National Instrument safe in the hands of Pan Minors

Port of Spain, Trinidad August 8, 2018: As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and based on the wealth of talent that was showcased at the Republic Bank Pan Minors Music Literacy Programme graduation ceremonies, the future of the national instrument is in very good hands.

The graduation ceremonies for the 23rd edition of the Programme took place on July 31, at Daaga Hall, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus and on August 3, at Rovanel’s Resort, Store Bay Local Road, Tobago.

In delivering his Valedictorian address in Trinidad, the Programme’s youngest participant, 8 year old Rocco Nichols, said, “I would highly recommend this Programme to all persons. Being surrounded by people who share the same interests as in this case music, makes a desirable environment for learning. Pan Minors took me from I can’t to I can! and taught me that friends aren’t only for laughing and talking but they are here to help in times of need. We have come a long way from where we were before. At first music seemed like a whole new different language but with the help of our teachers we were able to improve and succeed.” A total of 147 students participated in the Programme in Trinidad while 42 students took part in Tobago.

This year, with a view to moving the Programme ahead and furthering the development of the students, the Bank introduced a third level of the Programme. Nine students were hand-picked for Level 3 by Michelle Amoroso, Pan Minors lead facilitator, based on their performance during the Level 1 and 2 Programmes. If they are currently studying music at the CSEC they also qualified. The students were taught how to score and arrange steel pan music on the Sibelius 6, the World's largest selling music notation software. The pilot was curated by the Head of the Centre for Creative and Festival Arts, Satanand Sharma who also developed the initial Programmes for levels 1 and 2, along with the late Dr. Anne Osborne, former coordinator of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts.

Guest speaker, ace Pannist, Johann Chuckaree, was left inspired by the commitment and dedication shown by the students, both in Trinidad and Tobago. In his address, he encouraged them to continue to be disciplined and dedicated to their craft, and reminded the graduates that there is always more to learn in life, with music and in general. He also expressed his hope for the future of pan because of the Programme, citing music education as the key in taking the development of the national instrument further.

August 8, 2018
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