Nobel Laureate Week continued last Sunday with a special tribute to the late Petronilla Deterville.
Deterville, who passed in October, 2010, founded the Cecilian Rays, a musical group from Anse la Raye, in 1981. The main aim of the organization was to improve the quality of life for young people living in that West coast community.
YouthSPAC, Silver Shadow Dance Academy, Zenaida, Charles Cadet Youth Orchestra and Yannick James formed the cast at the National Cultural Centre last Sunday afternoon that honoured the late music specialist’s life.
Kentillia Louis, Artistic Director, YouthSPAC, told The VOICE that the activity was a labour of love for a woman who taught a generation of Saint Lucians whose work now embodies her passion and spirit.
“Sometimes we forget to remember our elders, many of whom built the path for us,” Louis said. “But you can clearly see that a lot of the young talent that has come out in this production is as a result of the work Mrs. Deterville did. So we felt that we needed to do something by which to remember her.”
The theme of the two-hour production was “Life in the Village”, was a musical conceptualized by Deterville considered to be groundbreaking at the time since it encapsulated village life through folk songs and portrayed by the Cecilian Rays.
Louis said Deterville’s influence was so immense that the groups were quick to sign on to Sunday’s production without hesitation or concerns on financial matters.
“Her specialty was giving Saint Lucians an understanding and appreciation for the island’s folk songs, many of which she composed, including “DomiIshMwen” (“Sleep, My Child”),” Louis said.