by Stephen Doobal
Glenda Collens (nee Thomas-McSween) holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Boston University. She began performing at a very early age and remembers her first performance being on the Aunty Kay show at age 7. Her next major performance was at the Vienna Music Festival at age 15, as a member of the combined school choirs of Holy Name Convent and Queen's Royal College, under the direction of Michael Steel. She continued performing in the classical music arena throughout her teenage years. As a young soprano, she went to New York to study music at Manhattan School of Music and Harlem School for the Arts, where she studied voice with Ms. Betty Allen. She was a member of the choir Belvedere and the Trinidad Opera Company, competing successfully in the biannual Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival, where she was awarded many first, second, third place and championship prizes.
While singing soprano solo roles as a member of the Trinidad Opera Company in operas, The Best of Operas, I Pagliaci and Cavaliera Rusticana, the Merry Widow and De Fle Demause conducted by Havlock Nelson, she got the opportunity to be coached by Ms. Noel Barker of Guildhall School of Music, London. Glenda took the opportunity to explore the local music scene and performed as front line singer for the band Frantic, which evolved into Second Image, and for one Carnival season she sang with the big band Fireflight.
Continuing her musical journey, Glenda formed and launched MEDEA The Band, a high-energy music band performing Funk, R&B, Neo-Soul and Jazz songs that she arranges and re-orchestrates. She and her band have twice been featured in Women in Jazz, a month-long series at MovieTowne. She co-produced and sang in "A Prelude to Jazz" in collaboration with Cafe Iguana - Tobago, Jazz in July - Queen's Hall, Songshine at Sky Bar, Studio Live at Studio Lounge, Shakers on the Avenue, Cafe Ibiza and Earth Restaurant and Bar.
Mrs. Collens was on the panel of judges for the Best Village Competition 2007 and Digicel Rising Stars from 2009 till present.
As a Voice Teacher and Vocal Coach she has worked at Holy Name Convent, Bishop’s Centenary High School, The American International School and has lectured and held workshops in voice and speech at the University Of the West Indies Trinidad & Tobago. Mrs. Collens continues to coach her Voice Development courses at her studio, from which she has had the pleasure of working with some of the Trinidad's most talented young singers.