
I wonder if Pat would have liked that
The Lydians had been staggered by Pat s death,
but they are persevering, doing things like this series
to keep her memory and work alive.
"It s been very difficult for all of us, but we are
hanging in there and doing the best we can," said
Bishop. "When she died I promised to do everything
I could to make sure that her work was not in vain."
Maestro Jesus Beltran Acosta Ruiz is the musical
director for the Lydian Singers Jubilee concert series
and Andre Largen is the stage director. Principal
soloists Eddie Cumberbatch and Joanne Pyle and
other soloists will perform.
Tickets and info: 338-6024.
The University of Trinidad and Tobago s (UTT)
Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD)
is in Suriname to represent T&T, the university,
and the local fashion Industry at the Caribbean
Festival of Arts (Carifesta).
UTT s fashion representatives are promoting the
university and the remarkable work being done with
respect to the local fashion industry. Three graduates
of UTT s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design
programme, designers Delia Alleyne, Adrian Foster
and Charmaine Charles, along with UTT Fashion
Design Co-ordinator, Sandra Carr, are representing
UTT s talent on this regional stage.
A total of 100 representatives from T&T are in
Suriname for Carifesta XI. The festival started on
Friday and continues to August 26. Aside from fashion
design and runway shows, the contingent will par-
ticipate in various activities, including visual and lit-
erary arts exhibitions and several cultural symposia.
Lydians remember Pat
...with Negro spiritual concerts
at Carifesta XI
r A r r
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Western Ever Shot, picked too recently
to be chosen again (*High Noon, 10.30
am, 6.30 pm, again 9 pm Thursday
Enc3) the Sunday choice is, frankly, not
as good as the Sunday callaloo, with only a very good family Pixar (Finding
Nemo, 7.45 am, 2 pm MaxW) and a half-decent Woody Allen (Midnight
in Paris, 5.15 pm Max) in the serious also-rans. The week includes a strong
American independent film, another recent choice and former Best Film
of the Week (Winter s Bone, 9.55 pm Wednesday Max), itself followed by
a film that would certainly have been picked if it screened an hour earlier,
(Midnight Express, 11.40 pm Wednesday, Max).
Babe (Chris Noonan/ 1995/ Australia-USA/ Family-Fantasy/ 99 mins/
G) 10.05 pm today and again 3 pm tomorrow, Turner Classic Movies. Watch
this if you liked The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Homeward Bound or
the sequel Babe: Pig in the City. One of those rare family-oriented films
that reaches the level of "splendid", this film is intelligent, provocative,
touching and entertaining---and teaches children (and maybe even adults)
that they can become anything they want to be. Worth keeping the little
ones awake late tonight and letting them sleep in tomorrow: if school
holidays were not precisely for films like this screening late on Sunday
night, school holidays have no purpose at all.
Shame (Steve McQueen/ 2011/ UK / Drama/ 101 mins/ Rated NC-17
for some explicit sexual content) 8.10 pm Tuesday Max. Watch this if you
liked Boogie Nights, Nine Songs or Wonderland. Even with the overload
of sex and nudity, this is not a film for the average Trini Bruce Willis/Denzel
Washington movie fan (unless they reckon Bruce s best film was Moonrise
Kingdom and Denzel s was Antwone Fisher) but, for grownups who can
distinguish between necessary and gratuitous sexual content, this is a strong
modern urban---meaning "set in a city", not "young black men"---drama
that intelligently examines why people make bad choices. Not for the fun-
damentalist crowd but very rewarding for people who contemplate complex
moral matters rather than regurgitate simple quotes from supposedly holy
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi/ 2011/ Iran/ Drama/ 123 mins/ Rated PG-
13 for mature thematic material) 5.45pm Wednesday Max BEST FILM OF
THE WEEK. Watch this if you liked Monsieur Lazhar, The Lives of Others
or Waltz with Bashir. An almost perfectly realised film, A Separation shows,
from the first frames, exactly why it won the Best Foreign Language Film
Oscar last year. Flawlessly acted, perfectly directed, exquisitely paced and
beautifully written, A Separation considers perplexing social issues and the
relationships of ordinary, flawed human beings striving to live good lives
in challenging circumstances. Far, far better than any number of green-
screen explosions and eyeballs flying across the room, this is cinema that
engages viewers and changes lives. It should be on anyone s Top 50 Films
list. Unreservedly recommended for anyone who owns a dictionary with
a hard cover.
B r Mon: The Adventures of Tintin, 9.45 pm HBOF; Tues:
First Snow, 10 pm MaxW; Wed: High Anxiety, 6.15 pm TCM; Thurs:
Think Like a Man, 10.45 pm HBOC; Fri: *Spartacus, 3 pm TCM; Sat: The
Mask, 7 am HBO.
S a a a S I
a a a a a
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r r Ar r B
I got you, Babe
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