The Caribbean entertainment industry has been plunged into mourning as one of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading icons in the arts and music, Pat Bishop, 71, died while attending a meeting of the High Level Panel to Guide the Implementation of Arts, Cultural and Entrepreneurial Projects at the Ministry of Planning and the Economy in Port of Spain last week.
Bishop was an artist, musician and teacher and was often described as one of the most versatile women in the Caribbean.
She was the holder of T&T’s highest annual award – The Trinity Cross, now the order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – for her efforts in the pursuit of scholarship, culture, the arts (in particular painting and music) and service to her country in fields diverse as environmental education, government economic policy and the development of carnival.
She directed the Lydian Singers for at least 30 years and had been conferred with the honorary degree in literature from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine in l994.
She attended King’s College, Durham University, where she studied art. After completing her degree, she returned to Trinidad where she taught art at her alma mater, Bishop Anstey High School for several years.
She then went on to UWI’s Mona Campus, Jamaica where she subsequently received her MA in West Indian history. She lectured history at UWI at both the Mona and St. Augustine campuses for some eight years and was also a lecturer in the History of Art and Design at the Jamaica Schools of Art from 1970 to 1972.
Bishop was involved in the steelband movement in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, which she directed on eight major U.S. tours, including two concerts at Carnegie Music Hall.