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#439480 - 06/01/12 08:38 AM Bob Reneau passes away
Marty Offline

The Passing Of An Artist's Artist

Tonight, we note the passing of master of the stage, Bob Reneau.

Reneau was a true artistic legend, known as an outstanding musician, singer, playwright and producer, artist, composer, and choreographer.

He passed away on Wednesday at the age of 92 while at a hospice in Chicago. Many of his students and Belizeans in the arts had the privilege of collaborating with him on the production and presentation of some of his outstanding renditions such as "The Holy City"; " It's a Good Day"; and " Sons of Honduras".

His early productions included drama, music, and dance and so did his later productions such as: ""Breggin Tuba", "Wedding Bells for Kettiebell" and many more. Many of his past students valued his commitment to originality and to uniqueness. Althea Sealey spoke about the importance of Being Bob:..

Althea Sealey
"I have a whole treasured moment of memories inside of me from Mr. Bob. As a matter of fact he was the man who brought out whatever you all see in me, he is the one who brought it all out."

"I started with him at the age of 8 years old and spent a good 15 years with him before he had left - migrated to the United States and I continued on with Majorie Bradley and Leonie Henry and now I continued it on with sharing it with my dance company."

"Mr. Bob was an amazing person, very brilliant, very talented. I could remember that we used to sit, sing and dance and he used to be his own musician - he plays his drums and his guitar."

"I could remember in my childhood days it used to be a whole group of us together like Karen Vernon, Majorie Lewis, Avis Lewis, Becky McFadzean, Sarita Acosta - there was so much of us. The traffic officer Elsie was one of his outstanding dancer likewise and as I said he use to teach us to sing and dance and I wanted to share that with the kids of today but it's a little bit difficult because I am not as talented as him to like really take that right through. My present company right now is still carrying on some of his work like we had a dance in our childhood days by the name of stool dance and we still do it. You all see the basket dance - we still do it and that's his."

"We have thye Mahogany dance, that's his and so it's like about 5 pieces that we keep and those are some of his masterpiece because there was so many. He choreograph every dance to every season - if it's a market day, he has choreography for that. If its crab season, he has choreography for that and so he was very talented and I am inspired by him because he wasn't a dancer but everything was inside of him. He knows what he wants when he sees it."

Bob Reneau is survived by his wife, Rose Marie and eight Children: four boys and four girls.

Channel 7

#439481 - 06/01/12 08:39 AM Re: Bob Reneau passes away [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Renowned musician and artist, Bob Reneau, passes away

Bob Reneau

A legend in Belizean arts also passed away on Wednesday in Chicago. Bob Reneau was truly the definition of an artist; he was a talented singer, dancer, painter, playwright and producer, composer and to many, he was a teacher. Before he moved away, his students and other Belizeans in the arts had the privilege of collaborating with him on productions such as “The Holy City”, “It’s a Good Day”, and “Sons of Honduras”. Earlier in his career, he was known for performances of “Breggin Tuba”, “Wedding Bells for Kettiebell” and he also composed songs to greet visiting royalty. His works earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Belize Arts Council in November 1999 and we revisit that story tonight.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporter [File: November, 1999]

The Bliss Institute was packed to capacity as Belizeans and fans of Robert “Bob” Reneau came out to pay tribute to this musician, singer, playwright, producer, artist, composer and choreographer. Reneau resides in Chicago in the United States and had only arrived in Belize earlier that day to receive the outstanding artist award. During the ceremony a portrait of the artist was unveiled and the Belize National Dance Company presented Budd Bank Wedding… the dance. Seventy-nine year old Reneau, who is recovering from two major strokes, had his daughter Barbara Reneau delivered the acceptance speech.

Barbara Reneau

Barbara Reneau, Daughter
“I can assure you that this event will be a crowning glory in his life. We are proud to know that his labors were not in vain having used his gift from God to serve his country Belize and other countries. May his life be a shining light that others may continue to follow and may this event further cement what he has achieved.”

Beverly Smith Lopez, Director of the Belize Arts Council said they decided to move up the date of the award because of Reneau’s illness. Smith Lopez says there is no other Belizean artist who is more deserving of the award.

Beverly Smith Lopez

Beverly Smith Lopez, Director, Belize Arts Council
“So we decided to do the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Bob Reneau whom we think had really covered so many areas of the arts and cultural development of this country. So we jumped the Producer’s Award and brought it to the Lifetime Achievement Award and decided that Mr. Bob is the fittest person to give in that we wanted to give him when he was still alive.”

Reneau told News Five he is grateful for the support he has received and his wish is to see more Belizeans interested in the arts.

Bob Reneau

Bob Reneau
“I just love them; I love the Belize people and I love them. But you know I believe that if they try to do much better…”

Jacqueline Woods

“And carry on with the arts?”

Bob Reneau
“Yes, that is important, yes.”

The award was the fifth to be given by the Belize Arts Council.

Reneau celebrated his ninety-second birthday just two weeks ago. He is survived by his wife, Rose Marie and eight children; four sons and four daughters. The National Institute of Culture and History issued a release today, expressing sympathy to Reneau’s family and friends.

Channel 5


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