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A presentation of the National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ensemble)

Monday 2nd December, 2013
Little Carib Theatre
Corner White and Roberts Streets, Woodbrook
7.00 p.m.


Presented by:
Dr. the Honourable Lincoln Douglas
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism



  • Mr Roger Israel, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
  • Mrs. Ingrid Ryan Ruben, Director of Culture, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Dr Roger Henry, and Music Director/ Conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the Orchestra
  • Mr Jessel Murray - Artistic Director/Conductor of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening
A famous artiste once noted:
It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made this statement in 1978.It highlights for me, even today, a single important fact…. excellence requires dedication. No matter what form art takes, the geniuses that rise above the mere talented can all attest to the long hours of practice and fine-tuning of skills. Today’s ‘Informance’ is a demonstration of the positive outcome of hard work and commitment. After only twenty rehearsal sessions, Trinidad and Tobago can boast a professional, skilled, National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Each artiste who will grace this stage tonight has made a commitment to themself and to their country. It is this same commitment that is found in all our artistic virtuosos.  Peter Minshall, LeRoy Clarke, Mungal Patasar, Pat Bishop, Carlisle Chang, Jit Samaroo   and of course Beryl Mcburnie can all attest to the sacrifices that were made in the name of their art.

It is this dedication that gives the sustaining energy to our pannists who endure grueling rehearsals in the lead up to carnival. It is this sense of duty that makes the master builder work painstakingly for hours to produce the ornately decorated tadjahs that parade the streets for Hosay.

They all understand the power inherent in the arts, the power to curb juvenile delinquency, increase the appreciation of diversity and stand as the foundation for dialogue and understanding. Art, in all its forms, is one of the few endeavors which, though sometimes intangible, has had the most widespread impact on the human civilization.

And so, if we are truly focused on nation building, a dedication to the practice and support of the arts must be a key developmental pillar upon which we build our future.

Life, like art, can be both a beautiful journey and an arduous endeavor. It can test your conviction, your inner strength and your sense of self. And yet art thrives best when it is refined through focused effort and application. It is the key to bringing our people back into alignment with our traditional values and creating a harmonious co-existence.

 I am proud to stand here as the Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism to offer you a small insight into the work that that takes place behind the scenes to create the  musicality, the beauty, the dexterity, the passion and the expertise of the Members of our National Philharmonic Orchestra Ensemble.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.