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The Southernaires was founded in 1976 in southern Trinidad. In 2015, the group had a membership of 55 and was led by Joy Caesar, a former lead soprano and Music Festival winner. Caesar had been an adjudicator for various steelpan, choral, and vocal festivals and was instrumental in producing Music Festival winners from the Southernaires that included Cheryl Ann Baptiste, Ermine Hinds-Williams, Arnold Ransome, Michelle Dowrich, and Deana Dieffenthaller. The Southernaires staged Trinidad's first local folk opera, Dalinda, which was written by Pat Bishop. The group performed in the Virgin Islands and won many awards including: the Order of St. Clement for outstanding service; the Heritage Hero Award from Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church; the Southern Spirit Award from the Chamber of Commerce; and the Humming Bird Gold medal for distinguished service in the field of music.
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit