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Marionettes celebrate 45 years of musical excellence
Saturday, May 30 2009
BY THIS time 45 years ago, the first members of the Marionettes Chorale – the first choir to be formed in a newly-independent Trinidad & Tobago – had just come together to begin a trailblazing journey to being one of the nation’s most treasured cultural organisations. The new choir’s founding directors were Jocelyn Pierre and June Williams-Thorne, who led the Chorale to their performing and competitive debut in the 1964 Music Festival. Singing with founder members Joanne Mendes – still the group’s secretary – and the honourable Mayor of Port-of-Spain Murchison Brown, the new group won the coveted JCC Cup as the Best Adult Choir in the competition.
Through a transition in leadership when Williams-Thorne departed in 1968 and Pierre in 1974, the choir maintained its dominance at the national Music Festival under new Musical Director Gretta Taylor, Assistant Musical Director Susan Dore and Secretary Joanne Mendes, who celebrate 35 years at the helm this year. The Chorale retired unbeaten from local competition in 1980, winning the trophy for Most Outstanding Choir in the Festival all eight times it competed.
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