New York Steelbands

Catching Hell

Councilman On Fact-Finding Mission


New York - August  10,  2004 


Never one to show up only when there is action, with cameras and lights on -  With less than a month to go before the New York steelband panorama, New York city mayoral candidate Councilman Charles Barron visited the new home of Pantonic Steel Orchestra, to get a first hand view of the extreme conditions and problems the music organizations go through every year in preparation for the annual competition.


Moreover the councilman visited the construction site of Pantonic's yard unannounced, and without the fanfare, to get a true understanding of the dire plight of the New York steel orchestras in general.

Pantonic is the reigning New York Panorama champion, having won the competition three consecutive years.   The councilman was amazed at the level of dedication and financial outlay by the organization in preparation for the event.  "The enormous personal commitment by the group both in terms of time and financial resources is incredible."

Mr. Barron also stated that "There has to be a way in which the city, public and private sectors can provide support to organizations like Pantonic who provide such valued services to our culture, youth and city".

Charles Barron expressed a genuine concern and commitment to fostering strong working relationships that bind outside investors from the private sector and the institutional groups like Pantonic Steel Orchestra that serve our community. 

Barron himself was introduced to the tenor pan as a youth...

...For many in our community this will be their only music performance experience...

Earlier in the week Ray Martin, Deputy Chief of community affairs from New York's 35th Council District visited the Pantonic Steel Orchestra site also seeking to get a first hand view of ailments of the steelbands...

Both Ray Martin and Charles Barron are committed to finding a comprehensive plan for solving problems that threaten the existence of the NY steel orchestras


The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
  • Success in society
  • Success in school
  • Success in developing intelligence
  • Success in life

Pantonic's rehearsal site/pan yard, is located at 1021 East 48th Street, (between Farragut Road and the "dead end"), Brooklyn, New York, USA.  Entry is from Farragut Road. The steel orchestra rehearses most nights, through September 3rd.



For more information, contact:

Glenda Gamory
Steel Orchestra
Tel: 1-718-434-0231

Charles Barron
Council Member
New York City Council

Tel: 1-212-788-6957/8


Ray Martin
Deputy Chief of Staff/Community Affairs
New York City Council

Tel: 1-212-788-7081