MEET OUR BOARD
Jessel Murray is a graduate of Temple University (Philadelphia) where he completed Bachelor’s in music education summa cum laude with a concentration in piano and voice, and a Master’s in conducting with advanced studies in piano accompanying. Praised for the adventurism of his programming and his musical precision in performances, Mr. Murray enjoys a multi-faceted career as conductor; piano and vocal coach, piano accompanist, educator and administrator. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and a Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine. He is a former Head of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) where he oversaw the erection of a new wing in 2017 and the expansion of performance and exhibitions there. At the DCFA, he directs the UWI Arts Chorale and is the co-conductor of the UWI Arts Steel and the UWI Arts Wind Ensemble. Many of his students have gone on to careers in music including teaching, educational administration, and advanced performance in voice, piano, and conducting.
Mr. Murray has led university ensembles as well as national ones in places as diverse as the Caribbean, Central America, USA, Japan, and China. His conducting repertoire is a diverse one including local Trinidad and Tobago composers – most notably Jit Samaroo and Ray Holman as well as performances of many of the classical standards including the Mozart ‘Requiem’, Orff ‘Carmina Burana’, and Gerswhin ‘Rhapsody in Blue’. His work in musical theatre with his Music Come See Production company includes award-winning productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida.
In 2016, Mr. Murray was a recipient of the University of the West Indies highest honour: the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
Ms. Jeremie is a clinical psychologist, graduate of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mt. Hope (Trinidad), and a lecturer at Open Campus, University of the West Indies. She is also a former lecturer at the Catholic Religious Education Institute (CREDI). Passionate about music since her earliest years, Ms. Jeremie participated in the Music Festival as pianist, recordist, singer and chorister at her alma mater, St. Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, all the while accompanying folk groups on the guitar. Her performances as folk guitarist and singer led naturally to her founding her own group which for several years performed throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Today Wendy is a proud member of the Marionettes Chorale – a group of which she has been a member for 47 years – and the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival Association which has itself contributed so much to her development. From November 2019, Ms. Jeremie will be the President Elect of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists. She is also a certified mediator.
Donna Wong Wai
Donna Wong Wai is a career educator. Starting her career teaching as a Library Assistant and English Language and Literature at Naparima Girls’ High School, in San Fernando, she left to pursue a BSc in Geology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA from where she graduated in 1985. She furthered her studies at the University of the West Indies, completing the Diploma in Education in 1995 and the Masters in Education [School Leadership] in 2004. She has served at Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School (FASS) where she held the posts of Head of Department [internal] [1988-2001]; Dean of Studies [Internal] [1995 -2001]; Vice Principal [2001- 2007]; Principal [2008-2016]. While principal, she led the school to win numerous academic, cultural and sporting awards including an Open Scholarship in 2010 and Additional Scholarships in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; many trophies and certificates of excellence at San Fest; Talent fuh So 1 – 6; Zonal champions in football, volleyball and basketball among others. Ms Wong Wai’s contribution to education earned her a Certificate of Honour from the Ministry of Education (2006).
With more than 27 years’ experience in banking, finance and management in Tobago, June Marshall also brings to the Festival a wealth of experience to the Association. Since retiring, Ms. Marshall intensified her service to charitable endeavours, working with young people through volunteer activities with various NGOs and her local church community. First functioning as a volunteer coordinator and lead officer with the Music Festival, June became more formerly attached to the Tobago chapter in 2012 when she became the Treasurer for that chapter. An avid world traveller and lover of culture, Ms. Marshall is also passionate about the musical education of young people – especially males – as she understands the power of music to engender discipline and focus, which are the essential ingredients to success in any sphere of activity.
Ms. Sheriba Ali-Rajack led a distinguished career in the specialized field of Accounting/Finance in the oil and gas industry, having served in it for over thirty eight (38) years. She retired from Petrotrin as Vice President Finance. Ms. Ali-Rajack was a member of TECU’s Credit Union Board of Directors for nine (9) years. She has been an active supportive organiser and participant in various youth-oriented extracurricular activities, after first being introduced to such activity in the support of her own children in their artistic and sporting endeavours. Post retirement from Petrotrin, she has been actively involved in much voluntary work, including our own Festival and its Association.
Maureen Clement has worked for over 40 years as a music educator in the media of Steelpan, piano, recorder and voice. She is the founder and Musical Director of The Entertainers Music Group and Trinity Singers. Ms Clement is an award winning steelpan soloist placing second in Pan Is Beautiful and twice champion of the Composer Class of the National Music Festival. She has conducted several champion junior bands and has performed with and conducted many choirs and steelbands in various parts of the world. She is also a well-known adjudicator of many Junior Panoramas and other competitions locally and abroad, including the Virginia Beach Music Festival.
Ms Clement is an adjunct lecturer with COSTAATT and holds an LTCL in composition, an AA in Performing: Piano from COSTAATT and a BA in Music Education also from COSTAATT. A Science Educator for over 35 years, she is the only Chartered Science Teacher in the Western Hemisphere and holds a BSc in Zoology/Botany, a Dip Ed in Science Education and a M Ed in Curriculum Studies from The UWI. Ms Clement currently facilitates The Prisoner’s Journey Programme in all local prisons and in 7 other countries in the Caribbean, apart from directing the Music Programme at the Maximum Security Prison. She is Chairman of the Friends of Botanic Gardens of Trinidad & Tobago and Curriculum Advisor to the We Say Yes NGO. Her life’s motto is ‘it is learned for the benefit of all.’
marketing & communications officer
Alan Cooper’s varied career spans more than 18 years and includes investment banking, entrepreneurship development and national innovation strategy. He has worked with the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, the Central Bank and the government of Trinidad and Tobago, and, most recently, as a consultant with OCTA Innovation, a European Union funded project covering more than 16 small-island developing countries and territories in the Caribbean, the South Pacific and African South Atlantic. Alan holds a master’s in development economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), professional certification in project management and a first degree in economics with a minor in marketing. He is also a classical pianist who emerged from the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival. Besides Trinidad and Tobago, he has performed in Costa Rica, Barbados and Spain (EU) as both soloist and accompanist. Since retiring from Festival competition at the age of 21, Alan has served the Festival in various capacities including as co-ordinator/liaison of accompanists, collaborative pianist (North), Chief Selector of the Piano syllabus and Treasurer (North Region of the Festival Association).
representative for south
Rowena has served the TTMFA South Region as Secretary and then Chairman, since 2003. Many years before that she was an active participant in the TTMFA Music Festival competition, competing in the Piano Solo, Piano Duet and Chamber Music Ensemble categories and as a piano accompanist. Her education includes MA (Ed Psych), Dip ABRSM, Dip. Ed (UWI), BSc (UWI). Is a tennis player and a community volunteer. Rowena is a retired Vice Principal Secondary, whose teaching subjects were mathematics, chemistry and general science. Her keen interest in music and extracurricular activities propelled her to fill a gap in the school curriculum by teaching music at the lower secondary school level for several years and to be the school choir accompanist for occasions. She believes in the growth and perpetuation of ‘The Festival’ since it is the most longstanding prestigious music competition in Trinidad and Tobago eliciting high standards of performance of music in several genres of music. She is devoted to support the TTMFA as it expands its mandate to spread music throughout country and to encourage music performance in all areas of our twin island state.
representative for north
Well-known pianist, keyboardist, pannist and composer, Chantal Esdelle is the founder of the Ethnic Jazz Club and Moyenne, a forerunner in the Caribbean jazz band scene in Trinidad and Tobago. As the creative director of Moyenne, Ms. Esdelle’s soundscape borrows from the world of Trinidadian calypso, Cuban son, and bossa nova to create compositions that express what has been described as the “the African experience in the Americas” (pannist, Earl Rodney). Esdelle is a graduate of Berkley’s College of Music (USA) and York University, Toronto (Canada) where she studied jazz. She has toured internationally, and counts among her performances various Caribbean islands, the US, Canada and East Asia. A native of both Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, Chantal is also the proud product of the Trinidad and Tobago Biennial Music Festival, where she won classes for both voice and classical piano under the tutelage of Louise McIntosh and Joslynne Carr-Sealey ad Bishop Anstey High School.
representative for tobago
A well-known musician and music educator whose performances have garnered accolades in United Kingdom, to the United States and Canada, and across the Caribbean, Kenrick Noel hails from Tobago. He is a graduate of Florida Memorial College, Miami, Florida (USA) with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He also holds a postgraduate Diploma in Education with specialization in Visual and Performing Arts from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and a Diploma in Events Management from the George Washington University. “Sir Noel”, as he is affectionately called, has served the musical community in several capacities over a period of the last 20 years, included among them District Music Coordinator of the Multicultural Music Programme Unit, Ministry of Education, Music Teacher and Senior Dean of Discipline at Mason Hall Secondary School in Tobago, Music Practical Examiner for both the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council and National Certificate for Secondary Education (Trinidad & Tobago) examinations. Furthermore, Mr. Noel sits on the panel of adjudicators of PanTrinbago’s National and Junior Panorama competitions, the Downtown Port-of-Spain Carnival Committee as Panel Leader for Music, Trinidad Unified Calypsoians Organisation (Tobago) Calypso Competitions and the Tobago House of Assembly Heritage Folk competitions. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Managers of YOUTH IN STEEL. Mr. Noel’s principal instrument is the steelpan.