Sixth Form Sisserou Singers celebrate 20 years

Sixth Form Sisserou Singers in action
Sixth Form Sisserou Singers in action

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

 

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11 Comments

  1. true
    July 14, 2014

    Saturday nite was the bomb, it was well deserved.

  2. Anonymous
    July 14, 2014

    loved it!!!… give people their flowers while they alive

  3. Male Founding Member
    July 14, 2014

    The wording of this article and emphasis on the founding members being from Convent High School neglects the fact that there were a number of founding members that were not from Convent, including a number of male founding members.

    While the majority of the founding members were in fact past Convent students it was formed among students of the college hence the name Sixth Form Sisserou Singers.

  4. hmm
    July 14, 2014

    What a wonderful performance; truly enjoyed it. Congratulations. Keep up the good work

  5. Anonymous
    July 14, 2014

    Congrats to this group. Always professional and classy !!!!! Kudos to these young people and to Pearle Christian.

  6. The Facts
    July 13, 2014

    I recall the nun who was the music teacher taught us a rendition of the “Alleluia” which we performed with banners of the color of games – Houses. We had performed it for a special occasion. Viewed from the stand, it was so beautiful, shaped in the logo of CHS. This picture reminds me of it and that memorable occasion.
    Happy to know you are continuing in the nun’s footsteps who taught us some nice songs. Those before you and during your school years sang a lot of hymns and other songs, the latter when we also observed Feast Days – Birthdays of the Bishop, Father Superior, Mother Superior, the Principal and when dignitaries visited. One of them is:

    The Happy Wanderer:

    I love to go a wandering among the mountain track,
    And as I go I love to sing, my knapsack on my back.

    Chorus: Valdari, Valdara, Valdari, Valda ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Valdari, Valdara, my knapsack on my back.

    I wave my hat to all I meet and they wave back to me,
    And blackbirds call so loud and sweet from every greenwood tree.

    . . . From every greenwood tree.

    High overhead the skylarks wing they never rest at home,
    But just like me they love to sing as o’er the world we roam.

    .. . . As o’er the world we roam.

    O may I go a wandering until the day I die,
    O may I always laugh and sing beneath God’s clear blue sky.

    . . . Beneath God’s clear blue sky.

    Hope I remembered all the words correctly.

    I recall either Vauxhall Hamonicats and/or Swinging Stars put it to a calypso beat. It made for an excellent dance hall music. It is a great tune which should be revived. It is a happy song and makes one happy to hear it and hear it sung.
    There is a Toronto Radio Station which plays oldies (they call it Golden Oldies) songs/music from the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and 80’s every Saturday night. Real, decent songs; clean lyrics. Whenever I would be indoors I would listen to that Radio Station. Once a year they would organize an oldies dance and would also give out prizes. It was also aired on TV. I do not know if it is still continued.
    There is also a radio station which plays some of those songs. Imagine shopping in stores and hear those songs. They are wonderful to hear. They make for pleasant shopping and make those who know them, hum along. It is stated that certain music is encouraging for customers, in that, without realizing it, they will purchase more. A shopping tactic. :lol:
    This is really the idea especially when shopping at Christmastime. Shopping could be tedious and tiring. Those songs help to exhilarate and boost the (our) spirits.
    Good luck and for persevering in this endeavor which will bring many moments of enjoyment to Dominicans, those who hear them! Hope everyone will.

  7. Albert joseph
    July 12, 2014

    It takes a Great Leader to Guide a Thought as This, to such a high magnitude, in an atmosphere as Dominica is now.
    Much Praises to Miss Pearl Christian,for her dedication and tireless work.
    Praises to the Group and all it’s dedicated Members,
    May the Sperit of Jacco Guide you to more Success in the future.
    JAH BLESS and JAH GUIDE;

  8. The Facts
    July 11, 2014

    A Happy 20th Anniversary. Good luck and success for many years to come. Perseverance wins in the long run. Certainly wished I were present to hear your beautiful rendition. Well, someday if the Good Lord wills
    God bless you and in all your endeavors. I know you will keep it up and pass on your experience to the younger ones that they may emulate you and join your group.

  9. Ms Polly Teaks
    July 11, 2014

    I just love them.

  10. Governance
    July 11, 2014

    Congratulations ladies – keep up the good work

  11. B REAL
    July 11, 2014

    I am so impressed by this group! They have survived so long! It is so hard to find community groups that stick together so long! Great work to Pearle Christian. I am shocked that the business sector hasnt offered corporate sponsorship to ensure financial stability.

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