The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank proudly announces the release of the highly anticipated debut album, ECCB@40 - Celebration and Thanksgiving, which is being released to commemorate the ECCB’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations.
The stirring album is an eclectic compilation of classical, gospel, soca, calypso, reggae and bossa nova songs performed by the ECCB Chorale, with pieces from guest artistes. It includes a mix of original songs and a number of covers including Seal’s cover version of People Get Ready, which the ECCB uses as its theme song for the Bank’s Change Management and Culture initiative. The song is featured, with adjusted lyrics, on the album.
Musicians Damion Hobson (keyboard), Franklyn Huggins (bass guitar), Anelto Wilkin (keyboard) and Blessed Ogbum (saxophone), as well as Leon Esprit (drums), a member of the ECCB Shockwave Band provided accompaniment for the ECCB Chorale’s performances.
Cameo appearances on the album include winners in the two categories of the 2022-2023 ECCB/RSS-ARU Creative Youth Competition - Hannah Archibald, Lonya Bullock and Keosha Burke of St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown Secondary School, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines performing a song titled My Identity; and Tawafa Pierre of the T.A. Marryshow Community College in Grenada performing a song titled Illusion. Also featured on the album is a choral speech titled ECCB: My Bank, Your Bank, the People’s Bank performed by students of the C.W. Prescod Primary School, the ECCB’s Mentorship School in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Colton T performing ECCB 40, Feel de Riddim!, the ECCB’s acclaimed 40 th Anniversary song.
The long-awaited album displays the mastery of the ECCB Chorale, which had its first rehearsal in November 1990 under the direction of Mrs. Dulcie Richardson, owing to her expertise as a choir director at the St. George’s Anglican Church. Mrs. Richardson joined the Bank on 1 November, 1990 as Administrative Officer with responsibility for personnel, following her retirement in October from the public service in St. Kitts. She helmed the Chorale for 21 years up until her retirement from the Bank on 5 June, 2011.
Over the past 12 years, the Chorale has sung under the tutelage of Mrs. Pearline Elmes (2011-2016), Mrs. Roxanne Smith-Thompson (2016-2017) and Mrs. Laurel Seraphin-Bedford (2017-present).
Appearing at times with “The ECCB Performing Arts”, an umbrella name that also includes actors, dancers and musicians (ECCB’s Shockwave Band), the Chorale has thrilled many an audience throughout the years. So the next obvious step was to record an album.
There was no better time than the ECCB’s 40 th Anniversary Celebrations to bring this to fruition. The entire process of rehearsals and production took five to six months under the leadership of Mrs. Laurel Seraphin-Bedford, who serves as Deputy Director of the ECCB’s Financial Sector Supervision Department.
“I consider it an esteemed honour to be able to contribute four original songs to this album and direct its production,” Mrs. Seraphin-Bedford said. “This is my small way of giving back to an institution that has helped shaped my career and aspects of my personal life over the past two decades. I wish the ECCB God’s continued blessings as we celebrate 40 years of service to the people of the region,” she added.