“Remembrance” by Dr. Roger Henry debuts in the US
Once again we find another citizen of Trinidad and Tobago on the international music arena, demonstrating the calibre of talent this country is capable of producing. On Saturday March 3rd, 2018, the oratorio titled ‘Remembrance’, composed by Dr. Roger J. Henry, received its United States premier at Texas State University. The U.S. premier was conducted by Mr. Yevgeny Dokshansky, Assistant Professor of Music from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, and included a collaboration with the Texas State University Choir (led by Professor Jonathan Babcock), and the University’s orchestra, as well as UTT Assistant Professor of Percussion Josh Watkins and student Mallik Brooks.
Remembrance is a seven-movement work for chorus and soloists, orchestra, and steel pan ensemble, based upon Biblical texts associated with the promise of grace and comfort for those who mourn. Three major influences come together in this work: the text and structure of Ein Deutches Requiem by Johannes Brahms; the rhythmic world and the distinctive sound of the steel pan ensemble; and the battle song, Mooma, Mooma, your son in the grave already, from the Kalinda stick-fighting folk tradition of Trinidad.
The work received its world premier on September 16, 2017, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Lord Kitchener Auditorium in Dr. Henry’s baton. The world premier occurred under the auspices of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, and featured a collaboration among the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago, Bravura Ensemble, the Lydians, and the Marionettes Chorale, as well as vocalists from the UTT Academy for the Performing Arts.
Dr. Roger J. Henry is an educator, conductor, and composer, currently Associate Professor of Choral Music at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. He also leads the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago as its Conductor, and is the Assistant Musical Director of the Marionettes Chorale.
In congratulating Dr. Henry for taking our culture to international audiences, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts said that “planting the seeds of our cultural heritage in different corners of the world helps to disperse the passion, energy and vibe of our people. We salute Dr. Henry for sharing elements of who we are with the wider music community, and we thank him for continuing to provide his expertise to the National Philharmonic Orchestra”.