Dr. Patricia Allison Bishop
TC, H.B.M., BA Hons. (Fine Art), MA (history), Hon. D. Litt
DATE OF BIRTH:1940
PLACE OF BIRTH:Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
DIED:August 20, 2011
Her father was a musician, her mother was a dressmaker and fashion designer and her sister Gillian is a jewellery designer.
She is considered a true cultural icon.
She was a National Scholarship winner from the Bishop Anstey High School.
She attended King's College, Durham University where she studied Art. Upon completion of this degree, she returned to Trinidad where she taught Art at her Alma Mater for a few years.
She then attended U.W.l. Mona where she received her MA in West Indian History, her thesis being "Runaway Slaves in Jamaica, 1807 to 1823". She lectured history at U.W.l. at both the Mona and St. Augustine campuses for eight years. She was also a lecturer in the History of Art and Design at the Jamaica School of Art 1970 to 1972.
Through the combination of the study in both Arts and History of the Caribbean that lead to her interest to work with the steel band movement. Her interest with the WITCO Desparadoes Steel Orchestra and as its conductor took the band on eight major USA tours, which included two major concerts at Carnegie Music Hall.
She was the first to conduct a combined steel band (the Desparadoes) and symphony orchestra (New York Pops Symphony) in the 1980's.
As the Musical Director of The Lydians, she was able to bring to audiences and abroad her talent as a musician, producing first class performances of the classics by Verdi, Rossini, Dvorak and Beethoven. She also presented the operatic works of Koanga by Delius, L'Elisir D'Amore by Donizetti and Turandot by Puccini to the audiences in Trinidad.
She was also gifted with the paintbrush, and has exhibited her work not only in Trinidad but in Barbados and London. she exhibited thirty-seven miniatures, wooden bas-reliefs and objects on the subject of the "Journey of the Magi" - a series on the pursuit of disinterested wisdom and its consequences. Her philosophy was deeply rooted in classical Christian theology and her life in church are expressed in her work and other art forms.
She received the Trinity Cross, Trinidad and Tobago's Highest National Award for her contribution in the field of Art and Community Service.
To many, she is regarded with awe and amazement. She has worn many hats from musicologist, teacher, vocal coach, conductor of choirs, steelbands and orchestras, artist, accompanist and much more.
Over eleven years, she was instrumental in establishing The Lydians as one of the Caribbean's premier choirs. Her passion to let the medium of music soothe, comfort and uplift has led the choir to victory in 1987 Music Festival. where they were awarded the most outstanding choir and performer of the festival.
Through her expert training and guidance percipitated numerous triumphs for the Lydian soloists. In 1997, Barry Martin captured the award "The Most Outstanding Performer" of the National Music Festival. In 1990, they experianced a clean sweep of the major awards at the festival, Her tutorship led Edward Cumberbatch to claim the coveted top honours at the Senior Vocal Recital Class at the International Eisteddfod in South Africa in 1997.
When asked as to her future hopes, she replied, "that my countrymen may find their place in the sun . . . though that seems now, to be so remote as to be impossible." She continued however, "to be able to believe more fully with Julian of Norwich that 'all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well'." And finally, "to be able to leave this world, and soon, with serenity and a quiet mind."