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Trinidad and Tobago

Published on November 26th, 2016 | by Peter Ray Blood Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

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A magnificent night of music

Magnificent is the only word I can find to describe Constellations II, staged by Massy Trinidad All Stars at Queen’s Hall, last Saturday. A follow up to Constellations I, staged by the Duke Street street orchestra at Church of Our Lady of the Rosary last month, this edition featured a programme of mixed performances showcasing voice, pan and other conventional instruments. Doing a wonderful job as show host by maintaining a seamless programme, Gerelle Forbes gave the packed venue snippets of All Stars’ illustrious history dating back to the band’s previous metamorphosis during an 80-year span.

All Stars opened the evening in a dramatic fanfare performing Strauss’ Sunrise Fanfare (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), conducted by Deryck Nurse. Its musicians resplendent in gray ensembles, the band then played a perfect interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on a G String. So excellent was the performance of this piece, one could only imagine had this been the final of a Steelband Music Festival, it would have taken something special to better All Stars. Memory was next, followed by In a Monastery Garden, delivered with bird calls and bells, and imbued by the remarkable vocals of Raymond Edwards and Nigel Floyd. The duo also sang This is the Moment, a piece immortalised in Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden’s musical Jekyll & Hyde. The classical mood was maintained by young guest artiste 16-year-old Rasheed Guy’s interpretation of Flight of the Bumblebee, an orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

The relatively newly formed Trinidad All Stars Youth Steel Orchestra showed its competence by performing The Prayer and This Christmas, under the baton of Kygel Benjamin. More youth followed as Caleb Hart, a young artiste who had only entered the All Stars “family” the previous Tuesday, accompanied himself on guitar to sing a ditty entitled Family. He was rewarded with tumultuous applause. Young saxophonist Daniel Ryan, a Grade 8 musician, was accompanied by All Stars when he played John Lennon’s Imagine. The steel orchestra showed why it is a multiple Steelband Music Festival champion when Nurse led the band through Von Suppe’s Morning, Noon and Night. At the point, mainly because of the exhilarating music, patrons and musicians alike needed to take a breather and intermission was called.

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