Agnes Frederick

From early childhood Agnes yearned to play the piano. She pleaded with her mother to send her for lessons, but her father, the bread-winner, saw no merit in providing financial help for this purpose. One Sunday morning in Grenada, a determined 11-year-old Agnes walked the long five-mile journey to the home of Seventh Day Adventist music teacher - Ms Donald. She requested music lessons in exchange for performing household chores. With hr mother's approval the undertaking began. At the Tanteen Anglican High School in St. Georges, Agnes gave piano lessons during her lunch hour while still a music student to help pay for her continuing studies. Lacking a piano in her household, she practiced at the homes of accommodating friends.

When she gained first place in an island-wide piano competition, the newspaper story informed the public that she lacked her own piano. Two days later there was one in her living room. Her father had purchased it cash from Bullen's music store! Agnes progressed speedily, functioning also as a pianist at school for choral work, teacher within her church choir and organist for the Adventist church when both organists left.

At the age of 19 Agnes came to Trinidad to further her musical studies at the Caribbean Union College. There she taught music to help pay for her studies. Directed by Dr. V Andrews she achieved grade 8 in the practical and theoretical disciplines. Realizing the difficulty of financial survival as a musician, she obtained employment at TELCO as a telephone operator. Promotions have led to her current position of senior service representative. At work, Agnes found a musical milieu, functioning for four years as a pianist for TELCO's choir. She met Pat Bishop when the latter was invited to guide the choir in achievement of higher musical standards. Ms Bishop recognized Agnes' talent and invited her to join the Lydian Singers ten 16 years ago (from 2004). Agnes joined as a contralto, but gradually found her position at the piano, assisting with teaching the choir and being an invaluable pianist both at rehearsals and Lydian Performances.

Music has taken Agnes abroad - as a high school student to St. Vincent to participate in a musical play; to Surinam as a chorister with a mass choir; to Dutch and French Guyana where she participated in the massed choir of a Seventh Day Adventist Youth Group Conference. As a Lydian she was an accompanist during Lydian performances in Panama and Grenada in 1996 and in Barbados in 1997.

Musically adventurous, Agnes taught herself to play the pipe organ at Hanover Methodist church where she functioned as an organist for two years. Her most harrowing musical experience was sitting her grade 7 practical exams without having the score, which she had misplaced. She passed the examination!

Agnes has a gift for playing by ear and also possesses an excellent natural appreciation of syncopated music, which she skilfully plays. However, she has a particular penchant for classical music and religious choruses. Her successes notwithstanding, Agnes is now actively considering working towards achievement of Licentiate - Royal School of Music.