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#415259 - 09/01/11 08:31 AM Pianist Francis Reneau’s “A Hymn to Belize”
Marty Offline

Musical icon, Francis Reneau, is in the Jewel for the nation’s thirtieth Independence Anniversary celebration. Reneau has composed a music piece called ‘A Hymn to Belize’ which will be performed at the Independence Day ceremony in Belmopan later this month. He will also be staging one of his biggest concerts accompanied by friends and students of his summer program. The acclaimed composer spoke with News Five today about his latest masterpiece to pay tribute to Belize.

Francis Reneau, Composer

“It’s my tribute to Belize and I expect from the words, all Belizeans to should partake in the tremendous acclamation of Belize of our country that we love and are loyal to. It’s essentially a very quite a majestic work, it’s called, first of all for quite a very big orchestra, including flutes, clarinets, oboes, French horns, timpani, all the string sections, violins, cellos, and bases and of course possible around seventy to eighty voices. This, the choir has been collected from Belize and other parts of the country as well. It’s a united effort which the actual ‘Hymn to Belize’ talks about, one in strength, one in unity.

Francis Reneau

This particular work talks mainly about Belize, it says, ‘ I pledge to thee my country, my love and loyalty I give, land of my birth, my home, deep in my heart you live’ and you know it’s very, very passionate about love for my country and I think all of our love for our country. So in that sense I am really looking forward to it because it’s the first time anything like that would’ve been done here, the first time that I’ve come back with anything like that as well. This is mainly a yearly event that I do. I have the master classes that I do with the children and at the end of that we have a concert where what they have done in the classes we exhibit on stage in the concert. Plus I have a few, with reference to friends, Richard Pitts who is playing the saxophone and I have Samantha Smith who is one of the students as well. She also plays the violin and she also is a very good pianist, so she will be playing both of those instruments not together of course. She is playing some pieces that I wrote for her on the piano. The Belize Chorale Society also helping and they’re joining in as well.”

Francis & Friends Concert takes place on Friday September second at eighth p.m. at The Bliss.

Channel 5

#417159 - 09/27/11 09:07 AM Re: Pianist Francis Reneau’s “A Hymn to Belize” [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Frankie Reneau's Hymn to Belize becomes instant classic

Belize’s musical phenomenon, Francis Reneau, has produced a symphonic Hymn to Belize, which was performed for the first time to thunderous applause to honour the 30th anniversary of Belize’s independence. As the tribute ended with breathtaking crescendo of drum, brass, string, and wind instruments and an ensemble of 96 massed voices drawn from every corner of Belize.

The singers came from the Belize Choral Society, the St. John’s Cathedral Choir, the Wesley Choir, reinforced withand singing groups from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize City and Dangriga.

The captivated audience rose to its feet with one accord, cheered and clapped for a full minute.

“I believe it is my best work to date”, Francis later told The Reporter. “I feel truly proud of it”.

And proud he should be, because everybody else who heard the inspired music and the powerful lyrics was captivated beyond words.

The miracle is that such a work could be performed in Belize in the first place. The string section, bolstered by the violins and cellos of the Pallotti String Orchestra, performed magnificently, taking the melody and celebrating with it.

The brass section, which was challenging because of some of the high notes and counterpoint rhythm, proved magnificent.

The drums and cymbals, including a prominent steel band bass, put on quite a show, and the massed choir gave such a spectacular performance it reminded many of Handel’s Messiah, not in melody but in rhythm and the powerful blend of voices and instruments.

Later Frankie confessed that he had been moved to tears while composing the words and music.

“I knew what I had, but I did not know how it was going to turn out,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure I would find the talent in Belize to produce it.”

Not only did he find the talent, he discovered new ones in the person of Mr. Felix Hernandez, a music teacher at Pallotti, who produced a tenor voice of such clarity and resonance that he shone like a leading man. His companion, Mrs. Claudia Henderson, a housewife from Belmopan, rose to the occasion as leading lady.

The lyrics, composed by Frankie Reneau, powerful in themselves, provided a new dimension when combined with the massed choir and the symphony of sounds.

Frankie spoke of the possibility of producing a CD, maybe even a DVD, but there are no immediate plans for this.

A Hymn to Belize

by Francis Reneau

Arise ye Sons of the Baymen

Put on your armour

To God we offer thanks & praise

With heart and soul and voice we sing.

Arise, arise you sons and daughters

Arise and sing, Children of Belize

In celebration let us sing

Sing with gladness to celebrate this day

This day we thank our nation and our people

Long live Belize!

In acclamation we are gathered Here to honour you

Honour with our songs of thanks and praise.

Give thanks to God for all His blessings

His many blessings,

Thanks be to God

Give thanks for all his children here

We give thanks that the future generations shall inherit.

That future generations shall inherit

That future generations shall this land inherit.

I pledge to thee my country

My love and loyalty I give Land of my birth, my home

Deep in my heart you live.

Forward from strength to strength you go

Your many blessings here I do proclaim

With heads held high and hearts aglow

We proudly sing your name.

Belize, beloved copuntry We freely give ourselves to you

In deep humility

We stand before you

Belize my home, my country

O land from which all blessings flow

United all we stand

Together, hand in hand

We greet the dawning of a better day

Throughout this land!

Land of peace

Land so beautiful

God’s blessings on this nation

And its people

That we may all united be!

Jaguera libre laru barana!

Land of the free by the Carib Sea

Tierra de la libertad!

One in strength!

One in pride in our heritage

And diversity

We shall never be divided

As we build our nation Strong and free.

The people call your name

We celebrate and sing today.

Da fi you

Da fi me

D fi me

Da fi you

Da fu we!

Da fu you, da di me, The people call your name, Belize.

The Reporter

#417431 - 09/30/11 09:02 AM Re: Pianist Francis Reneau’s “A Hymn to Belize” [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Profile Of A Prodigy Turned Professional Pianist

Francis Reneau's Hymn of Belize was the highbrow highlight of the September Celebrations - erupting with patriotic rapture at the Official Ceremonies on the 21st and at George Price's funeral. The piece was commissioned by NICH - and - composed and conducted by Reneau.

Tonight, in the I am Belize profile, he discusses the composition, but also goes further into his back pages to discuss the piece he composed as a teenaged prodigy, Mass in Blues.

Here's the story of a creative life he calls passionate:

Untitled from 7News Belize on Vimeo.

The profile series is the joint effort of this station, Restore Belize, NICH and FULTEC systems

Channel 7


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