As La Petite Musicale of Toronto celebrates its 50th anniversary, and has been led by arranger Lindy Burgess for most of the way. Speaking to the Caribbean Camera, the veteran musician said, “I am honoured to have this opportunity to bring this production to our patrons and friends. From the inception, this choral group has focused on promoting the culture of Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean in the form of music, drama and dance, in keeping with the vision of the late Joan (Betty) Betancourt, one of the founding members.”
“The dedication and commitment of the members of La Petite Musicale, both past and present, have been key to keeping our Legacy Alive. We are thrilled to perform for you now and in the future.”
One of the choir’s celebrated sons Marvin L. Ishmael, a writer/director and actor who has been performing in Toronto for the past three decades. Known affectionately as Marvin “Trini” Ishmael, he has worked with La Petite Musicale of Toronto during the late 70s, and is is back in Toronto to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and perform duties as stage director.
Ishmael is currently an Assistant Professor at University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Academy for the Performing Arts, assisting the next generation of artistes with acquiring the skills necessary for success. In April 2020, he will be one of the lead actors in the full length feature film “The Deliverer” with Paul Pryce.
This Christmas presentation will feature a number of wonderful vocalists such as Michael Dunston who has a smooth, unfaltering voice which has been compared to Donny Hathaway’s. He expertly sets up the listener, creating the mood with a voice that transitions cleanly into song, and certainly has a way with a lyric!
Dunston will share the stage with La Vonne Codogan, a powerhouse singing talent. La Vonne began singing with “La Petite” in her early twenties. Her incredible talents were featured in many of “La Petite’s” productions over the years. Lavonne is especially known for her memorable duets with her mother, the legendary Macomere Fifi (Eulith Tara Woods).
La Petite Musicale of Toronto will welcome Sade Edwards and Bridget Rampersad who have travelled from Trinidad for this production. Sade is currently in her final year at UTT’s Academy for the Performing Arts, majoring in Acting. Bridget has graduated from the same academy, and has appeared in a hit comedy written and directed by Marvin Ishmael.
This Christmas concert has always marked as the unofficial start of a Trinbago Christmas in Canada. La Petite Musicale stands on its own among the many Caribbean Christmas shows on tap in the city, simply because Caribbean Christmas music has a special and unique sound when sung by a choir, especially when as La Petite is that choir.
The will be this Sunday 24th November at the Armenian Youth Centre, 50 Hallcrown Place, North York (Victoria Park & Consumers Rd.). Doors open at 4:30; show time 5:00pm