> ISSUE 13 SUMMER/AUTUMN 2006
CONTENTS 05 BUSHEY MEADS SCHOOL STEELBAND
24 CSO’S 5TH ANNUAL PAN EXTRAVAGANZA
Pannists receive the newly instated Micahel ‘Chato’ Toussaint Award for steel pan skills.
Sold out concert!
06 RUSSELL HENDERSON Dedicated his life to music.
29 EBONY’S BLOCKORAMA
08 DELPHINA JAMES
30 MERRY TONES
Do what you love, love what you do.Keep it Real!
One of the five surviving steel orchestras that competed at the inaugural Panorama in 1963.
09 PRAISE WITH STEEL 10 HAROUN SHAH A panman with a difference. Top scientist in biochemistry and outstanding musician.
12 GRAEME COLLEGE Since 1996, they have delighted audiences around South Africa.
14 STEEL FEST
FAIRFIELD HALL, CROYDON ON SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2006 @ 7.30PM All seats £15.00 Box Office: 020 8688 9291 - Book online: www.fairfield.co.uk
Costumes: Wayne Berkeley Choreography: Marcos Jose James Musical Director: Shawn Marcellin Produced by: Sonny Blacks
Dazzling colour and up-tempo music capture all the spirit and essence of Trinidad’s Carnival in this lavish and spectacular presentation that brings the overwhelming enthusiasm and excitement of this world renowned form of street theatre in a staged production. Fantastic and extravagant costumes have been created by Wayne Berkeley, the Carnival’s World Premier Designer. His amazing shapes and fabric and the boundless energy of the exotic carnival dancers are more than enhanced by the invention and virtuosity of such internationally acclaimed musicians as the Caribbean Allstars Orchestra and the Trinidad Steelband. The Calypso Allstars are at the forefront of Calypso but are equally at home playing the infectious Latin rhythms of South America and the vibrant street music of Soca. None of this would be complete without the unmistakable sound of the Trinidad Steelband, whose talented composers and arrangers have combined their traditional musical influences into a fusion of new songs that have captivated audiences around the world.
✬ SPECIAL OFFER! FREE CD of the show with every 2 tickets purchased ✬
26 HUMMERSKNOTT SCHOOL STEELBAND
Middlesbrough’s First Steel Band Festival.
15 WE ARE FAMILY
32 ANDY BULLOCK The legacy of Valley Harps began in the 1950’s with Western Symphony, a traditional steel band.
34 STELLA MARIS Evangelising through the medium of steel pan music
36 BATTLE OF DRUMS Eternity Brass wins the title.
40 SOUNDS OF STEEL Portchester Summer Arts Festival.
Bea Bernert sees her Pan Family- We are Family as a musical medium.
42 WORLD CUP & STEEL PAN
16 FRANK ROLLOCK
Trinidad and Tobago’s culture showcased to the world.
A remarkly talented musician.
18 STEELPAN, INCLUSION EDUCATIONAL FUTURE 20 WOODSIDE SCHOOL 21 WOMEN IN STEEL 23 READERS LETTERS
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> Welcome This year Notting Hill Carnival celebrates its 42nd anniversary and their theme this year is Aspiring and Achieving in Unity promoting unity amongst London's communities. Londoners can come together in the spirit of carnival in an uplifting carnival occasion. In 1964, Rhaune Laslett- Obrien organised the Notting Hill Neighbourhood Festival and asked the Russell Henderson steel band to play. Steel band music was the first recognised form of music at the carnival and this year, Russell was awarded an MBE for his personal contribution in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Saturday 26th August will see another musical battle being fought at the National Panorama competition with nine of the UK top steel bands vying for the coveted title of ‘Champions of Steel’. Jouvert follows in the wee hours of Sunday morning and this BAS event is growing steadily since its rejuvenation three years ago. The On the Road competition for steel bands is on Carnival Monday so listen out for the sweet, catchy and captivating sounds of steel. Have a safe and enjoyable Carnival and looking forward to seeing you at the BAS Awards on the 2nd December at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury.
BUSHEY Meads SCHOOL STEELBAND
Over the past two years the students learned to play the steel pans, conducted workshops for other students and have gone out into the community to perform and share their skills. Their achievements are all the more remarkable because their teacher, Michael Toussaint, is blind. He is the only blind tenor pannist in the world. He was a professional player before gradually losing his sight after eye surgery in Trinidad. Using the concept of the clock face and his friends' encouragement he learned how to play again.
Robbie Joseph - Editor
Michael tutors every Tuesday and Wednesday at the school and is a constant inspiration to his students, he wanted to officially recognise the band's work and the school agreed; so awards were presented to Jaina Patel, Moji Oshisanya, Lindsay Millar, Juliet Luff, Steven Haley, Hannah O'Leary, Lisa Daborn, Sarah Nepomuceno and Alice Gumbs by Michael and head teacher, Dr Dena Coleman.
EDITOR: Robbie Joseph WRITERS/CONTRIBUTORS: Vanessa Clarke, Delphina James, Lionel McCalman, Vivienne Hacksley, Victoria Jaquiss, Sharon Atkinson, John Frankland, Brian Wise, John Frankland, Bea Bernert, Andy Bullock, Paul Dowie, Martha Young, Candice Thompson, Haroun Shah, Sue Moore PHOTOGRAPHY: Response Photographic, Bas Czerwinsky, Anna Huddeman LAYOUT & DESIGN: Indus Digital PUBLISHED BY: BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W112AV Tel: 020 7565 7813 - Fax: 020 7565 7810 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Website: www.panpodium.com The views published in Pan Podium are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. All material contained in this publication are the copyright of Pan Podium. No material written or photographic should be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the publisher. No liability will be accepted for any errors which may occur within the magazine.
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Bushey Meads School is so impressed with the work of the steel pan band that even Dr Coleman has learned to play and is regarded as having a "natural talent". Owing to her training, she fully appreciates how hard the students have worked to become as proficient as they are. Following the school's recent Awards for All Lottery funding, it is able to develop and expand the band to include a junior section. Michael stated, "These new students will have goals to work towards and aspire to."
Music Students from Bushey Meads School were presented with special awards for their outstanding achievement and exemplary work in the community. Members of the school's senior steel band received the newly instated Michael ‘Chato’ Toussaint Award for Steel Pan Skills and Service to the Community.
For their performances, their pannists wear their uniquely designed Bushey Meads T shirt, which carries the steel pan logo. Owing to their Awards for All funding this year, they have been able to run a wonderful Community Music Festival with local primary school children and numerous workshops for physically impaired children. They have applied for further funding for next year to set up a Community studio to facilitate a host of multi cultural activities. By Debbie Brady PAN PODIUM > 05
> WHO’S WHO
> WHO’S WHO
...‘we can’t pay you’ – his immediate response was ‘what time we’ll be there’. Russell appeared out of a side street with his steel band, The Russell Henderson Steel band, and the people followed him until nightfall. ...This event is now called the Notting Hill Carnival
In 1964, Rhaune Laslett-O'Brien organised a ‘festival’ to help combat the devastating effects of poverty and deprivation in the Ladbroke Grove area. She called Russell to ask if he could play but her first words were ‘we can’t pay you’ – his immediate response was ‘what time - we’ll be there’. Russell appeared out of a side street with his steel band, The Russell Henderson Steel band, and the people followed him until nightfall. The community has never looked back. This event is now called the Notting Hill Carnival, the largest open-air festival in Europe. The head teacher of Elmwood School in Croydon, Mrs Ethel French, was very excited by steel pan music and invited Russell to teach in the junior school. Russell did rather more than teach; he introduced steel pan playing and composition into the school curriculum in such a positive fashion that his pupils performed first at the Croydon Music Festival, then several times at the Albert Hall and the Junior Steel Pan Panorama finals. He has also made a huge contribution to the jazz world, not only with his piano playing, but because he was the first
person to incorporate a steel pan – the only instrument invented in the last century – into his quartet alongside more traditional instruments. Previously, opportunities for the steel band had been limited to island themes with the players wearing tropical shirts and playing in venues which were often rather seedy and for little pay, but in the musical setting Russell now provided the subtlety and sophistication of the instrument became obvious. He has toured, played in theatres, at debutante balls, in churches, in films, taught in Switzerland but one of his proudest moments was when he was invited to play solo piano at a royal birthday party. His continuing popularity sees him playing regularly at the Festival Hall, The 606 Club and he still walks the course at Goodwood Racecourse carrying his steel pan traditionally around his neck, he is a founder member of Pan Necktar Steel band where he is also president, arranger & player. Russell has lived in London for over 54 years where he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community. He is greatly admired and respected and for many of us he is still the heartbeat of the steel pan world.
Russell was named in the Queen’s 2006 birthday honours list to receive an MBE for his contribution to the music industry. This accolade is fitting to an individual who has dedicated his life to music. Russell Henderson came to London from Trinidad in 1951 and created an immediate and dynamic impact on musical and artistic life in the UK. He came from a strict background where music was seen to be a frivolous activity and not encouraged, but he became an accomplished jazz and classical pianist and his perseverance led him into taking, what were often in ignorance called ‘dustbin lids’, as a fully formed orchestra to London’s Albert Hall on several occasions. This was the steel pan - the national instrument of Trinidad & Tobago. 06 > PAN PODIUM
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> WHO’S WHO
> BAND PROFILE
Delphina ‘Panness’ James PRAISE Born in St Thomas’ hospital, Lambeth on the 06/10/79, Delphina still considers herself a Harrow girl. She taught herself to read music between the ages of 10-12 using a small Yamaha keyboard and started playing pan in Harrow from age 8 under the tutorship of Dennis Joseph. Starting with the tenor pan she soon progressed to the double seconds her chosen pan instrument when she joined the Harrow School for Young Musicians, (HSYM). Delphina played in her first UK National Panorama with Glissando in 1995 and joined Ebony in April 1998 playing bass. She stated, ‘I wanted to be as good a player as all the Ebony players I saw in 1995. To this day I believe Ebony have the best players and I am still learning from them. Ever since I joined Ebony I have developed as a player technically and musically.’ Her first ever accompanied solo was in the Royal Albert Hall. Delphina also plays the Tenor Saxophone and Bassoon. She started these instruments in High School and played in Orchestras and big bands for HSYM where she was able to conduct a piece of music at age 14. Her academic achievements include a grade 8 in music theory, grade 7 on bassoon and grade 5 on saxophone as well as an A in GSCE music, B in Music Technology (A level) and BA HONS in Music (Jazz). As well as being a member of Ebony, Delphina has a Jazz band which she started whilst at University. She specialises in composition and uses Cubase or Sibelius. She has also performed with Solo Pan Knights, Tornadoes, Desperadoes and Phase II Pan Groove in Trinidad. Panness revealed that her inspirations are Lester Young (Jazz Saxophonist), Errol Garner 08 > PAN PODIUM
(Piano), Dvorak, Mozart, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, Anise ‘Halfers’ Hadeed and Clive Bradley to name just a few. Her talents does not stop at music, Delphina also ran cross country for Harrow and was captain of Harrow Basketball team where at fifteen she was awarded Most Valuable Player at Wembley and eventually got selected to play for England but turned it down because she wanted to play Pan. She is the acting chair for the British Association of Steelbands Future Development Forum and was very instrumental in the successful organisation of BAS’s 8th annual Pan Explosion competition in May 2006. She was champion soloist in the 2005 competition. Delphina stated, ‘My main influences are Pan and Afro-Cuban music but I am open to anything that sounds good, however, PAN is my life. I would love to have my own band someday. I would also like to be a part of the organisation of academic grades for the steel pan.’ She extends her gratitude to her Mum, sister, the James’ family and everyone at Ebony. Her motto is: ‘Do what you love, love what you do. Keep It Real’.
WITH STEEL GOSPEL Fifteen years ago, when Sharon Atkinson became a member of the New Testament Church of God, in Birmingham, she was the only lead player in the band. Her love for pans derived from her early years when her ‘adopted’ uncle from Trinidad taught her to play the double-second and cello pans. Sharon believed there was a place for pans in Church music, after all God himself says make a joyful noise, Psalms 100.
Her love for pans derived from her early years when her ‘adopted’ uncle from Trinidad taught her to play
Sharon, a self taught tenor player, has had a good go at sinking pans and coming up with beautifully toned tenor, double seconds, cello and bass pans. The band now has a membership of ten and performs at churches, weddings, fund-raising and gospel concerts, as well as other various events. One of their memorable performances was when they performed with the Grand Union Orchestra at the prestigious Birmingham Symphony Hall. They evangelise using the pans as instruments of praise and have found that various denominations also want to experience pan music in their praise and worship. When Praise With Steel plays no one sleeps in church. What Praise with Steel thrives on as musicians, is picking popular gospel pieces and adapting them to pan. They want to be
known as the band that makes a difference in the Christian world, because pan has no limitations. They are the only known gospel steel band in England and aim for the audiences to feel the fire in their praise and love for God through the versatility and impact of pan music. The band also plays traditional soca, reggae, folk, rock, classical and many other styles which gives them the scope to relate to diverse audiences. When playing live their musical arrangements and improvisations are kept to a minimum so as not to confuse audiences who may want to sing along. One of their most notable achievements so far as musicians was the release of their CD, ‘THOU ART MY ROCK’ in 2005. The launch was attended by Ashton Forde of the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission. THEIR VISION IS TO TOUR THE CARIBBEAN AND PERFORM IN CHURCHES, AS SOME OF THEIR MEMBERS HAVE NEVER VISITED THE CARIBBEAN ALTHOUGH THEY ARE FROM CARIBBEAN PARENTAGE. This dream is expensive and with the appropriate help and support they will be able to share their ministry with their Caribbean brethren and future friends. Praise with Steel wishes that God continues to bless every one and to keep the pan alive. by Sharon Atkinson PAN PODIUM > 09
> WHO’S WHO
> BOOK REVIEW
orn in South Trinidad, he grew up in San Fernando and California, and was educated at Asja Secondary School. He excelled academically and was awarded a place at The University of London in 1967. His Ph.D was a seminal work and set him up on a career in lecturing. One of his posts was Senior Lecturer at the School of Tropical Medicine – The University of London, where he lectured to medical students and post doctorial researchers. He has supervised over thirty five Ph.D students to completion, which is outstanding to say the least. Haroun has also lectured abroad, (in the Middle East and Canada) and acted as Chair in Microbiology at the Centre of Infections, Health Protection Agencies. Today he is the Head of the Molecular Identification Service Unit, a high powered government appraised department, specializing in toxin detection and NMR spectroscopy. Such are the intellectual talents of this unique individual.
HAROUN SHAH The steel pan fraternity could not produce a nicer guy. Professor Haroun Shah is a panman with a difference. Best known in this country as a top scientist in biochemistry, Haroun has been a steelpan player for decades, first with the Guinness Cavaliers of South Trinidad, and then with Nostalgia Steel Band. Over the years he has combined his academic work (which is very impressive indeed) with the promotion of this art form, the steelpan.
His pan playing career could be said to be prescriptive. His family were all North American carnival pioneers and his brothers Ken and Kamal Shah, are well known in the Canadian Carnival circles. Ken was a costume designer and pioneer of the Toronto carnival and many of his artistic works are still on display at the Madam Toussaint’s Gallery in Niagara Falls. When he died, the ‘2001 Toronto Carnival’ was dedicated in his honour. Haroun was very much a part of that culture from his youth. His cousin, Bobby Mohammed was the arranger for the Guinness Cavaliers, in South Trinidad and Haroun joined the orchestra as a tenor player. The Guinness Cavaliers is the only steel band from South Trinidad to have won ‘The Trinidadian Panorama Competition’ for three years in succession. Haroun joined Nostalgia Steel Band in 1993, and is today the chairman of the management committee, working very hard to keep the traditional spirit of the steel pan alive. His daughters, Louise and Camille are also members of Nostalgia Steel Band. Both play the tenor pan. Haroun has a role - and sees Nostalgia as taking a lead role in moving steel pan forward. Haroun’s vision for the pan fraternity is helping to debunk the assumptions that steel bands in Britain have unrealistic aspirations. ‘We can reach to the sky’, he says, ‘and become as institutionalised as the London South Bank Centre, or the Royal Albert Hall’. Haroun sees his steel band as being different from other bands. ‘We are a pan-around-neck band, a tradition we dearly cherish, and we have a number of individuals with broad interests’, he said to me. ‘We would like to utilize those talents to benefit steel pan as a whole. We may not be an Ebony Steel Orchestra, but we have just as much to contribute as any other established band’. Today, Haroun is the main force behind the First European Steel Pan Conference – scheduled for the 30th and 31st August 2006, at the University of East London, and judging from his past successes, who would bet against the conference being a run-away success.
BOOK REVIEW The History of the Steel Band The authors Verna Wilkins and Michael La Rose have produced a book on the history of the steel band aimed at children aged 9- 12 years. The steel pan is the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century. The book traces its rich and interesting development from its humble beginnings in the Caribbean island of Trinidad (the name given by Columbus in 1498 after sighting the three hills in the south of the island, a title associated to the three aspects of God by Christians) in the 1940s to present day. The journey from drums, tamboo bamboo to steel drum and its impact on the modern world is appropriately documented to achieve the required impact for its intended readership. A CD of a range of music played by Sterling’s Angels (a Swiss children’s steel band led by Pan Maestro Sterling Betancourt who is heavily featured in the book) is included. The editor is Simona Sideri with Lynne Willey responsible for its illustrations. Tamarind Ltd based in Northwood, Middlesex, England are the publishers. To obtain a copy visit their website www.tamarindbooks.co.uk or email them at email@example.com
By Lionel MacCalman 10 > PAN PODIUM
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> BAND PROFILE
Graeme College STEELBAND The Graeme College Steelband was founded in May 1996 by Vivienne Hacksley & Steve Lawrie and from its inception has proved to be a run – away success. The band has performed annually at the Standard Bank National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown. ince 1996 the band has delighted audiences around South Africa, continuously receiving numerous invitations to perform at public functions. So popular has the band become at Graeme that the numbers of boys wanting to play surpasses the number of instruments available. Despite a complete turnover in members since its inception, the band continues to maintain a high standard of playing. Steve Lawrie who worked for Pan Master, Grahamstown, a unique local industry, which also exports instruments abroad, manufactured all the steeldrums. Steve is currently employed by Panyard Inc in the USA.
In August of 2000, the band released its first CD entitled, ‘Street Steel’ which was recorded live at the Pan Master Workshop in Grahamstown, during the 1999 Standard bank National Festival of the Arts. Twelve tracks of music spanning different genres from Brown Skin Girl to Begin the Beguine. The recording was dedicated to the spirit of the pan. The Graeme College
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Steelband has in the last ten years become an integral part of street vibe in the National Arts Festival. Their hope is that the growth of pan in South Africa will be guided by the same spirit that watched over those who were there when the pan was born. During the 2004 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown the band released a second CD entitled “Heart of Steel” with nineteen tracks of music. This year the band celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since Steve Lawrie’s departure to USA in 2000, Vivienne Hacksley has directed the band. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gc.ecape.school.za
> EVENT PROFILE
> WHO’S WHO
MIDDLESBROUGH’S First Steel Band Festival When can we do this again!
Saturday 1st July 2006 was an historic day in the life of the steel pan movement in the North East. Middlesbrough hosted its first ever steel band festival. The event featured some established bands and some up and coming young groups, as everyone in the town centre seemed to want to dance to the sounds of calypso. “AFTER MONTHS OF PLANNING IT IS REALLY GOOD TO SEE SO MANY PANNISTS SHOWING OF THEIR SKILLS, AND WE HAVE EVEN GOT CARIBBEAN STYLE WEATHER ADDING TO THE CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE,” SAYS BRIAN WISE, EVENT ORGANISER. MIDDLESBROUGH’S FIRST STEEL BAND FESTIVAL WAS SUPPORTED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL THROUGH MAJOR FUNDING AS PART OF THE COMPLETION A IT’S NEW PUBLIC SPACE. LOCAL VENUES AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS, SUCH AS THE CENTRAL LIBRARY MADE SPACE TO ALLOW THE BANDS TO PERFORM. These included North Tyneside Steel Band, Shotton Hall School Band, Abingdon School, Kingsmeadow, and STEEWLORKS. All performed at the same time so as people walked around town they would hear continuous sounds of steel. A highlight was the performance by STEELWORKS-Middlesbrough first community steel band. With players as young as nine, the band sailed their way through a programme of popular tunes from the Beatles to Nirvana, and some highly charged arrangements of swing and jazz classics. As the evening drew in the bands came together for a massed performance around a Middlesbrough landmark –‘The Bottle of Notes’. Dave Edwards from North Tyneside
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Steel Band provided the arrangements for this musical gathering . The sound of nearly 100 pans was something that Middlesbrough has never heard before but as one passer by commented “This rocks!” The crowd approved. Then STEELWORKS and Abingdon School Steel Band had a tight schedule to get into the Town Hall to set up in support of the main act, North Stars Steel Orchestra. North Stars have become close friends with STEELWORKS and they were very happy to bring their unique sound to the festival. The gala evening was certainly something. North Stars entertained an enthusiastic audience with music from Bach to Bob Marley, popular melodies from Michael Jackson and the dynamic sounds of Soca.
This is Bea Bernert’s most recent music project with Pan Kultur e.V. of Dortmund, Germany. Pan Kultur e.V. has been in existence for the past eleven years and was founded by Martin Buschmann, Jurgen Lesker, Eckard Schulz and Hans Langenfeld. Pan Kultur e.V is very popular in London having fostered a positive working relationship with Nostalgia steelband where members of both steelbands perform regularly at the Notting Hill Carnival and in Dortmund, Germany. Bea Bernert has been playing the steelpan for ten years and is a member of Pan Kultur. She has been teaching the artform to children, young people and adults for the last five years and runs regular pan workshops organised with the Dortmund’s Municipal Department for Culture and Art.
Bea founded ‘Pan Family’ with the theme ‘We are Family’ and started teaching eleven children and their parents over the past six months. They have been very successful in hosting two concerts with Bea wanting to develop the project even more with whatever support is forthcoming. She is also planning to host further pan workshops and to recruit more groups under the ‘Pan Family – We are Family’ initiative. She sees the steelpan as the ideal instrument for bringing people together socially. Coupled with its cultural and educational benefits, she sees steelpan music as pure communication that connects generations like no other instrument. Bea sees her ‘Pan Family – We are Family’ project as a musical medium that brings people together in a relaxing atmosphere to have fun playing the steelpan whilst promoting understanding and sensibility among people of all ages. Together we aspire. Together we achieve.
This was a highly charged and polished performance from a unique group and it ended Middlesbrough’s First Steel Band Festival. Throughout the 12 hours of music the one and loud message from everyone was,
“When can we do this again!”
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> WHO’S WHO
TRINIDADIAN BORN FRANK ROLLOCK GREW UP IN EAST TRINIDAD, TUNAPUNA TO BE EXACT. FROM A TENDER AGE, HE WAS SENT TO PIANO LESSONS TO ENHANCE HIS MUSICAL SKILLS.
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His interest in music was part of a family tradition. It was only when his mother approached his music teacher to pay his tuition fees it was revealed that he was not attending piano lessons but frequenting the panyard. After acknowledging his love for the steelpan instrument, his mother allowed him to continue. At the age of 10-11 years, Frank was being taught by Clive Foster and playing in Sullivan’s Steel Orchestra. In 1956 at the age of seventeen, Frank and his brother Roy (coincidentally, Frank’s uncle who was also called Roy had his own orchestra in the USA) founded their own orchestra called Modernaires for whom Frank compiled a book of arrangements through the inspiration of the famous Trinidad All Stars whom he greatly admired.
were developing their musical skills on a variety of brass and reed instruments and the family band; The Royaltys were enjoying great success under Frank’s direction. Such intense interest developed for the pan instrument that in 1974 a band evolved to foster and maintain this, London All Stars was an obvious tribute to Frank’s background. He has directed the band through many successes, culminating in them winning the UK’s first National Steelband Festival Championship.
At the same time, he was learning the art of pan making and tuning under Carl ‘Fracklenose’ Greenidge. In 1959, whilst preparing for a steelband music festival with Merry Stars Metronomes whose leader Kenrick Thomas later became his brother-in-law, Frank made a conscious decision to migrate to the UK. He brought some pans with him and in February 1960, Frank, Roy and some friends took to the streets of Brixton to celebrate Carnival. Their actions were noted as the first time pan was played in Brixton Road and the initiation of the Brixton Carnival. Frank remembers his fellow West Indians joining in with their bottles and spoons and the amazed look on the faces of Britons.
In addition to his commitment to London All Stars Steel Band, Frank has made untold contributions to the advancement of the Steelband Movement in the UK. He cofounded the Steelband Association of Great Britain and the London Brotherhood of Steel and held office in both organisations with unselfish distinction. Along with Randolph Baptiste (deceased) formed the Pan Players Association. Today, Frank is a member of the British Association of Steelbands, the successor to the London Brotherhood of Steel. In 1981, he founded the Brixton Arts Culture and Carnival Committee to afford the wider community the opportunity to learn musical instruments and share in the Carnival heritage. It was also befitting that Frank conducted the first combinations of steel and voice and steel and contemporary dance staged in Britain. Frank acted, as the adjudicator for the Croydon Music Festival – Steelbands category and with Gerald Forsyth was responsible for the formation of the UK National Steel Orchestra that performed in Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. He also received an award at the British Association of Steelbands annual awards for his contribution to the UK National Steel Orchestra and the art form. Frank has led London All Stars to victory in the BAS Jouvert ‘Bomb’ competition at Notting Hill Carnival for 2004 and 2005. He also judged the National Panorama competition in 2005.
He started gigging with Russ Henderson and Sterling Betancourt, playing at some of the UK most prestigious society functions. He was taught to play the alto and tenor saxophones by Alan ‘Pops’ Briggs, as well as sight-reading, theory of music, harmony and conducting. Frank was self-taught on the six string and bass guitars. In the late sixties he played the sax with the Tony Morgan Roadshow and the bass guitar with Rudy Jones and the Ambassadors, they toured Germany and played at most of the clubs in the West End around the same time the Beatles were making their mark in the music industry. Family life took its toll and the touring was put on hold. Pan music was dominant for some time when Courtney Laws approached Frank after seeing him perform at the Coach and Horses pub in Brixton. On Courtney’s advice, Frank approached Kingsdale Secondary school where he started teaching pan music. Kingsdale is now one of the many South London schools who have benefited from his musical talents. In conjunction with Audrey Dennett, the head of music for ILEA at the time, Frank was able to form the first ILEA School Steel Orchestra. In the mean time, his seven talented children
Frank’s diligent work and dedication to the promotion and development of the steel pan art form warrants some recognition by the Trinidad & Tobago’s Ministry of Culture through the good offices of their High Commissioner in London. It is a pleasure and honour knowing this remarkably talented musician.
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> SPECIAL FEATURE
> SPECIAL FEATURE
TASPO brought steel pan music to Crystal Palace, London in 1953 thinking and dreaming that steel pans could become a universal instrument. Sonny Roach [from Sun Valley] declared “By the time we leave, every Englishman will have a pan”. [P98 book as below] Today, that dream is a reality. Steel pan is taking its place as a mainstream instrument in UK schools, less and less marginalised as part of ‘world music’. Steel bands are a regular feature of UK celebrations and festivals from carnivals to weddings, and not only when the event has a ‘Caribbean theme’. After brass, strings, woodwind instruments and all the other regular ‘western’ percussion instruments, steel pans have a tonal quality all of their own and add a very distinctive and different sound quality to the British experience. They are beginning to be written into modern classical music e.g. MAKE WE JOY NOW IN THIS FEAST, by Alan Vincent, 1976. Pan jazz has been around for a while. Pan appear occasionally in the pop world, although, too often in synthesised form. Although, steel pan in UK schools is very healthy, real space is needed for music lessons. In Leeds, for example, only four of the thirty plus schools with pans have them set up permanently and securely. However, with the new educational policies on educational inclusion and wider opportunities, steel pans, have come into their own. Inclusion is the policy of bringing as many children as is educationally possible from special into mainstream schools. Wider opportunities refer to the practice of teaching whole classes different instruments at the same time.
No other instrument or range of instruments offers such whole class inclusive potential as steel pans. However, it must be recognised that, teaching steel pans in school does not confirm players of the future. Students may never go on to play in a steel band but will look back on their inclusive steel pan lessons with great affection provided the learning and teaching styles suited them or not if it did not suit them, and if they felt stupid or disempowered by the experience. If you are teaching all the children in the school, you must use all the teaching methods available to you. The traditional aural/visual rote learning with deferred satisfaction is fine for the patient, wellbehaved, high-achieving, naturally musical players. In addition, it is fine, if not essential for fine-tuning at Carnival: “A visit to a panyard now involved listening to intense drilling of difficult phrases from a Panorama tune [rather than the concert of calypsos previously offered].” [P16 The Steelband Movement by Stephen Stuempfle] For pan to be truly inclusive children must be offered a variety of teaching and learning styles, whilst teachers and performers must recognise that this is the way forward. Unless it affects the final outcome, how a piece of music is learned is not the issue. What it sounds like is! For more information on teaching and learning styles see Including SEN in the Curriculum, by Jaquiss and Paterson, published by David Fulton. By Victoria Jaquiss
Steel pans, Inclusion AND THE EDUCATIONAL FUTURE 18 > PAN PODIUM
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> BAND PROFILE
> BAND PROFILE
The Steel band was first introduced to Woodside Junior School in the mid 1980s, shortly after Tudor Jenkins became Head. He had previously run the steel band at Elmwood Junior School, where I was music co-ordinator. Once settled at Woodside, Tudor managed to purchase some second hand pans from a well-known pan maker from Trinidad, Winston Graham, through his connection with Elmwood. Initially we had no stands or sticks, so Tudor constructed stands from lengths of wood and sticks from dowelling and elastic bands. Tudor - a very talented musician; also did tutoring. We explored the possibilities of playing outside school and were successful with a local cable television company’s production in a gallery of the Fairfield Halls. The music advisor for LB Croydon was present, he was appalled that there were no stands, and got funding to purchase some. Winston Graham returned to the school and offered additional pans to extend the size of the band. LB Croydon also appointed a steel band tutor, Paul Dowie, who joined the school staff and replaced a worn out Tudor in the early 1990s. Paul was then 16 years old. All children in Year 5 have the opportunity to learn, and approximately 20 are chosen for the Year 6 Band. Steelpan is always very popular and there is great competition for places. When the children went on to secondary school, many had to give up playing as their chosen schools did not offer lessons, so it was decided to start a group that would practice after school on a Friday evening for
children who had moved on - the birth of Woodside Area Band. This was run under the auspices of the Croydon Music Service and managed by the then music coordinator, Alison McCracken. I became music co-ordinator at the school in 1998 and took over as manager of the Area Band. In the last 6 years, we have gone from strength to strength, starting a second 'training band' on Tuesday evenings and taking on many more opportunities to play in public. In the last 3 years, along with Fairchildes Area Band we have performed as the Croydon Steel Orchestra, taking part in the National Panorama competition and on the road for Notting Hill Carnival.
Women In Steel was forged from a desire to highlight the contribution of women to the world of steel. Under the skillful leadership of a dynamic duo, Claudette Baptiste and daughter Colette, Women In Steel is a forerunner in cultivating the steel pan art form for future generations of young women. They have successfully created a sisterhood of steel pan music lovers in a nurturing and creative environment where the musical talents of young women come to fruition.
To date, we have replaced many of the older pans, expanded the number of pans in the school and run independently from the Croydon Music service. Many of the children who begin playing in the Woodside School Band continue through their high school years and after they have begun working. Others still come back to visit once they have gone away to university. Quite a few have taken music GCSE on the strength of their pan playing. - By: Sue Moore
Woodside School STEELBAND
‘The students, many of whom are of West Indian heritage, exhibited an excited and positive response to the performance’ 20 > PAN PODIUM
olette Baptiste a teacher at Public School 244 in the New York City Public School system engineered a steel pan program by having Women in Steel perform at a Multicultural Fair in her school in the fall of 2005. The students, many of whom are of West Indian heritage, exhibited an excited and positive response to the performance. This motivated the principal to seek funding and guidance to launch a school steel band program as part of its music curriculum. Colette heads the program, teaching and developing the musical gifts of the young ones. The respect Colette has received in the steel band fraternity strengthens her reserve to push forward with an agenda to ensure that the input of women in the steel pan movement is well recognised. The twin talents of Genelle and Shenelle Taylor add to the uniqueness of Women In Steel. They kicked off their musical journey at the age of nine with the Point Fortin Tornadoes in the Republic Of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently residing in
Brooklyn, New York with musical backgrounds in piano and clarinet the Taylor twins enjoys the supportive atmosphere and loyalty of the Women In Steel. Their excitement in steel stems from their love of the music, which is fun and not in the overtly competitive attitudes attached to many steel band functions. Another teacher, Colette Modeste who provides an education for the deaf students, always enjoyed steel band music but did not develop an early interest in the artform. With divine intervention at a church social she was invited to join Women In Steel. She accepted the invitation and for the past seven years enjoys her expression of steel on bass and triple cello. She is also instrumental in assisting the newest member to the group, Denise Mbugua, a pianist she met while attending Brooklyn College. Women in Steel have compiled a sensational repertoire and provided more that a decade of sweet steel pan music with arrangements provided by Andy Narell, Gregory Franklin, Alston Jack, Patrick Davis, Freddie Harris III and Mathew Bourne. Their enthusiastic performances are constantly sought after and well received. The group has travelled to Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua, participating in the annual Music Festival and Five Alive Competition. These women, most of whom are teachers or studying to be teachers, have consolidated their efforts to build a fortified organisation to the everlasting joy of steel pan music. For further information and a calendar of events contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. by: Vanessa Clarke PAN PODIUM > 21
> READERS LETTERS
READER’S LETTERS...! STAR LETTER
Dear Pan Podiumrough joining a band at my schois ol in
th involved with th lved with pan I became invo er the years, I became very t with the wider pan Portsmouth. Ov d its developing involvemen esent, I am in my third an pr growing band until I left for University. At to focus my community, up raphy degree; I have decidedth of the pan year of my geogissues surrounding the grow d not come across ha dissertation on itain. Before researching, I rtant role such po Br movement in wever, I now realise the im By making people . Pan Podium. Ho pan’s future in this country events and everything , in material plays nds, people, organisations provides the wider m r ba aware of othe th pans, I believe Pan Podiu ledge and greater else involved wi an important depth of know ch communication and th su community wi Britain’s pan situation. It is e in the future. background on at I feel is vital for pan to striv co-operation th ch so far is ugh my resear ry quickly thro ate people involved with ve nt ar le ve surely One thing I ha ing, tolerant and passion s and dangers, m just how welco y’s world of perceived threat y this magazine does. da wa oting in the pan are. In to ng worth prom Pan is somethi th ou m - Ports
SPRING ‘06 issue
WRITE US AND
Dear Pan Podium
Dear Pan Podium
A note from the Mecca of steel panTrinidad. I was fortunate to have collected a copy of your magazine from Crosby’s Record Shop in St James. I really enjoyed reading about how our national instrument has not only found its way to the four corners of the globe but commanding and captivating all those who are involved with it. It is great to see the efforts you are making with the culture. Your magazine is very informative. Keep up the good work.
Panpodium is a fantastic resource for those interested in the development of Steel Pan worldwide. It continues to promote the hard work of individuals, bands and organisations committed to pan culture and its peripherals. Keep up the good work.
Kofi Debrah London
Write to us here at Pan Podium with your thoughts and feedback on the magazine. If we print yours as the 'Star' letter you could WIN a year’s subscription of Pan Podium and CDs. In all letters please include your name, address and email contact. Letters that are not published in the magazine will be used for the website. All letters are subject to editing for space and clarity.
Dave ‘Akee’Ashton PAN PODIUM > 23
> SPECIAL FEATURE
> SPECIAL FEATURE
CSO were joined as usual by the school steel bands from Woodside Junior, Ryelands Primary and Fairchildes Primary as well as the first public performance from the recently formed adult band “Steel Young At Heart”. The concert started with CSO’s version of ‘Dead or Alive’ followed by the school bands playing together in a massed performance of ‘Vincent’, ‘Sunday Girl’ and ‘Titanic’. Next on the programme was the very nervous and anxious Steel Young At Heart adult band to play their two pieces, “Wise Men Say” and “Tragedy”. After much cheering and encouragement from the audience the adults played really well having a great time and not wanting to stop, with the pan vibe truly grabbing hold of their souls. The audience were treated to an example of the true versatility of pan when Belinda ‘Stick knickers’ Stevens, Annie Davis and Robert Erskine performed their beautiful trio piece ‘Flower Duet’. The trio performed at this year’s BAS Pan Explosion competition in Birmingham capturing second place in their category. The first half of the concert culminated with CSO performing ‘Careless Whisper’ in calypso style.
5th annual PAN
EXTRAVAGANZA Monday 10th July 2006 saw Croydon Steel Orchestra’s fifth Steel Pan Extravaganza in the Arnhem Gallery at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Their initial concert took place in 2000 when CSO was formed, to highlight the band’s hard work throughout the year 24 > PAN PODIUM
The second half saw more performances from the massed school bands with their last piece, Madonna’s ‘Sorry’, being a huge hit complete with jumping, dancing and highly excited young pannists. A special round of applause was given to the drummer for the school bands, Dalvin Sinclair, who at just 8 years old is an extremely talented musician and one to watch for the future. The concert finished with CSO playing “Hazard” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. After thanking everyone who helps the band throughout the year, the audience were calling for more so CSO ended the evening with their version of Neo’s “So Sick”, one of the band’s tunes for the road this year. This year’s concert was sold out and we are now sourcing a larger venue for next year’s Extravaganza. For more information about CSO, the school bands and Steel Young at Heart contact their musical director, Paul Dowie, on 07956147582 or email@example.com By Paul Dowie
PAN PODIUM > 25
> BAND PROFILE
Rehearsals continued throughout the year with the band making its first CD recording in December. They also hosted the Joint Inset Day for all Darlington schools in November 2005 when Wendy Brown ran a workshop for all music teachers in the town on the steel pan art form.
Steel Band – Steel Attitude – Steel Dreams – Stainless Steel The Hummersknott School Steel Band began in February 2001 following a successful Arts Week workshop run by Wendy Brown from Steel Bands North. The Year 9 students at the time who took part and performed to parents on two evenings were so enthusiastic that a delegation pleaded with the Head Teacher to persuade him to purchase a set of pans. The pans – two tenors, double seconds, guitars and six bass were duly ordered from Trinidad and the excitement had to be contained until they arrived several months later. Rehearsals began in January 2002 with tuition provided by Dave Edwards and Wendy Brown who travelled down from Newcastle for their weekly two-hour sessions. The funding for this was to continue for over a year and gave the band the best possible start. The fifteen students decided to call the band ‘Steel Attitude’ and stayed together for the next two years, practising regularly and achieving a high standard of performance.
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Pan Sticks FOR SALE contact: Felix Joseph Tel: 020 8478 8773 Mob: 07808 847 974
Some of the members of ‘Steel Attitude’ trained to become Young Leaders in 2003, but the time came when the students left Hummersknott to go to the Sixth Form College and a new wave of students replaced them. These students were chosen following another Arts Week workshop in February 2003, run They all by Dave Edwards. The new band took received over in September special Vibe 2003 with tuition Awards from provided by the Darlington Young Leaders and they decided to Borough change the name to Council at a ‘Steel Dreams’. ceremony at These students the Civic maintained the routine of regular Theatre for weekly rehearsals services to and the busy community schedule of music summer gigs in and around Darlington. They all received special Vibe Awards from Darlington Borough Council for services to community music. Eventually these students also left Hummersknott School and the present band consists of a new group of Year 10 students. They are keen to establish their own identity and have therefore changed the name of the band yet again – this time to ‘Stainless Steel’. The Hummersknott school steelband have changed its name on several occasions but the steel pan art form lives on through new pan musicians ensuring its continuation. John Frankland - (Head of Music)
From June 2002 the band embarked on a hectic series of gigs at local events in the community, including the Darlington Carnival, summer fetes, garden parties, workshops at local primary and special schools, charity events, private functions, at the music conference of NAME and even performing at Darlington Football Club matches . PAN PODIUM > 27
> CD & DVD REVIEWS
> EVENT PROFILE
reviews North Tyneside Steel Band
Take Off Your Shoes and Hum The CD comprises of sixteen tracks of commercial and well-known renditions that makes it very marketable like ‘Every Breath You Take’ and ‘Stand By Me’. You can’t help but notice the reverb on one of tracks which makes the bass notes roll into each other a bit too much but apart from that the CD is of good quality throughout.
Pan Spirit Steel
Orchestra Nice easy listening pan CD with a well-arranged order of contemporary and commercial tracks. The quality of the pan playing is excellent. The music is simple and flowing with percussion and Latin style drumming blending well. The contemporary artwork on the CD is eye catching. This CD is worth having in your collection.
Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Steel Orchestra
B# This double CD features a compilation of compositions done over Boogsie’s career, ‘Woman is Boss’ in the 80s to ‘Mind Yuh Business’ in the 90s. A must have for the collection. CD 1 contains eight varied selections whilst CD 2 is a selection of Boogsie’s panorama compositions showcasing his craft as an accomplished composer/arranger.
Les Flambeaux Steel Orchestra
Formerly Dixieland - Summer 1971 Eleven tracks of nostalgic music. A well produced CD with the vocal pitch and pan spot on in ‘I can feel it’ and ‘Shing-A-Ling’. Certainly a good tribute to Dixieland. The CD contains a varied selection of reggae, soul and gospel that portrays the versatility of the steel pan. Sonny Blacks, Director of the Commonwealth Arts and Cultural Foundation, produce the CD. This is one for the collection. Contact: Sonny Blacks on 020 7223 7662 to obtain a copy.
EBONY’S BLOCKORAMA This year’s Blockorama was held at the Westway Leisure Centre on Sunday the 15th July. Organised by the Ebony Steel band Trust it was an exciting evening with a BBQ and music supplied by Trendsetter, Sugar ‘Freddy’ Fingers and DJ Brazil. A festive community event that included residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, steel pan players and many young children enjoyed the freedom to run around in the friendly environment. Ebony’s Millennium Volunteers also provided a Caribbean style ‘tuck-shop’ with refreshments for the children and a bingo with an expensive bottle of champagne as the grand prize. Ebony, Mangrove and Metronomes steel bands performed at the event displaying their unique talent to the community and literally enchanting their audiences. The Blockorama event originated in Trinidad and Tobago, and was held in the UK during the summer months in the Wormwood Scrubs over a decade ago. Its purpose was to raise funds for BAS (British Association of Steel Bands) which helps all steel bands in the UK with various initiatives/projects. Blockorama is about bringing the steel band community together to perform without the sense of competition. Everyone who attended enjoyed the wealth of steel band music provided by all the bands. They played the very best in calypso,
28 > PAN PODIUM
reggae and popular music. From Chaka Khan’s, ‘Ain't Nobody’, to Bob Marley’s ‘Jammin’ and the more traditional tracks like ‘Bahia Girl’. They had everyone jumping. Ebony performed first followed by Metronomes who despite being a small band had a huge impact. Mangrove delivered a strong performance with mixed tracks to keep the crowd moving. Glissando steel band was billed to perform at the event but unfortunately did not turn up. Ebony’s final performance was arguably too loud but dramatically stole the crowd away by performing and demonstrating the techniques that have attained them the title of, ‘Europe’s Finest’. They ended the day with an explosive performance of one of their classics, ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ with their own arrangements, ending the event on a positive vibe after a successful day. By Candice Thompson SUMMER 2005 | PAN PODIUM > 29
> BAND PROFILE
> BAND PROFILE
The Merry Tones has the proud distinction of being one of the five surviving steel orchestras that took the stage at the inaugural Panorama Competition in 1963. The past 30 years of this, the world’s premier steel band competition, has seen us cop four victories, 1995, 2004, 2005 and 2006 all in the small band category. These victories are in addition to commendable performances at Steel Band Music Festivals over the many years as well. In addition to the above achievements in local competitions, Merry Tones has also performed creditably overseas. In 1980, nine members from the band were part of the first full steel band to visit Sweden for the Carnival Festivities in May of that year. 1997 saw two members of that original touring party, as part of a three-man team returning to Sweden to do workshops and lecture sessions.
Steel ORCHESTRA & Ice-Water Pan Ensemble The Merry Tones Steel Orchestra has consistently been one of the top twenty steel bands in Trinidad and Tobago over the last three decades. Born in the early nineteenforties in the lush rural valley of Diego Martin in Northwest Trinidad, the band operates out of its own premises at No.1 Bagatelle Road, Greenhill Village, our permanent headquarters since 1986. The spacious Merry Tones Pan Complex was erected largely through our own efforts, on land leased to us by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. A veritable hub of activity in the community, our Pan Complex is often a venue for dance parties, wedding receptions, political meetings, educational classes, and religious crusades. 30 > PAN PODIUM
Merry Tones' primary vision focuses around consolidation of a reserve of young and talented pannists
In 1992, we visited the USA as guests of the World Music Institute, where we appeared at the Symphony Space in Manhattan and at Brooklyn College. Closer to home we have in recent years visited and performed in our sister island Tobago and St Kitts.
Merry Tones' primary vision focuses around consolidation of a reserve of young and talented pannists. To this end, in 1987, under the direction of Musical Director, Kendall Lewis, the band began conducting tuition in pan playing techniques. This Pan School for beginners is conducted on Saturday mornings and runs annually from April to July and September to December.
In May 2004, after years of discussion, and observation of the steel band climate in Trinidad and Tobago, a decision was taken to form a single pan unit within Merry Tones. Thus was born the Ice Water Pan Ensemble. The name “Ice Water” was one of the many names by which we were known prior to settling on Merry Tones sometime in the 1950’s. To date, Ice Water has had a string of very successful performances at locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago including the various marinas in Chaguaramas, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, entertaining the T&T Prime Minister for the Indian Arrival Day celebrations in 2005 and the T&T President, Dr Maxwell Richards, at his residence twice this year. Ice Water’s impressive list of satisfied clients includes the St. James Community Improvement Committee’s ‘We Beat’ celebrations Ice Water has in 2005 and 2006 performed for and the CLICO the Trinidad Christmas gathering in and Tobago December 2005. Cricket Board,
entertaining As the premier the T&T Prime ‘back-in-times’ Single Pan steel Minister for the orchestra in Indian Arrival Trinidad and Day Tobago, we have celebrations in prepared an exceptional 2005 and the repertoire of T&T President musical selections, consisting largely of memorable oldies that appeal to all ages. To experience Ice Water is to take a refreshing drink in the memories of the music of yesteryear, an experience you are guaranteed never to forget. Visit our website at www.geocities.com/merrytonestothebone. By Eric McAllister
PAN PODIUM > 31
> WHO’S WHO
> WHO’S WHO
ANDY BULLOCK During a music lesson in 1998, I overheard my music teacher telling my friend that he should join the school’s steel band. I had recently quit learning the violin and so this immediately appealed to me as a possible replacement. I soon joined the percussion section along with my friend. A year later we joined the band on their tour to Italy where I hit away at the cowbell for five days of practising and concerts. For the following five years my dedication and commitment saw me work my way through the percussion section and on to the drums. During my time on the drums I experienced the bands consecutive wins as ‘Best Band on the Road’ champions in 2001 and 2002, toured Grenada and Barbados, enjoyed performing in a variety of concerts and events, and met some very inspiring musicians and bands along the way. My time with the band was something I felt very proud of. In 2004, I decided to go to University and as far as I knew, my time in the band had come to an end. I am now carrying out my dissertation at university and having developed a keen interest on global movements of people and music, I quickly decided on focusing my studies on the development of steel pan in Britain. I decided that the most interesting kind of research I could do would be to meet various people involved with steel pans and find out about the feelings, opinions and experiences of their time with this wonderful instrument. One band I have come across is Nostalgia of Latimer Road, London. Having learnt that this is a traditional ‘Pan around the Neck’ band, it soon become clear that its members were going to be of some use to my work. For four weeks I have travelled from my home in Portsmouth to Richmond from where I took the tube to Latimer Road, the location of Maxilla Social club; the bands HQ. I attended four practices and carried out four interviews with various members including band captain, Lionel McCalman. They all have different perspectives and experiences of pan but all share the same love and passion for it. They were all been very welcoming and supportive to my cause. During these weeks I have reignited my relationship with Sounds of Steel and it now feels like I have never been away. I am looking forward to observing them practicing during the lead up to Carnival and hope to interview some of its members. I have already attended one of 32 > PAN PODIUM
their concerts. From the very first note of their programme I was captured by the sound and energy coming from the performers and their pans and it wasn’t difficult to understand exactly what drew me back to this instrument. I have also recently met up with Robbie Joseph, creator of Pan Podium and PRO for BAS. With his particular insight and involvement with pans in Britain, my time with Robbie so far has been extremely valuable. At the half way point of my research and with Panorama, many practices and gigs, Carnival, and the First European Conference on Pan to look forward to, I am very satisfied with what I have experienced so far and am desperate to continue. Over my research, I have learnt that living with pans is not a straightforward thing. As a new instrument delivered and promoted in Britain by a foreign culture, those involved with it face a range of challenges and obstacles. However, what I have also witnessed so far is that no matter who I am talking to and what involvement they have with pan, everyone seems to share the same passion, commitment and determination with steel pans that makes overcoming such challenges a real possiblity. When I finish this piece of research, whatever direction my life takes me next, I hope I can continue to involve myself with the pan community in one way or another. Hopefully it will not be difficult to do this as pan continues to grow in the UK and if those involved with it continue to be as welcoming as they are now. PAN PODIUM > 33
> BAND PROFILE
> BAND PROFILE
In September 2002, the present steel band was formed. Although a few of the members had no musical knowledge at all, they were all highly motivated to evangelise through this medium of “music on steel.” With great enthusiasm and persistence, they pursued their newfound calling. Since the band’s inception, Margaret Rhoden has been captain and in September 2004, Angela Gay Magnus became the musical director. The band presently has 16 members, including a Nun, Sister Mary Andrew, FMS, who is a Franciscan Missionary Sister of Jamaica. It also boasts an Ophthalmologist, Dr. Annette Alexis, as well as the sole agent, tuner and installer of the contemporary Rogers Pipe Organ in Jamaica, Dwight McBean. Other members are from Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Jamaica. In their 3 years of existence, their performances include the Stella Maris Church Masses, Ministry functions, the St. Pius X Church, the Archbishop Emeritus Edgerton Clarke’s birthday celebration, and at the reception celebrating the installation of their current Archbishop, the Most Rev. Lawrence Burke, S.J.
STELLA Maris Steel Band THE STELLA MARIS STEEL BAND WAS CONCEPTUALISED IN 2001 BY MONSIGNOR RICHARD ALBERT WHO WAS THEN PASTOR OF THE STELLA MARIS CHURCH COMMUNITY. MR. RUTHVEN JACKIE, A CARIBBEAN LITURGICAL MUSICIAN, CO-PARTNERED MONSIGNOR IN THIS INITIATIVE. 34 > PAN PODIUM
They have also performed for the Dyoll Insurance Company Christmas Luncheon, Noni International Conferences, Dwight McBean’s Anniversary Organ Recital and the launch of Kevin Williams’ two CDs – ‘Caribbean Praise’ and ‘The Holy City.’ They held their first concert in June of 2004 – an event they hope to hold annually. In Easter of 2005, the band travelled to Lourdes, France representing the Stella Maris Church Parish and Jamaica by participating in masses and processions, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the West Indies’ participation in the Handicapped Children Pilgrimage Trust’s (HCPT) annual Easter Pilgrimage.
they were all highly motivated to evangelise through this medium of “music on steel.”
Since their return home in April 2005, they have accompanied Carole Reid and June Lawson, two of Jamaica’s celebrated Soprano singers as well as the tenors, Commander John McFarlane, David Reid, Cecil Cooper and DiMario McDowell at the St. George’s Anglican church’s evening of musical excellence in May, 2005. In November 2005, they thrilled the congregation with their “Ave Maria” in the chapel of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, at the “Voices for Hospices Concert” and in December of the same
year, they had the privilege of playing in Kings House for the Governor General’s wife, Lady Cooke’s annual Christmas concert. It is important for us to say that their ambitions do not remain with their enthusiastic playing and developing repertoire of musical genres – Caribbean and European; cultural and classical; traditional and contemporary. In fact, they envision themselves as a group doing ministry on behalf of the universal and local church, first and foremost. They are ‘a band that prays and plays in harmony to inspire (congregations) and entertain (audiences).’ They are also ‘a band with a mission and passion for music on steel.’ Their most recent undertaking was as a participant in a fund-raising concert to help preserve the Pipe Organ at the Holy Trinity Cathedral – the Mother-Church of the Archdiocese of Kingston. This Organ happens to be the only one of its kind in the Diocese and the second largest pipe Organ in Jamaica.
‘a band that prays and plays in harmony to inspire (congregatio ns) and entertain (audiences).’ ...‘a band with a mission and passion for music on steel.’
August 2006 will see the band doing a charity tour in the UK where it hopes to launch its first CD to raise funds for the Consie Walters Cancer Care Hospice – the only private, church-owned facility of its kind offering palliative care for persons terminally ill with cancer in Jamaica. The vision of the Hospice, founded in 1985 by Mrs. Monica Cousins, is to be the “model,” offering quality end-of-life care, in the Caribbean in the not-too-distant future. Some of the funds raised will also go to other charities within the Stella Maris Parish. By Monica Cousins
PAN PODIUM > 35
> EVENT PROFILE
BATTLE OF DRUMS
Rotterdam located in the province of South Holland is the second largest municipality in the Netherlands. The city has the largest port in Europe and was until recently the world's busiest port; it is found on the banks of the river, Nieuwe Maas, one of the streams in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers. The name "Rotterdam" is derived from a dam in a small river the Rotte that joins the Nieuwe Maas at the heart of the city.
> EVENT PROFILE
nitially an Antillean and Aruban occasion, Summer Carnival has grown over the years into an event with which many cultures can identify. Nowadays Surinam, Brazil, Cape Verde and Bolivia are among the visible influences. People have come together, giving birth to a new national tradition. Summer carnival has developed its own content and its own artistic profile. There was a fusion of influences between diverse points of the compass and an event was born with a character all its own.
Summer Carnival is an annual 3-day event in the city centre of Rotterdam, Netherlands. This 3-day event (27, 28, 29 July) was a big hit this year, as it was the 22nd anniversary of the Rotterdam Summer Carnival. The weather was sunny and warm, the Parade was more beautiful than ever and the atmosphere in Rotterdam was perfect. Similar to the carnival in Rio, it is a huge event where 2000 masqueraders in the traditional street parade enjoyed one of the biggest events in Holland. The one million visitors, who come from all over Europe to dance to the Latin music, look at the colourful and amazing costumes and floats in the big street parade also enjoyed it immensely. The growth of Summer Carnival, both in size and quality, meant that the city of Rotterdam has embraced the event. Pictures of Summer Carnival are increasingly featured in promotion material for the city of Rotterdam. Everyone is proud of this event. It is festive, colourful, proud and a protest - all at the same time. Its form appeals to a wide audience. Increasingly, the designers of costumes are viewed as artists and the dancers as artistes. Summer Carnival transforms the city centre into the biggest stage in the Netherlands. The media also perceive Summer Carnivalâ€™s attractiveness, so the event is published in newspapers and television far over the Dutch border. In addition to attending to the more visual forms of expression, Summer Carnival also pays careful attention to the presentation of traditional and contemporary music trends. In addition to the 25 live orchestras in the parade, Summer Carnival presents national and international artistes on stage. IN THE PAST, OSCAR Dâ€™LEON, GRUPPO GALE, KASSAV, DANIELA MERCURY, TERRA SAMBA, ISSAC DELGADO PERFORMED. International co-operation is growing every day. Co-operation projects are being developed with groups or organisations. >
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PAN PODIUM > 37
> EVENT PROFILE
BATTLE of Drums (con’t)
Earthquake Brass (Rotterdam) that left from Zuid, Eternity (Amsterdam) that left from Oude Haven, Legendairs (Den Haag) that left from Noordplein and ABC Brass (Rotterdam) that left from Middellandsplein
> The Carnival had a lot to offer. The Thursday evening’s Beach Party held on the Strand aan de Maas featured Ska Cubano live from Cuba. Even when the heavens opened and the rain poured down the patrons continued to dance. The following day, the Warming Up/Battle of Drums was held at the Bavaria Stage just outside the Town Hall, you could literally feel the beats of the drums in your heart. Highlight of the Warming Up is without any doubt the Battle of Drums. The music style is called Asembeho and is a wild mixture of salsa, merengue, calypso and soca. Young Antillians who came to Holland with almost no future, no job and just a little or no education used their initiative to form brass bands in order to keep themselves busy and to relate to tradition. These initiatives were strongly supported by the local districts, because it gave these young people something to do and some perspective in life. Four Brass bands left from four different locations and met each other for the musical battle at the Bavaria Stage on the Coolsingel. The four finalists were Earthquake Brass (Rotterdam) that left from Zuid, Eternity (Amsterdam) that left from Oude Haven, Legendairs (Den Haag) that left from Noordplein and ABC Brass (Rotterdam) that left from Middellandsplein. Over a hundred percussionists and trumpeters competed in this musical battle for the coveted title of
'Best Brass Band of Summer Carnival 2006'. Unlike previous years, the Battle of Drums has become a real contest. The competitors have worked laboriously on their choreography, costumes and music. The brass bands have become more creative in the past two years transforming the relaxed fun time parade into a professional marching and stage performance, which enhances their possibilities in life as artistes. The winner, Eternity Brass, collected their prize money for further investment in their group, accompanied the Summer Carnival Queen during the Street Parade and will travel to the Notting Hill Carnival in London where they will play as a guest band at the National Panorama, Champions of Steel’ competition. THIS EXCHANGE PROGRAM BETWEEN THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS AND THE ROTTERDAM CARNIVAL ORGANISERS, DUCOS PRODUCTIONS, WILL SEE THE ‘CHAMPIONS OF STEEL’ WINNER DO A RETURN PERFORMANCE AT THE BATTLE OF DRUMS IN 2007. On Saturday, the big Street Parade emerges in the city centre. At night there is still a lot to see on the two live stages and last but not least you can visit 'La Noche Grande del Carnaval', so you can party until the wee hours. Photos by: Bas Czerwinsky PAN PODIUM > 39
> EVENT PROFILE
> EVENT PROFILE
The band fielded a twenty strong side for the concert, which was shared with Hampshire Youth Jazz Orchestra from Romsey, Hampshire. The combination of the two bands is just another example of the growing bond between Steel and Jazz. 'HYJO' started the concert with a repertoire that included Latin and traditional jazz numbers and was fronted by two very impressive young singers backed by guitars, brass, woodwind, keys, percussion and kit. Both bands have shared numerous concerts and workshops over the years. After HYJO's impressive opening, it was Sounds of Steel’s turn and from the first line of their opening piece, 'Max It Up', fresh from the Caribbean, it was clear that the spectators were not going to be disappointed, they were in for a treat. ‘Max It Up’ and many of the band's other tunes have arrived courtesy of Toussaint Clarke - pan tuner/teacher/maker/player. Toussaint of Rainbow Steelband based in Bath, has Sounds of Steel as one of his group of bands that he is involved with, as well as bands in Penzance, Plymouth, Dartmouth and Swindon. Toussaint regularly attends Sounds of Steel practices to share the latest tunes from the Caribbean and ensure the band continues to improve on its playing.
SOUNDS of steel
PORTCHESTER SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL Portsmouth based Sounds of Steel marked the beginning of the busy summer season with a promising performance as part of Portchester Community Schools week long Summer Arts Festival, put together by band director and head of music at Portchester, Pete Beadell. 40 > PAN PODIUM
A few days prior to the Portchester gig, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Pan Podium's, Robbie Joseph. This was with the hope that he could aid my current university dissertation on the recent development of steel pan in Britain. During my time with Robbie, he explained what 'pan-jumbie' meant. He told me "when you listen to a piece of steel pan music, and the hair on your hand and neck raises while your spirit soars, that's the jumbie we talk about, Robbie continued, ‘the pan sweetness captures you and you're hooked! You may go away from pan at times in your life but get close to it again and it draws you in". With Robbie's interview fresh in my mind and being a past member of Sounds of Steel, 'Max It Up' really did give me this Jumbie and as Robbie promised, I was hooked! The band was certainly not hanging about with this first piece. The tune was played at a fast and lively pace and no one could doubt Sounds of Steel’s commitment to performing.
Following this impressive introduction, Sounds of Steel continued to entertain the audience with a diverse repertoire proving steel pan's versatility as an instrument. The programme included 'Pan in A Minor', recently arranged by the 'Grandfather of Pan', Earl Rodney. Following this was two of the band's old favourites; 'Can't Help Falling' and Winston 'Shadow' Bailey's, 'Stranger'. Stranger was the band's tune for their first and victorious 'Pan on the Road' competition at Notting Hill Carnival in 2001. The band developed the tune just weeks before during their tour of Grenada and Barbados. Bill Withers 'Ain't No Sunshine' was next. This tune was a product of a 2004 tour of the Isle of Wight and included some soloing from tenor players that a professional Jazz guitarist would be proud of. This was followed by gospel favourite 'Happy Day' and then 'Angel Eyes' the second of the nights tunes arranged by Dan Sadler. Dan, a frequent competitor of BAS's Pan Explosion soloist competition has captained the band with Laura Eade for much of its existence. In addition, along with other members has experienced playing at all levels from solo busking to the international tours. Dan and others in the band continue to carry out work shops for local schools and adults involved with the developing Pan community. Pete Beadell, founder and director of the band and head of music at Portchester, filled the gap between some of the pieces. Pete's speech comprised of a short introduction to the development of Pan and Sounds of Steel's progress and achievements. Two days after this concert, pan made another appearance in this diverse Arts Festival as members of the Portchester Panyard entertained the audience. Panyard members, ranging from age five to sixty-five, were given the chance to show how pan is being spread through the community thanks to the hard work from the members of Sounds of Steel. Sounds of Steel have a busy summer ahead of them with frequent concerts and preparation for Notting Hill Carnival. Many of them will also be joining up with other bands under the direction of Real Steel and Leroy Clarke to form a band for Panorama. They will be hoping to continue this relatively new Panorama band's bright start to the annual competition. By: Andy Bullock Photos by: Acts4U PAN PODIUM > 41
> SPECIAL FEATURE
> SPECIAL FEATURE
The day before the Trinidad and Tobago match against Sweden there was a party to get the vibes going. The DJs included Martin Jay, Xcalibar and some from Trinidad. Soca, Ragga and R n B was played throughout the night. Smoke machines helped to fuel the party’s atmosphere as the excitement grew in anticipation of the forthcoming game. Live performances, limbo and great music kept the party energised.
WHO SAID that the WORLD CUP WAS JUST about FOOTBALL? Luckily I was able to see it all for myself as I travelled with Ebony Steel band to Germany to support the Soca Warriors with sweet pan music. We left in the afternoon of the 18th June 2006 and arrived in Dortmund in the early hours of Friday morning. We had to catch forty winks as we were billed to perform on the FIFA stage. The excitement was electrifying!
We were there to represent the Soca Warriors on their victory of getting into the World Cup finals. The World Cup finals in Germany attracted global supporters and tourists who were able to enjoy the sweet sounds of steel. Pan has travelled to the four corners of the globe confirming its existence and capturing its global audience with its versatility and the dexterity of its players. Pan is so different to other musical instruments that it is more difficult to convince someone of its beauty but once you have played it how it’s meant to be played it’s not that hard of a job. Ebony Steel Band, Europe’s finest and most travelled steel band have visited many countries to showcase the steel pan. Going to places like Morocco, Nigeria, and India has brought pan a lot of diverse supporters. It’s not just those that speak English that can listen and enjoy pan. It’s everyone! In Germany, everyone enjoyed the pan music as well as the soca music that helped to keep the spirits on high.
42 > PAN PODIUM
The following day we played on the FIFA stage belting out tunes like ‘The Hammer’ to ‘Colours Again’. THE CROWDS WERE SINGING AND DANCING TO OUR MELODIOUS RENDITIONS WHILST THE MULTITUDE OF TRINI FLAGS IN THE CROWDS COULD BE SEEN WAVING IN CIRCULAR AND RIPPLING MOVEMENTS TO OUR CAPTIVATING SOUNDS. Ebony brought something new to Germany. It wasn’t the pan instrument as such, but it was the feeling, the movement and the vibe of pan. I thought that it was very hard to do but as soon as you get the audience going and singing then the vibe takes over. I heard people say, ‘Trinidad should be in every World Cup’. Not only because of the footballers’ skills but also because of the vibrant and welcoming party spirit filled with soca music, steel pan, tassa drums and masqueraders!’ Trinidad and Tobago’s appearance in the World Cup finals has afforded them the opportunity to showcase their culture to the World; this is a positive step towards further promotion of this wonderful twentieth century instrument. by Kayleigh Lewis (4 pan lady!)
PAN PODIUM > 43
UK PAN TUNERS BAS UPCOMING EVENTS August 2006 ASSOCIATION 26th National Panorama ‘Champions of Become part of a global network, sharing good practices and developing workshops? Contact Dudley Dickson: 0788598884 or Toussaint Clarke: 07760238135
27th August 2006 Jouvert Celebrations 28th August 2006 On the Road Competition 30th – 31st August 2006 European Steelpan Conference University of East London September 2006 BAS Hyde Park Jamboree 2nd December 2006 BAS Annual Awards Presentation Dinner and Dance
Subscription Form The British Association of Steelbands Name Organisation Address
Postcode Telephone Email UK £3.00 - Overseas £5.00 I enclose a cheque/postal order for the sum of £ made payable to BAS. Annual Subscription - Please send this form to: British Association of Steelbands, The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AV
PAN PODIUM > 45
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Spreading the Love of Pan