Pan to save the land
Story from The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian by Peter Ray Blood
From establishing itself as one of the fastest rising steel orchestras in the land, First Citizens Supernovas is now in the promotions business. The Surrey Village, Lopinot steelband, ably led by Amrit Samaroo, is teaming up with Pan Trinbago’s Eastern Region to stage a mammoth steelband gospel parade on Saturday, October 1.
Billed as Reaching Souls, the event will feature ten of the nation’s top steelbands as well as four gospel orchestras and will be staged along the Macoya Main Road to the Eddie Hart Grounds, from 2 pm. The line up of steel orchestras billed to play includes Desperadoes, bpTT Renegades, CAL Invaders, Massy Trinidad All Stars, Republic Bank Exodus, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, NGC Couva Joylanders, Melodians and host band Supernovas.
Supernovas PRO Selwyn “Fruits” Williams, just back home from lecturing on the steelband at universities in the United States, is all hyped about this novel production. He said: “This event is geared to target the soul of mankind and hopefully bring changes in the thinking of our people.
“It’s ecumenical as we will be embracing the nation’s many religious entities, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Hindu, Muslim, Pentecostal, Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist faiths; in short everybody, toute bagai.
“We are welcoming the participation of all faiths, all politicians across the divide, all races, schools, in short, every citizen in this land,” he said.
In an invitation letter sent to IRO president Brother Harrypersad Maharaj, Supernovas leader Samaroo stated: “Faced with the very serious issues of high crime rate, indiscipline in schools and general lack of goodwill in society today, Supernovas Steel Orchestra is compelled to spread a message of positivity through the music of our national instrument, the steelpan. We believe if we can make an attempt through a serious spiritual conversation with the populace, we can help in bringing our country back to sanity.”
Williams added: “We know that many families may not be able to make the entire parade route but they can assemble at the Eddie Hart Grounds.”
Williams disclosed that on site at the grounds, blood and eye tests will be conducted and there will be attractions like horseback riding, product sampling and giveaways by Nestle Foods, Coca Cola and Kiss.
Williams was emphatic when he said: “There will be absolutely no alcohol on sale at this event. This is about family and saving a nation, not about revelry, consuming alcohol and having a good time. We will have more than enough non-alcoholic beverages available to quench the thirsts of all.”
Strongly committed to the event, Williams said: “T&T is in need of serious prayers and the steelband is God’s special instrument to turn this place around. We need prayers to rid our land of deceit, hypocrisy, greed, corruption and the evils that continue to prevail.
On October 1 we, the panmen and women, will be on a journey of love in an effort to save the soul of our nation.”
Citing the need for more love and togetherness in communities nationwide, Williams said: “I consider myself to be an activist on the social aspect of life, reaching out and helping people wherever and whenever possible. I feel the pain of the man in the street and, according to Mighty Chalkdust, ‘I in town too long’ not to understand these things.”
About the parade, Williams said each steelband will be accompanied by a religious entity. He added: “Churches are requested to be branded by a particular colour or their organisation’s t-shirt with logo so they can be easily identified. I wish to emphasise that all students must be accompanied by their parent(s)”
At the culmination of the day’s activities religious leaders are to address the audience at Eddie Hart Grounds, from 6.30 pm. Williams said: “The IRO and other denominations have readily approved this event so you can say we have their ‘blessings’. I am urging all true patriots to let us come together, once and for all, and bring back the old time days. Remember when we were growing up we all used to play together? This country needs us to be together right now.”
Williams said that he has a burning hope that the Supernovas event will be seen as an example to be followed by all communities. He said that special incentives will be awarded to the three most popular steelbands on parade.
Reaching souls—steelbands and selections
Positive—Blessing After Blessing
Sean Daniel—Cover Me
FIRST CITIZENS SUPERNOVAS:
Hymn—What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Blessed Messenger—Thanks In Advance
Prodigal Son & Jason Mighty—Ketch A Fire
Hymn—Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
Blessed Messenger—Move Mountains
Judith Gayle—Daddy Oh
MASSY TRINIDAD ALL STARS:
Hymn—How Great Thou Art
REPUBLIC BANK EXODUS:
Hymn—Lord I Lift Your Name On High
Blessed Messenger—Doh Tell Me Dat
PCS NITROGEN SILVER STARS:
Hymn—Hear My Cry, Oh Lord
Sean Daniel—Waving Thing
Hymn—Into Your Hands
DJ Nicholas & Judith Gayle—Things Already Better
Blessed Messenger—Bring Me Through
NGC COUVA JOYLANDERS:
Hymn—When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
Bevil Joseph & Jah Kiley—Under Di Blood