News Releases

The UWI Arts Chorale & UWI Steel presents “Jabula!”

For Release Upon Receipt - December 12, 2012

St. Augustine

For one night only the University of the West Indies (UWI) Arts Chorale and the UWI Steel, both directed by Jessel Murray, will perform their annual Christmas concert “Jabula!” at Santa Rosa R.C. Church on Friday 14th December at 7 pm.

“Jabula!” will feature a mélange of works ranging from uplifting sacred classical music to Christmas themed spirituals, gospels and folk music. The major work featured for this concert is the Trinidad and Tobago premiere of the famous ‘Requiem’ by French composer Gabriel Fauré.  

The ‘Requiem’ has been described as one of the most beautiful choral pieces of the nineteenth century and is still a popular work with choirs worldwide.  Edward Goater of the BBC wrote that “long sweeping melodies and beautiful harmonies” belie the technical demands of the work. Additionally, he opines that the eternally famous ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘Libera me’ solos add to a packed thirty-five minutes of drama and brilliance!” In selecting the UWI Steel to be a part of it Mr. Murray comments that “the Requiem was originally scored by the composer in two instrumental forms: one for large traditional orchestra and one for a more intimate orchestra both of which have the organ as the centerpiece of the work”. He continues “we have kept the organ as the centre of the work as well as the French Horns but substituted the sounds of the steelpan with no loss of fidelity. Additionally, the Santa Rosa R.C. Church is the ideal venue for this type of work!

The three major solos in the Requiem will be shared by University of the West Indies voice majors Jeffrey Biddeau and Aniya Carty and UWI Arts Chorale community member Krisson Joseph. Other soloists will include Adafih Padmore, a recent graduate of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts and Justin Zephyrine from the popular musicals ‘Aida’ and ‘Hairpsray’. 

In the last few years, the UWI Arts Chorale has gained a large following in Trinidad and Tobago with their eagerly awaited premieres of choral works. In 2009 the Chorale presented the first complete presentation of Bernstein’s ‘Chichester Psalms’ with orchestral accompaniment.   In 2010 the group presented the first performance of Britten’s classic work ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ with harp accompaniment and last year they offered a critically acclaimed nativity concert in celebration of the year of People of African Descent. The UWI Steel, which won first place in the World Steelband Festival in 2003 (small ensemble) has continued its tradition of excellence alongside the Chorale. In the last few years the ensemble collaborated with Ray Holman in the production of his well regarded CD ‘Changing Time, has performed with soloists such as concert pianist Ray Luck and has been the first choice for experimental steelband music. Under the guidance of Jessel Murray, the Chorale and Steel have forged a full partnership with tours in 2008, 2010 and 2012 to Massachusetts, New York and Barbados. It is no wonder that every significant UWI celebration within the last years has included one or both groups.

“Jabula!” tickets are $150 and are available at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) at Agostini Street and Gordon Street, St Augustine and the Santa Rosa R.C. Church, Arima.  

For more information, please call 663-2222, 645-0873, 747-7340 or email


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with 45 physical site locations across the region, serving 16 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Food & Agriculture, and Social Sciences. 

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)