MHTL Starlift to host Panel Discussion on Pan
MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra will host a Panel Discussion on the topic of 'The History of Pan, Its Future and Potential' at 7PM on Wednesday, September 14 at its Pan Yard, off Mucurapo Road, Port of Spain.
This year the band is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee and is doing so by hosting a Programme of Events during the period August to November. The celebrations began with an Ecumenical Service at St. Theresa's R.C. Church in Woodbrook on August 10th with representatives of the Presbyterian, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches officiating. The second event was a special edition of the band's now famous Independence Day brunch on August 31st and the third will be a Panel Discussion. On October 19th the band will host a Gala Concert and the final event will be the launch of its 2017 Carnival band presentation.
The Panel Discussion is aimed at chronicling the history of Pan in Trinidad and Tobago in general, and Starlift Steel orchestra in particular, as well as taking a look at the future and potential of our national instrument. A team of high-profile individuals who are very knowledgeable about Pan has been put together to deliver some interesting presentations of the art form: past, present and future.
The first presentation will be delivered by the President of Pan Trinbago, Mr. Keith Diaz, who will speak on the theme 'The Birth and Evolution of Pan'. He will cover areas such as ‘Where, When, How and Who gave birth to Pan'. He will also give an insight into how Pan grew and spread to areas such as Belmont, Curepe, St. James, Woodbrook, San Fernando and Tunapuna.
Mr. Melville Bryan, a steelband historian and former school Principal will deliver the second presentation which is titled 'Two critical periods in the history of Pan'. There are two sub-headings in this presentation, one dealing with 'Violence in Pan and the Solutions Utilised' and the other dealing with 'Pan Moving up the Social Ladder'. This latter section relates to the entry into the world of Pan by college boys, bank clerks, teachers, female pannists and professionals such as doctors and lawyers.
Presentation number three will be made by retired banker, Keith Simpson, who is a veteran Starlift member and present manager of Tripolians single pan band and a historian in his own right. Simpson will recount the history of Starlift as it relocated to various locations in the suburb of Woodbrook. He will also touch on the band's long involvement in producing Carnival costumed bands, some of which were the largest of its time.
The final presentation will be made by Principal of The UWI, St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland, who will focus on the future and potential of the instrument. Professor Copeland is the recipient of this country's highest national award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT). He is a leading member of Steel Pan Research Laboratory, a unit at UWI that is responsible for two steelband innovations, viz. the G-Pan and the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI).
There will be a Question and Answer period during which the audience will have the opportunity to engage members of the panel in discussion on various aspects of their presentations. Moderator of the event is UTT professor and Chairman of Birdsong Steel Orchestra, Professor Clement Imbert.
Admission to the event is free. At the end of the Panel Discussion, entertainment will be provided by the DJ who will play tunes performed by Starlift over the years for Panorama and otherwise.
Mrs. Rhona Harris, Chairperson of the Starlift Jubilee Celebrations Committee commented that this event can be viewed as a gift to the nation from Starlift on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. It is the band's hope that many people, pannists and supporters of Pan alike, will avail themselves of the opportunity to learn about the history and potential of the instrument from aficionados using different perspectives.