Musical History of the VI – Grassroots Stylee

A musical history of the Virgin Islands in the Dutch Reformed Church

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Sunday, March 19, 2017

On Sunday afternoon, March 19, 2017, Gylchris Sprauve presented ‘A Musical History of the Virgin Islands at the Dutch Reformed Churh in Charlotte Amalie. Subtitled, A Century United in Pride and Hope, Sprauve had assembled a fine cast of students from the BCB Middle School, 2 local instrumentalists, 6 musicians from Puerto Rico, 4 fine singers from the V.I. and recruited 2 percussionists at the last minute who fit the bill perfectly.

Together, united in pride and hope, “we told the story of Transfer Day from the grassroots perspective and what an amazing storytelling session it was!!! ALL HAIL THE VIRGIN ISLANDS!!!” ~Gylchris Sprauve

4pm today at the Reform church

Posted by on Sunday, March 19, 2017

***(expect updates to this website and the Official Facebook Page throughout the day with more behind the scenes pics and videos like the ones below and the real video by the end of the day – Please share)***

A grassroots celebration of history, culture, and our continued struggle, Gylchris spoke and had musicians sing of out Valiant Virgin Isles in a way many are only starting to experience. His combination of classical, folk, African, Caribbean genres brought quizzical, yet proud looks on people’s smiling faces, that could be described only as awakening awe.

Merging not only a variety of instruments including brass, pan and percussion, as well as cultures as he brought over musical friends from Puerto Rico who added their  ashe, Gylchris blended a few octaves of ages from the Bertha C. Bochulte middle school students, to local elders in the musical community.

Just to list a few…

Melita Etienne, Wendy A Joseph, Lorna L. Freeman, Howard Jones, Levi Farrell, Dr. LeRoy Trotman, Alexis Sanchez, Rey Omar Marcano, Eric N. Vázquez Rivera, Rafael Lebrón, Luis Miranda, Nelson Corchado, DaraMonifah Cooper, Howard Peters, Vanessa R. L. Tamar, Lonette Gumbs, Matey Sewer

​​Sprauve’s vision continues to exemplify the true spirit of the Virgin Islands just as a cultural melting pot of young seasonings and grounding provisions does what it does best in our melting yabba pot.

Recognizing that so many probably never had the honor, Sprauve wrote a Fanfare for the Ursulan Children, recognizing the unsung native s/heroes of the then Danish West Indies.

From the trip over* where so many never lived to see our shores, to the St. John Revolution of 1733, St. Croix Fireburn in 1848 and the 1892 Coal Workers Strike of St. Thomas, he reminds us that as some are made mute by the pomp and circumstance, that the real celebration is of our survival through it all and our continued successes along the way.

​​Furthermore, as he stated during the program’s beginning with a song entitled Wha de Future Gon’ Bring, he continues to keep us in requiem that no matter what remaining trials and tribulations present themselves, Papa God still in charge of this ting.

Sung by Wendy A. Joseph and Howard Jones

We Gon' See Wha De Future Gon Bring

We gon' see wha deh future gon' bringPapa God still in charge of this tingGylchris Sprauve's Musical History of the V.I.

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Official Facebook Page Photo Album (more photos to be added)

Posted by on Sunday, March 19, 2017

More BEHIND THE SCENES videos from rehearsal. (The real video will be posted on this site later in the day)

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Valient Virgin Isles sung by Lorna Freeman and Melita Ettiene

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Posted by on Monday, March 20, 2017

Full Lyrics to We Gon See Wha De Future Gon Bring by Gylchris Sprauve

Posting in fulfillment of DaraMonifah Cooper’s request after yesterday’s concert. This is most likely what the lower classes were thinking when they got word that Denmark was selling the islands to the USA.

(A grassroots conversation about Transfer, circa February, 1917)
by Gylchris Sprauve ©2017

ALL: We gon see what the future gon bring…
Papa God still in charge of this ting…

Beto: Come here, Matilda…
Matilda: Beto! Wha happen now? You look fraid!
Beto: Father: I ain’ know if ah fraid or ah happy,
But when ah went to get paid
The foreman was talking… to a merchant… and he say,
“King Christian gon sell”
Matilda: Sell! Jackson went up to Denmark
And he had no choice but to tell dem
Beto: The Danish West Indies struggling, and tings-dem here very bad
The glory days of sugar done gone, and folks’ condition is sad
Matilda: Beto, doan forget inspite of what they say bout the King
God on high done see and know,
And that is why we does sing

ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring…
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting…

Beto: Now, dey talking ‘bout dis transfer
Matilda: Yes, transfer…
Beto: Of the islands under our feet
Sound like countries-dem playing checkers
And the natives’ life cheap like meat!
Who gon feed the poor and hungry?
Will the young and strong go astray?
Denmark broke, the Germans-dem coming
Now the King gon’ dash us ‘way?

ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting,
We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.

Matilda: Oh, Beto stop! De lil’ children…
Beto: Wha? You doan tink dey must know?
Matilda: Tings-dem hard enough as it is…
Beto: And when the Danes-dem pack up and go?

Matilda: They say life good in America,
And we could maybe move there
Beto: Woman, stop!
Matilda: Whatever coming been measured…
T’ain more than what we could bear

All: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.

Beto: I hear that Blacks in America
cahn’ move as freely as we.
They president name is Wilson,
And he hate Black people, yo see?
Matilda: Dis ting ain’ looking too pretty
Beto: Ah doan tink that we should stay
Matilda: We could just run to Tattola
Both: King George woan give them away…

ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting!

Leave a Reply