Our Readers' Opinions
November 10, 2006

Open letter to Junior Sutherland

This is not a response to Junior Sutherland’s unfortunate show of piqued arrogance, in trying to show-off his computer skills at writing, and analysing the noble and exacting art of music composition, but to show him up for what he really is; a foolhardy, provocative, musically unintelligent person.

You sir, have tried to besmirch my good name, claiming that I wrote an arrangement to the original state anthem I wrote for SVG since 1969.

This is fabricated ploy, to try and prove that Pat Prescod’s four part harmony (S A T B) for his choir is better. You did this by a process of notes manipulation; you did this with your distorted computer comparisons of supposedly two arrangements, when only one exists – Mr Prescod’s.{{more}}

I have spoken to Mr Prescod on three occasions, since this matter first came to light. He assured me that he had no hand in what you have done, also that you did the same thing before, writing his name along with mine as composer of the State Anthem. He also felt disappointed as he claims to have told you not to do it.

I therefore asked Mr Prescod to make a public statement the matter, in order to avoid being implicated in a breach of copyright.

But you, Junior Sutherland, are a different kettle of fish. You really should have read my letter to you, asking you not to go ahead with this expose of yours for the 27th Statehood celebration, 2006. In the first paragraph of my letter, I emphasised again that I, Joel B. Miguel, wrote a full piano score, when I composed the state anthem of St Vincent and the Grenadines, in 1969 of June.

Anyone, Junior Sutherland, who is skilled at the theory of music (much higher than at your level) can do an arrangement for four voices (S A T B), as Pat Prescod had done; arranged it a military band, as ASP Williams – Band Master SVG Police had done, with the help of a Venezuelan professor, brought here for that purpose, by the former P.M. James Michell.

Perhaps they should all be included in the motion you are advocating, by the cultural Minister – Rene Baptiste. You see, Junior Sutherland, what a Pandora Box or Can of Worms you are opening; all because of you being in an unfortunate position, for which you, and others, are not equipped.

Now sir, where did you study music, and for how long? Just imagine you cannot differentiate between a median accent (>) and a crotchet (d) note. First real bar or perhaps it was the Devil’s advocate at work here, which fits in nicely with fraudulent plans.

You would refer to a photocopy of the original piano score of the anthem by me, as a transcript of the original. Wake up will you!

You would refer to Mr Prescod’s arrangement of the anthem as a composition; which merged with mine before hand. Be very careful here, your talk is dangerous. Because you are so obsessed with your self, and inexperienced in writing from an orchestral score, you would continuously look for Alto and Tenor parts in my full piano score, which can only be found in a four part S A T B ARRANGEMENT.

Are you listening, Junior Sutherland. Enter the Computer!

There are so many other weaknesses in your decidedly stupid plot to ridicule me, that you tend to mix up your argument. But the rest will have to come out another time.

What you Junior Sutherland must pay attention to, as the new music officer, is to firstly improve on your skills at writing and performing. I felt so let down last music festival, for instance, to see only Taiwanese and Japanese musicians training and accompanying our school children even High School and Grammar School. Not one local member of the music department was involved – only in presenting them on stage.

When I consider the hard work I have given to the music department, before and during music festivals, for some ten years; teaching and training five primary and five secondary schools; The Liberty Lodge Boys Training School, two sessions per week to the police band for three years, in theory and conducting, (the present Band Master ASP Williams was only a Corporal at the time), successfully put together a mixed Police choir for festival; trained and recorded dozens of teachers music festival pieces; did an arrangement on the Hallelujah chorus (Handel’s Messiah) for a mid-night competition for all this country’s steel orchestras.

What have you done so far, Junior Sutherland? I will not put up with your arrogant, pigheaded attitude. You have gone too far this time!

Joel B. Miguel