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Raymond Edwards

Friday, November 12 2010

Raymond Edwards and his smooth tenor voice have been delighting lovers of classical music for the last 18 years. He has performed with many acclaimed groups including the Marionettes Chorale, and the Neal and Massy Trinidad all Stars, at a variety of functions, concerts and competitions. He has also had the opportunity to perform for a number of global heads of state, but says what he truly loves is performing for his fellow Trinbagonians. But Edwards has never held his own concert... until now.

This Saturday, Edwards will headline at his own concert, It’s About Time at St Dominic’s Pastoral Centre, St Finbar’s Church compound, Morne Coco Road in Diego Martin. The concert will start promptly at 8.30 pm.

Edwards said the idea for the show came from his friend and fellow singer Candace Alcantara, who he said encouraged him, saying, “Come on Raymond, we’re going to do this.” The rest, as they say, is history. Edwards said the process of staging an event of this magnitude has been “nerve racking but wonderful.” He said many friends came forward and helped put the show together.

Edwards began singing at the age of 17 when he met his musical mentor the late Chesterton Ali who guided him to the first of many music festival championships. Through this partnership with Ali, Raymond was introduced to well known Opera singer and tutor, Lorna Mae Mayers who trained and guided Edwards along his musical path for over a year.

Although classically trained, Edward’s love for music and his zeal to perform would not allow him to stay exclusively in the classical arena. He has had the opportunity to expand his repertoire so that it touches pop, classical and even a little rapso. He noted that he never truly enjoyed competition and always embraced opportunities to just let his talent shine with others and as such over the years he has shared the stage with many of the top local and some unknown talents as well. In 2006 his debut album Ray of Hope was launched and received significant play on local airwaves.

Edwards holds a Bachelors Degree in Government and currently serves as the Communications Specialist for the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

When asked what guests at the concert can look forward to, Edwards assured “there would be a little something everyone.” He said it would not feature any one genre of music, but there will be a little classical, a little Broadway, a little pop, and he hinted of a surprise at the end which may appeal to lovers of Christmas music.

Among performers sharing the spotlight with Edwards will be Wendy Sheppard and Inge Schluer.

Sheppard has been singing since childhood. In her 20s she auditioned for one of Trinidad’s prominent choirs, and when accepted as a first soprano, she honed her voice on a mostly classical choral repertoire. After some years of traditional singing, Sheppard’s urge to diversify led her to expand her repertoire to include pop and soft rock. She performed locally and internationally with a popular “party band” before embarked on a freelance solo career. She has also produced a number of shows and CD projects.

Inge Shlüer’s musical life started at age three with theory and piano and at around age six she picked up the steel pan. However, it wasn’t until age nine when she studied under the late Sylvia Robin and Esther Batson “Celeste School of Music” in piano and violin that she began to take a serious interest in music.

Shlüer took part in several competitions such as 12 and Under and the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival and achieved several certificates in piano, violin and voice from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music She began singing with the Lydian Singers in 1998, and was given the opportunity to perform her first solo with a choir in front of audiences which included the president, the prime minister and several other diplomatic personnel.

She performed with the Lydian singers at the prime minister’s residence for Prince Charles on his visit to Trinidad and had sung with David Rudder in many of his concerts. In 2004 she was lauded by the English examiner from the Royal School of Music, Christopher Liddle, on her abilities on her respective instruments. Shlüer is currently training in voice under Jessel Murray at UWI where she is in her final year in the BA in Musical Arts.

Other guest artistes at what promises to be a very enjoyable evening of music include Nigel Floyd, Jolene Romain, Wendell Bompart, Johan Chuckaree and the Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars steel orchestra.

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