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Francis Reneau & the Mission Singers


Thought of today as the preeminent Belizean classical composer, Francis Reneau was a faceless organist at Belize City's Holy Redeemer Cathedral when tragedy struck close to his heart in 1970. That bolt from the blue—the automobile-related accidental death of Laura Staine, Reneau’s music teacher—inspired 16-year-old Francis to compose Mass In Blues, an LP tribute to Staine. Issued on Compton Fairweather's peerless Belizean record label C.E.S., the LP was financed by Michigan Partners of the Americas, with some proceeds donated to the Laura Staine Memorial Fund.

Reneau's organ is prominent on "I Hear You Calling," accompanied by Francis Gegg, Augusts Paul Acosta, Joseph Anderson, and Glen Blood on a variety of unspecified instruments, with Jennifer Lovell taking lead soprano. The remaining Mission Singers—including Roy Baptist, Ted Burrowes, Paul Meggs, Audrey Longsworth, Isolda Castaneda, Jennifer Lovell, Yvonne Longsworth, Lillith Parks, Sandra Samuels, Alicia Budan, Antonia Molgora, Brenda Smikle, Bernard Panton, and Lloyd Perriot—are pictured on the back of the LP, credited only as left to right and top to bottom.


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