When a group of young women from the Convent High School Choir decided that they wanted to keep singing way past their high school days, they formed a small choir at the then Clifton Dupigny Community College in an attempt to keep doing what they loved.
Little did they know that they were creating what has grown to be one of the most popular choirs on the island; the Sixth Form Sisserou Singers (SFSS).
Twenty years later, past and present members of the SFSS are buzzing with excitement as they get ready to stage their anniversary performance production, “Choral Memoirs.”
Speaking to Dominica News Online on Friday morning, President of the choir, Leandra Lander explained that the group was started as a project between the Division of Culture and the students.
“The Sixth Form Sisserou Singers really started out as a project between the Division of Culture and the students who were moving on from the Convent High School choir and going into the Clifton Dupigny Community College,” she explained. “These students were headed by Dr Porscha Meade. The students basically wanted to continue that sort of activity in terms of choral singing.”
She added that Meade, as spokesperson of the group, sought the assistance of Pearle Christian, who at first wasn’t sure if the group was serious but eventually got onboard.
Christian became the director, a position she holds to this day.
“She was a cultural officer and she saw the opportunity to use the medium of choral music as a community development project,” Lander noted.
Lander, who has been a member of the group for 10 years, noted that this year the choir will be reminiscing on its past.
“This year we will have back on stage some of our members from the past both recent and from way back,” she stated. “We will be featuring them on the show this evening (Friday) and will sing a few selections. We have prepared a package that is entertaining, refreshing and regardless of how new it is, we try to stick to certain traditions.”
She pointed out that musician, Mervin Alexander, will be honored at this year’s production.
Alexander is currently a music education officer and the founder and director of the Giraudel-Eggleston choir. She indicated that his focus is on Liturgical music, and is instrumental in founding a dynamic music program at the Goodwill Primary school.
“He taught for 13 years and was able to form four choirs and is really interested in getting young men to sing something that lacks in Dominica especially,” she stated. “He has a Grade 7 certificate in voice from the Associated Board of Royal schools of Music London.”
“Choral Memoirs” will be held under the patronage of the president of Dominica, Charles Savarin and his wife and will be held from 8:00 pm at the Arawak House of Culture on July 11th (tonight) and 12th and at the Catholic Church Hall in Portsmouth on Sunday July 13th