Sept. 25, 2003 – This Sunday's "Doug Lewis Show" on WVGN-107.3 FM, the territory's National Public Radio station, will feature a musical tribute to the late Rhoda Tillett.
"It will include the music of many of the artists who performed at Tillett Gardens, either in concert or at the Arts Alive Festivals during the years that Rhoda was producing the shows," Lewis, a.k.a. attorney Douglas Dick, said.
Tillett over the course of more than two decades produced, promoted and played mother hen to numerous arts and crafts festivals, Classics in the Garden and other concerts, and the annual Arts Alive Classical Music Competition for young people, all in the Tillett Gardens arts complex. She died in August after a long struggle with cancer. (See "Longtime arts patron Rhoda Tillett is dead".)
The "Doug Lewis Show," which airs from 1 to 3 p.m., is recorded in advance. This week's edition also will include other music, Lewis said, "but over half of the selections" will be by artists who've appeared at the St. Thomas arts complex in Anna's Retreat.
So, all in the space of two hours, you'll hear performances by blues vocalist/guitarist Deborah Coleman, folk/classical fiddler Mark O'Connor, folk singer/guitarist Tom Rush, folk artist Jonathan Edwards (who guested with Tom Rush), drummer Sam Lay (who appeared with the vintage blues Siegel-Schwall Band), blues singer/guitarist Bill Sims, the classical Ahn Trio, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues, drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (who performed with the Tony O Band), Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, the Tony O Band and the Charlie Musselwhite Band.
Those are the off-islanders. The show also will some include familiar local artists — singer/guitarist Nicky Russell and the folk ensemble Harmony Dem.
Lewis, who's eclectic musical tastes tend toward blues and rock 'n' roll, enthusiastically promoted the non-classical Tillett Garden Series concerts held for a number of years in addition to the classical programs. His wife, Charlene Dick, is a member of the Arts Alive board and for a number of years hosted what was the Virgin Islands' only classical music radio show.
"I do speak about the concerts between the songs and talk a little about Rhoda," Lewis said. "There are no interviews with the artists, and unfortunately, none of the music was taped at Tillett Gardens. But some of the tracks are songs that were performed at the Tillett shows."
"I think Rhoda's friends will enjoy the program," he said.
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