. A. 4
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Music by Philip Pilgrim
Conducted by Bill Pilgrim
WEDNESDAY 6th, SEPTEMBER
AT THE PIANOS
Ray Luck was born in Guyana in 1942 and studied with Ruby
McGregor in Georgetown. In 1961 he was awarded the Fellowship diploma
from Trinity College, London, before going to study in Europe.
In London he studied with Cyril Smith at the Royal College of Music
where he gained distinctions in pianoforte and also completed the
Bachelor of Music degree with Honours from London University. In 1963
he won a French Government scholarship to continue piano studies with
Yvonne Lefebure at the Paris Conservatoire and gained the Premier Prix in
his first year. He was later given an award by the Countess of Munster
Musical Trust to study with Denis Matthews.
Ray Luck has appeared as soloist with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra
at the Thratre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, and with.the Suisse Romande
Orchestra in Geneva. Recently he played in Montreal, London, Lisbon and
Paris. He has given many recitals and radio and TV broadcasts in Europe
and the West Indies. Last year Ray Luck toured the Caribbean, including
most of the smaller territories, and in December gave a recital at the Queen
Elizabeth Hall in London, which was enthusiastically received by the
Berbice born Rosemary Ramdeholl began her musical career at the
age of 9 and at once distinguished herself by topping the country at all
S her Grade examinations.
As a result of her perfQrmance at the L.R.S.M. exams, she won the
Associated Board of the Royal School of Music Scholarship for the
entire West Indies and entered the Royal Academy of Music. There she
studied the piano and organ under the famous British composer, York
Bowen, and obtained the L.R.A.M. and A.R.C.M. both in teaching and
Miss Ramdeholl performed on T.V. and played at several concerts
while in England. She later won a British Gouncil Scholarship to the
Guild Hall School of Music where she did singing. Miss Ramdeholl has
spent the last few years sharing her knowledge and experience with
2 young Guyanese musicians.
i "T I I I L
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Frank Daniels L.R.S.M.,one of Guyana's
outstanding Baritones began singing in 1964
with the St.Thomas Chior. He has won wide
acclaim at every music festival since 1967
and has been a favourite recitalist
He has recently returned from a brief visit to
the U.K where he gave several recitals. He is
the composer of "The Song of the
Republic", which won the Republic
celebrations music competition in 1970.
Barbara Burrowes, Lirico Spinto Soprano, began her Career in Guyana under
the guidance of the late musician Mr. F.P. Loncke. In 1953 she left for London
and whilst studying nursing and midwifery there, trained under a Welsh tenor. In
1957, while in America on a post graduate nursing course, she studied German
Lieder and as a result of a seriess of highly successful concerts in Minnesota
she was directed to go to Naples, Italy to train under Madam Cimino.
In 1967 she made her debut in opera at Teatro delle Arti singinf Tosca and
M1imi in La Boheme. She sings in six languages and knows several operatic roles,
ind has sung professionally in Sweden, Germany, Spain and Denmark. Earlier this
/ear she took part in a programme at the Lisner Auditorium, in Washington.
STANLEY RIDLEY was born in Guyana to Guyanese parents.
Educated at Queen's College where he was interested in Gilbert
and Sullivan operettas and taking part in folk song groups and
In 1966 he was the first person to record the Guyana National
Anthem and before leaving Guyana to study abroad, he took an
active part in the Independence entertainment
In London, he spent two years at the Guild Hall School of
Music and Drama, studying singing and elocution. The following
three years he spent at London University, Kings College where
he sang with the Kings Singers while following a degree course in
He now holds the B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering and is
interested in taking part in his country's engineering and music
THE LEGEND OF KAIETEUR
ARTHUR SEYMOUR making use of the basic story of the Old
Man Fall and composing in rhymed couplets for easy memorising,
A.J. Seymour wrote the words of "The Legend of Kaieteur" in
1940 as a special narrative poem for the children of Guyana.
Two features of this version are the religious motif of the
sacrifice of one to save many, and the picture of an Amerindian's
Garden of Eden before strife enters.
A poet, critic and editor, Seymour has published several books
of poems including Verse, More Poems, Sun's in My Blood, Over
Guiana Clouds, The Guiana Book, Selected'Poemrns, Leaves from
the Tree, and Monologue and has edited a number of anthologies
of Guyanese and West Indian poetry.
His published prose works include Caribbean Literature,
WWindow on the Caribbean and Edgar Mittelholzer, the Man and
He was Editor of Kykoveral, 1945 1961, and has been
President of the Br. Guiana PEN Society.
PHILIP PILGRIM Born in 1917 -
showed early musical talent and played
piano at concerts from the age of 7. Was first
Guyanese to win a scholarship to the
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of
Music, London 1934. 1935 39 studied
piano and composition at RoVal College of
Music and gained the A.R.C.M. Diploma
On his return home in 1939 he taught
music and gave recitals in Guyana, Trinidad
and Barbados. In 1944 he was granted the
first British Council Scholarship to further
his studies in music. But a few days before
he was due to leave he died.
Apart from the Legend of Kaieteur his
completed compositions include a number
of songs and shdrt piano pieces and his
unfinished works include "Theme and Varia
tions for piano".
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Bill Pilgrim, also winner of an Associated Board Music Scholarship to
England, has conducted choirs in England and in Jamaica, where he was
Musical Director of the Jamaica Amateur Operatic Society for seven
X. years. After his return to Guyana in 1967 he conducted the Woodside
Singers until he moved to Linden.
He was largely responsible for the writing of the Legend for the 1970
production and again for the present performance, including for the
first time a special score for steel orchestra.
GUYBAU INVADERS STEEL ORCHESTRA
Leader Calvin Whyte
Members of the band:
One of the oldest established steelbands in Guyana., the Invaders are the reigning champions having won
practically all of the big band trophies at the last Steel Band Festival, including the trophy for the best performances
of classical music. Guybau Invaders and Bill Pilgrim came into partnership when Bill Pilgrim in his official capacity as
Public Relations Manager for the Guyana Bauxite Company became responsible for the Steel Band. The relationship
has proved to be one of mutual respect.
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I PART 1
STANLEY RIDLEY Baritone
BARBARA BURROWS Soprano
DE FREITAS Jane
DE SOUZA Doreen
- Baritone (Kaie)
LA ROSE Joyce
ABRAMS Brenda CUMB
ANTHONY Ulita DALG
ARNO Elise DALG
BLAKENEY Dolores DONC
BOURNE Mercylyn DOUG
BOWEN Rita DUKE
BRISTOL Waveney GEOR
BROWN Winifred GITTE
BUTLER Evadne GITTE
CARRINGTON Marie GODF
CHRISTIE Clarisse GRAV
CLARKE Faye GREE
COX Evelyn GREEN
CROMWELL Virginia HALL
CUMBERBATCH Daphne HARF
irl SMITH Brindsley
ie WILLIAMS St. Elmo
LASH LEY Zena
MAC DONALD Herma
MC DONALD Dorothy
MC LEAN Margaret
MC PERSON Norma
Assistant Conductor EDITH PIETERS
THE LEGEND OF KAIETEUR
NOW MAKONAIMA, the Great Spiritdwelt
In the huge mountain rock that throbbed and felt
The swift black waters of Potaro's race
Pause on the lip, commit themselves to space
And dive the half mile to the rocks beneath.
Black were the rocks with sharp and angry teeth
And on those rocks the eager waters died,
Lost their black body, and up the mountain dide,
Above the gorge that seethed and foamed and hissed
Rose, resurrected into lovely mist.
The rock He lived in towered a half mile high
So that it seemed a rival to the sky
And over it this living mist He drew
To curtain off Divinity from view.
He gave it too the privilege to choose
To take the glory of the rainbow's hues
To wear at morning, and for changed delight
The marvellous sunsets of the tropic night.
From day to day, behind this rainbowed screen,
The Father, the inscrutable, unseen,
Would ponder on His domain of the earth
And all the nations He had given birth.
And He caused flowers to weave upon the ground
Their rich embroideries, and He set around
The village where each tribe worked all day long
A veritable tapestry of song
From birds that in the branches built their bowers
And spent within the shade quick musical hours.
So every wind blew peace and fortune down
From the sweet heavens, and everywhere was sung
A song of praise to the Great Spirit above
That fathered them in kindliness and love.
And ever moon each tribe would come and float
Upon the stream a sacrificial boat
New-carved and painted, laden with fish and fruit
And watch it gain speed as it neared and shoot
Over the rock into the gorge below.
And as the waters, so the centuries flow
Until the savage Caribishi came
And put-the Patamoona to the flame.
They came by night and took them in their sleep
Slaughtered the guards and drove away the sheep
Ravished the women, burnt their huts and fields,
Despite their warclubs and their wooden shields.
A few, the merest remnant, took to flight
And under shelter of the friendly night
Escaped from the pursuing torches sent
To slay them in the caches where they went.
These took the terrible tidings of the raid
To the far camp their restless kin had inade
On the Potaro that tht feud was awake
And Counsel what defences they could make.
CO-ORDINATOR Cicely Robinson
A.-/A' .- r r
Old Kaie was chief in counsel. He was wise
Over a hundred seasons had those eyes
Seen in their passage. Time had made the dim
But with its wisdom compensated him.
He knew the cures for all men's ills and fears
And he had words for women in their tears
To comfort them. He set all day and talked
Unto the tribe, for painfully he walked
On legs like rotten trunks wherein chigoes
Had nested and made caves of all his toes.
Just now he counselled, "Since our arms are small
I and another to the mountain wall
Will go to question Makonaima's will
What He requires that we must fulfil
In sacrificial offerings. He is kind
His orders will chase fear out of our mind."
Then someone murmured "But can Kaie's feet stand
The troublesome journey through steep, rocky land?"
Flame sprang to Kaie's eyes, "Will you never learn,
From what the mind wills, body will not turn?"
So the next morning laboured up the slope
Kale and the one other with their ropes
Strapped round their backs, their bags of magic art
With all the stuff that in their spells had part.
Kaie's feet oft staggered and the westering sun
Was swallowed up by night, the day was done
Before they came upon the slab of stone
That ends the path to the Great Spirit's home.
They stood while the vast starry night was full
Of falling water. Kale felt his fellow pull
His arm. "Look there," "Yes, Makonaima's birds,
They are His messengers, they speak His words,
These small black cruiser birds, they fly in flocks
And feed on lana seed among the rocks."
And now the birds made swoopings round the pair
And chattering, brushed Kaie's cheek and kissed his ear.
Twice, thrice, they did this. Then with sudden flight
They wheeled and veered off through the seeing Night.
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Then in a voice that swelled and sank and broke
With the great wealth of joy he felt, Kale spoke
"Oh, great is Makonaima and the words
That he has spoken by message of his birds.
I must go down the passage of the river.
That I may sit before His face for ever
In His great house, the everlasting rock.
And He has promised that no harm, no shock
Shall bruise our people, for His watch and ward
Shall circle us and He shall be our guard.
I am accounted for a sacrifice
For all the tribe. You with your younger eyes
Shall see the offering that you may tell
How boldly Kaie clasped such a death, how well
He lost his life to save his threatened race
And shadow them with the eternal peace."
So in the morning, while the dim mist wreathed
And the fall thundered and the deep gorge seethed
That other sat at vantage by the wall
And scanned the river to the waterfall.
He saw the sun o'er-peep the world and throw
Tide after tide of golden ray and glow
Against the fall, flood full on its attire.
Its misty veil, and catch that mist afire.
Amazed, he stared. The opalescent light
Deepened and sank and changed...Then in his sight
Below the point that Kaie had bid him mark
He saw Kaie in a sacrificial bark.
The frail boat bobbed and bucked within the grip
Of the live waters that hurried it to the lip
Over the abyss. Kaie then raised his tall
Huge bulk in the boat and towered over the fall,
A cruciform over the flaming mist.
Then with a force that nothing could resist
The boat rent all that misty veil in two,
Drawing a dark line down the rainbow hue.
But of Kaie's body never showed a trace,
He sat with Makonaima, before his face.
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THE LEGEND OF KAIETEUR
BY CHARLES BARRINGTON
On the 21st we left the village of Taiepong; walking
westwardly we crossed the river Arnick, and at 3.30
p.m. came to an Indian house close to the Potaro
river, at which we remained for the night. The whole
day long the rain fell, sometimes as a heavy
downpour, sometimes as mist, making the ground
sodden, the trees dripping, and the small streams
swollen and turbid. More miserable and
uncomfortable work than walking under these
conditions cannot be imagined.
Early next day we went up a branch of the Potaro
called Emapowou to the village where we were to get
the canoes, and found a large assemblage of people,
many of whom were partially intoxicated; they told
us that on the following day we could have
the"woodskins" but must wait till then. We were
obliged to submit to this arrangement and wait till
10 the following morning, when the canoes being ready
and brought to
with the stream
us, we were once more afloat and
in our favour descended rapidly all
Our food, consisting of cassava bread only, was served
out all round, and each person ate his share when he
pleased, which saved the time and trouble of having a
general breakfast and dinner hour.
The river at the place from which we started was
about 100 yards wide, and full to overflowing from
the recent rains we had experienced. The water in it
was of a dark brown colour. The forest lining the
sides of the river was dense, but the trees were not so
high as on the borders of the Essequibo river. Here
and there on the long reaches of the river high
mountains are seen to the west, north-west, and
south. The river at the place from which we
embarked is over 1,100 feet above the sea, and this is
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the average level of the forest-covered table land
before mentioned as the second plateau. Making a
good day's journey we camped late in the evening
about one mile above the great fall, the roar of which
was distinctly heard.
Owing to the delay in sinking the "woodskins" in a
small creek we did not get started till 7 a.m. next day,
Sunday 24th, to walk round the great fall to the
village below. Coming out on a small open savanna of
a most rocky barren nature, we traversed it for nearly
a mile before we-came opposite the portion of the
river containing the fall. The morning was cloudy and
a heavy dense mist rose whirling above the edge of
the precipice in the direction of the spot from which
the heavy thudding roar of the fall sounded. As this
mist rose above the edge it was caught by the
north-east wind and blown over the place where we
were, falling in the form of light rain upon us. I at
first took it to be a rain squall, but soon saw that it
was produced by the fall itself.
Passing through a low bush and over great square
blocks of conglomerate, we emerged at the very head
of this most noble fall. Here was presented a sight I
never expected to behold and one that my feeble pen
never can describe. Imagine a large river some 100
yards wide, and having an average depth of nearly 20
feet, emptying itself over the face of a precipice of
about 900 feet in height into a great basin below in
one clear white mass, and you can form some idea of
the grandeur and magnitude of Kaieteir fall. Away
from this leads a deep and narrow valley, lying
north-east, in which the river runs smoothly and
peacefully after leaving the turmoil in the foaming
Glimpses of the river in this valley are here and there
obtained looking like silver bands midst the dark
green foilage of the neighboring forest. The end of
the valley which has been cut back by the river, in the
same manner in which it is still being cut back, is
open, and the great forest plain of the Essequibo river
is faintly seen in the distance.
Behind the falling water there is an enormous cave
filled with mist, in and out of which through mist and
spray large black swallows dart and circle. To obtain a
full view of the face and foot of the fall other than to
lie flat on the rocks and look down over the precipice
is impossible, for the heavy impenetrable mist before
spoken of prevents one from seeing anything, if he
went along the precipice edge on the west, further
than some 30 yards from the fall. I now speak only of
the time of day that I was there from 8 to 10 a.m.,
when these conditions were in force. Perhaps later in
the day the sun has power to turn part of this mist
into invisible vapour, and so reveal more hidden
The dark green foilage of the forest on the river, and
clinging to the bluffs of the valley's side, the pinkish
and gray colours of the sandstone rocks on the right
of where the water passes over, and the clear brown
of the water as it turns the edge suddenly changing to
dead white, are contrasts of colour which give
extraordinary beauty to the scene.
As the water passes down it seems to move in masses,
ever downwards, but never able to effect separations
in the mass. Thus a downward movement which
singularly draws one's gaze with it is produced,
rendering a near approach to the precipice both
difficult and dangerous unless in a reclining posture.
Looking down on the river at the edge of the foam,
where it regains its usual peaceful character, it looked
like a small channel that one might almost jump over,
so far down is it.
Making a slight sketch and examining the rocks
occupied two hours. I never felt before that the want
of ordinary food was such a hardship as when I tore
myself away from this spot. But to delay here not
knowing what distance we had yet to go before
reaching the boats, and with but little cassava bread
to live upon, was dangerous in the extreme; I had no
choice but to push on and get as near the foot of the
fall as I could. We therefore continued on the Indian
path which led north-east through the forest, down
the steep mountain side, and arrived at the river
below at 3 miles from the fall.
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ABOUT THE LEGEND
When Philip Pilgrim first started to write the music
to Arthur Seymour's epic, "Legend of Kaieteur," it
was conceived as a work for a full orchestra, with a
pert for a solo pianist, three or four solo singers and a
large eight-part choir.
He began putting his thoughts on paper in 1942,
and at that time there as no intention of a
performance in Guyana. When, early in 1944, Philip
Pilgrim we awarded a British Council Scholarship to
go to Britain to pursue further studies in music, his
friends urged him to attempt a performance of the
Legend in Guyana as a sort of "farewell gesture."
An essential figure in this story is John Heuvel. He
had been a professional musician (violinist and
conductor) in Britain, married to a Guyanese, who
made British Guiana his home. John Heuvel became
the driving force behind the production of the
"Lagend" and conducted all four performances.
At the time when the decision was taken, the
Legend had not been completed, most of Part 111
had not yet been committed to paper and only part
of Part 1 had been orchestrated, but Philip felt that
he could complete the work for a local performance
before his departure. It was only when he attempted
to get an orchestra to perform the work that major
difficulties arose and it soon became clear that no
orchestra would be available for the "Legend" in
Guyana. In the end, it was decided that for the local
performances, the choir would have to be
accompanied by two pianos apart from the solo piano
which Philip Pilgrim himself would play. This meant
completely re-writing the orchestral score.
While the choir was rehearsing, Philip was busy
re-writing and also completing the composition. He
had no time to write out his own piano part; this was
simply a conglomeration of tentative ideas, and his
original manuscript is full of a few bars here and there
and the word "etcetera etcetera" appears time and
time again. Up to three weeks before the first
performance, Philip was still composing the finale.
On July 29, 1944, the first performance was held
at the Assembly Rooms (where the Bank of Guyana
now stands). The conductor was John Heuvel; the
soloists Ismay Callender and George Harding; the two
accompanying pianos were played by Colin Franker
and Reginald McDavid, and the solo piano part by
12 Philip Pilgrim himself.
There were two more performances in Georgetown
and a fourth two weeks later in New Amsterdam,
immediately following which Philip Pilgrim became
seriously ill. He died on August 30, 1944.
With his death, many thought that the Legend
would never be heard again. The musical score and
manuscripts were sent to Philip's brother, Bill, who
had never heard the Legend as he was in the Royal
Air Force at the time. Following careful study of the
material Bill put together a "rehearsal" score with
the instrumental parts condensed into one piano part.
This was completed in 1953 and in 1954 he formed a
choir of West Indian students which gave a
performance of the First Part of the Legend at the
British Council Hostel in London.
It was not until 1970 that the Legend was
performed again. Selected as one of the major
presentations for Guyana's Republic Celebrations, the
work was presented in a form similar to that of the
original production in 1944. Since Philip's piano part
existed only in scraps, Bill Pilgrim reconstructed the
solo piano part, and the celebrated Guyanese pianist,
Ray Luck, was invited to return to Guyana to
The Legend was given two performances on 17th
and 18th February, 1970, at Queen's College. The
soloists were Ester Pilgrim (mezzo-soprano), Fred
Talbot (baritone), and Frank Daniels (baritone), who
sang the part of Kaie. The two accompanying pianos
were played by Lynette Dolphin and Rosemary
Ramrndeholl, and the choir of 144 voices was
conducted by Bill Pilgrim.
The performances were enthusiastically received.
Among the audiences were several visiting West
Indian celebrities who were in Guyana for the
Caribbean Writers' and Artists' Convention. Later, at
the Convention itself, it was suggested that the
"Legend" should be one of the special presentations
at the Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts, but they
felt that for future performances the work whoLld
have an orchestral, accompaniment and that
choreography be added. It is partly in response to
these opinions that dance has been included in the
performance, choreographed by Robert Narain. The
instrumental music has been re-written for two pianos
and steel orchestra the first time as far as is known
that a steel orchestra is being used in an extended
wnrk of this kind.