A collection of poems by Trinidad-born Elvina Schullere, dealing with themes including the beauties of nature, the joys and challenges of family life, music and the arts, and the love of God.
HIGH ON CLOUD JOYOUS by Elvina Schullere
Elvina D. W. Schullere was born on May 28, 1929, in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, the capital of Trinidad, then a British colony. She attended private schools in Trinidad. In 1948, she moved to New York City with her father, Eustace D. Whittaker, her mother Marguerite, and her brother Earl D.
Based on her school transcripts from Trinidad, Schullere was required to attend high school for two years to receive her academic diploma. She attended Wadleigh High School in Harlem, the first all-girls’ public high school in New York, earning a place in the honor society Arista. She was also selected by Arista to paint a portrait of the school’s principal, and another of her art projects was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).
Schullere earned an associate’s degree from Seton College in Yonkers and bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in clinical nutrition from Donsbach University in California as well as teacher certification from Farleigh Dickinson University. She worked as a medical assistant at Mountainview Medical Associates and later worked for five years as a property auditor
at Columbia University.
Schuller began singing in Trinidad at age twelve. In New York, she studied with Albert Rhodes and sang with the New York Symphony chorus, conducted by J. Labovitz. She joined the Thomas Music Study Club of the National Association of Negro Musicians and performed at MOMA, Alice Tully Hall, and Symphony Space. At Rutgers Presbyterian Church, she performed in operatic productions produced by Wellington Jones. She now performs with the Canterbury Choir at the Church of St Barnabas in Irvington, New York, directed by Donald Butts.
Shullere has three children: Franz, Darius Antony, and Karen Alison.