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Beethoven to Boogsie - A Holistic music production

Published: 
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Holistic Music School’s young performers. Photos courtesy: Cathy Minto-Bain

THE Holistic Music School has scheduled its original production of Beethoven to Boogsie on October 6-7, at 6.30 pm, at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

The producers claim that Beethoven to Boogsie is a dramatic and musical commentary on the life and works of the two renowned composers and is the culmination of a one-year education project of the same name.

In it, young musicians of the school will perform works of revered classical genius Beethoven and local Mozart of Pan Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, alongside Phase II Pan Groove, Jerome Dinchong, Clive “Zanda” Alexander and Dawud Orr.

The production is a collaboration between administrator, educator and musician Patricia Dardaine-Ragguet (popularly known as “Dr Pat”) and choreographer and arts consultant Sonja Dumas. The script, written by Dumas, was adapted and directed by recent Savannah College of Art and Design graduate Giles Gonnsen.

Holistic’s young musical minds were exposed to the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven and Len “Boogsie” Sharpe during the education project. Through this project, students gained an understanding of the history and importance of each composer while also learning their music. Workshops conducted by Boogsie in 2006 allowed participants to develop an appreciation for one of T&T’s all-time great steelband composers and arrangers who is best known for his work with Phase II Pan Groove.

The play features pieces by each composer and incorporates a guest appearance by the Metamorphosis Dance Company performing the work of young choreographer Bridgette Wilson. There will also be performances by Holistic’s teaching assistants Tahirah Osborne, a 17-year-old singer and member of the Marionettes Youth Chorale, and 18-year-old musician, composer and arranger, Jesse Ryan.

The Holistic Music School was founded in 2002 by Dardaine-Ragguet and teaches music to students from as young as two years old. The curriculum uses an integrated approach allowing each student to understand the relationship of music to the other arts.

Dardaine-Ragguet develops arts-based curricula for Caribbean children from all walks of life in her mission to instil an appreciation for music.

The educator, who views such projects as integral in preparing Caribbean youth for international music fora, said: “by placing Boogsie next to Beethoven, Holistic is making a strong statement. Caribbean music has many roots including European classical music forms. Boogsie, a self-taught genius, did not have the benefit of formal music education like Beethoven. However, when his music is analysed, the same basic elements of music emerge. This production is designed to influence students, administrators and policy makers to participate in and develop music education programmes throughout the Caribbean.

“Everyone must be given an opportunity to play one’s musical self.”

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