The Love Movement Press Release
A 40 year love trip
By Essiba Small
Knee deep in preparations for the Love Movement’s 40th anniversary concert, Bernadette Laughlin Scott was battling a terrible flu. Yet, for the hard working choir mistress that timeless showbiz phrase, the show must go on, has to reign.
As it happens every year nearing productions, Scott had to conduct rehearsals with her three choirs: the Love Movement Choir, the Lights of Love and the Republic Bank Love Movement Youth Outreach Choir. She must also design costumes, visit the dressmaker, select songs, make sure her “children” from the junior groups are shuttled to rehearsals and back to the homes safely, write donation letters, in short, Scott really does not have time to nurse a cold.
For a lot of people, even after all these years, the Love Movement is still seen as a bourgeois choir and Scott its choir mistress. And Scott has heard all the comments.
But the Love Movement is so much more than a choir—it’s a ministry and Scott, the ever willing evangelist of love.
Testimonies shared by at risk youth who make up members of the Outreach group spoke to a new life after joining the Love Movement.
One person wrote: “I was a boy at an institution for boys, feeling I had no reason to live anymore. Life was hard… real hard, I was just waiting to die or get gunned-down by someone when I came out; because my family life was not good, and my life was all about guns and keeping bad company,” one member wrote.
“I was told by this lady—Aunty B (Scott)—at the Boy’s Dinner that she will be seeing me next year in the Love Movement. She did not know, but telling me she will be seeing me next year in my mind, was like “This lady mad or what?” Then she looked at me and smiled, and at that point in time I felt like somebody cared about me.”
“I ended up going anyway. That night when we reached and we came out of the bus we were welcomed with something I never expected, and never got in years—even when I was home, not even from my own family—a simple hug. It was so special when they prayed because they not only prayed for themselves within the group, but for members who had left the group and by extension the world.”
Scott is humbled by the impact of her love ministry.
“My parents (Ken and Monica) taught me about laying down my life because they did that for their children and that is what I did for my own son, Damian, and my group.”
Damian, now 34, had to share his mother with the group and yet he has been one of Scott’s biggest cheerleaders.
“People don’t hear much about him and he is not in the limelight but he has been a tremendous support over the years. He was the one who put up with my bad moods, my long hours away from home and he was my buffer to cast my stress on.”
Scott, who said she was born into a legacy of music and spirituality, started the Love Movement with 15 members of her church choir. Her goal was to raise funds from concerts they had to help the underprivileged of the country. She never knew it would evolve into one of the Caribbean’s most successful groups.
“People have often ask what drives me. “They wonder what caused The Love Movement to grow from a 15-member ladies choir in 1972 to a mixed senior choir, a youth outreach programme and a children’s’ choir.
“The reasons though varied, all have one common source—my love for God and great desire to share the good news of His unconditional love and salvation is the main source of my passion.
“I also come from a family where going to Mass together was a must and saying “night prayer” was a part of our daily routine. At that time, I hardly realised the extent to which this positive habit would influence my life.
“My spiritual background is that of a Christian but I tell my young members to call upon their own higher source.”
Managing 200 members from the age of five to 76-years-old has not been an easy task for the 66-year-old Scott. Sometimes the busy schedule takes a toll on her physically.
“Exhaustion takes over and I actually feel resentment for this “thing” called The Love Movement.
“The passion returns when I attend rehearsals and see the raw material that I started with being shaped into exciting polished performances.”
The lack of corporate sponsorship continues to be a sore point for the former singer. “Each at-risk child that is in my Youth Outreach Programme, is a child who is not on the streets committing crime. I wish corporate Trinidad and Tobago would recognise that and give us the support we need.
“The success of The Love Movement is measured not in worldly achievements but by the lives transformed and those with whom we share our music.”
In this their 40th year the Love Movement has outgrown its rehearsal space at 2nd Avenue Cascade. Scott said she has already put in a prayer request to God for a new building. The group is expected to launch its Republic Bank Youth Outreach Building fund on the opening night of its upcoming production A Journey of Love.
“The Love Movement has really been a journey of love for me and a constant example of faith,” Scott said.
“I have been in the wilderness for 40 years with the group and I am looking for good things and blessings in the coming year. I already talked to God about that.”
The Love Movement’s upcoming concert, A Journey of Love, will be held on November 9, 10 and 11 at the Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s. The production will feature the Lights of Love Children’s Choir performing from the popular musical Cinderella under the direction of Dr Helmer Hilwig.
The Republic Bank Love Movement Youth Outreach Group will perform songs from the movie Make A Joyful Noise that features rapper, actress and singer Queen Latifah, while the senior choir will perform nostalgic music from the 70s. The three groups will then come together to sing popular Christmas carols.
Tickets are now on sale at Queen’s Hall’s box office or by calling Timothy at 338 7627