Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Noel Dexter hailed for creative genius, intellect

Published:Tuesday | August 20, 2019 | 12:22 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Tributes have been pouring in as news of the passing of renowned Jamaican composer and choir director Noel Dexter spread throughout the music fraternity.

Dexter, 80, passed away on Sunday.

Culture Minister Olivia Grange said she was saddened to learn of the passing of a musical icon.

“Mr Dexter’s choral compositions were quintessentially Jamaican and Caribbean in flavour. His impact as choir director of the University Singers is legendary. He leaves a great legacy in what he did to promote our culture and the many lives that he’s touched,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips also expressed similar sentiments.

“Jamaica has lost a treasured son in Noel Dexter. He diligently honed his craft and gave his best to his mission and his country. He was a quiet giant in the industry, one who was always willing to share what he knew with others. He has taught many the art of writing and arranging music, developing choral and individual voices, ensuring that Jamaica’s musical legacy was on sound footing,” he said.

Describing him as a creative intellect, chair of the National Chorale of Jamaica, Christopher Samuda, also saluted Dexter.

“The manuscripts of Jamaica, with the passing of Noel Dexter, will pay homage to a gentleman whose creative genius directed so many voices in sonorous tones and with choral integrity and who composed cultural iconic scores,” he said. “His creative intellect and hand have gone from this transient world, but his legacy will remain imprinted and immortal in the annals of our musical heritage. The National Chorale celebrates the life of a revered member of the household of music and, indeed, the theatre of the creative arts.”

Dexter, who directed the University of the West Indies, Mona-based University Singers from 1997 to 2012, is survived by his daughter, Carol Dexter, and a grandson.