By Hazel Riley
The Alliouagana Singers, a group of Montserrat singers living in London, on Sunday March 12th charmed a very appreciative audience at Government House, the residence of Her Excellency the Governor, Elizabeth Carriere, with a delightful evening of Music and the spoken word.
Fresh out of London and happy to be home, this ten (10) member energetic group consisting of three men and seven women delivered a concert performance ‘par excellence’. In the first section, the group regaled in white and orange soothed the hearts of the audience with selection of religious songs. In section two, dressed in national dress, the group craftily delivered the story of the struggle on Montserrat with their folk songs. Section three featured contemporary songs which included all-time favourites from the late Mighty Arrow “I just can’t run away” and “Man Mus Live”!
During the break between sections, Myrle Roach, poet, gave the audience a glimpse of how she vented her frustration at being torn from her homeland, as a result of the volcanic eruption; and how she adjusted to her new surroundings in the bleak grey, environment of the United Kingdom.
Her Excellency who graciously hosted the concert, admitted that though she had been looking forward to the evening, she could not have known what to expect. She said it was wonderful and that she was humbled and privileged to have been able to be part of what Montserrat is. She commended the group for their enthusiasm, and for the memories they brought and stirred up in the audience. The experience she said makes what she does here on Montserrat more special; it enabled her to learn what it means to be Montserratian and even a visitor to Montserrat. She thanked the group profusely for their performance.
Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo also commended the group for their outstanding performance saying that it was not possible to describe it to anyone who had missed it. He said that the ten member group had surpassed his expectations and was proud that they had kept Montserrat alive in their hearts in England and had brought back a life and a vigor that was missing and needs to be invigorated in Montserrat.
The reaction during the concert, the look on the faces of the members of the audience and their words of congratulations to group members as they mingled after the concert was confirmation of their enjoyment.