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 Sixth Annual
Laventille Steelband Festival

Laventille, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.

Monday July 18, 2005

The Laventille Steelband Festival (LSF) Committee, organiser of the sixth annual Laventille Steelband Parade will achieve a milestone this year, by staging the event devoid of DJ music.   The event takes place in Laventille, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The steelband parade will take place on Sunday, August 7, between 4 pm to midnight, where columns of steelbands - both conventional and single pan - will take the spotlight, between Mc Allister Street to Leon Street in Laventille, as part of the LSF’s contribution to the celebration of Emancipation.

Initially, the parade, designed to showcase the national musical instrument was rivaled by the amplified sounds of DJ music, which ultimately affected the presentations of participating steelbands.

As fate would have it, proprietors in the community have recognised the potential of the parade, which has consequently led to them reducing the level of electronic music on the day.

At this year’s sixth annual Festival, however, the LSF committee has intensified its drive towards ensuring that pan music is exclusive along the route.

According to Michael Cooper, chairman of the LSF committee, "the aim is to establish a quality  event.  The Festival’s growth and popularity have vindicated the committee’s efforts to stage such an event in Laventille.  The co-operation of DJs over the years has been excellent, though there were incidents of misunderstanding.  Nevertheless, this year, we expect to make our vision of a parade, free of DJ music 100 per cent enforceable."

Last year’s parade drew an estimated 15,000 patrons to the community and was attended by Trinidad and Tobago's President, His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards, Senator Joan Yuille-Williams, Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Energy Minister Eric Williams, Police Commissioner Trevor Paul and other dignitaries.

Thirty-seven bands are listed to take part in the 2005 parade.  On the day, a re-enactment of the Emancipation story will take place in the form of a road show, with exhibitions in drumology, tamboo bamboo and dance presentations ahead of the pan music frenzy.

Also, junior and adults awards will be presented to members of the community in the categories sport, culture, education and community service.

From inception, the presentation of awards has been an integral part of the LSF programme. Annually, special awards are bestowed on persons who have and continue to contribute to the development of the steelpan and engage in community service in Laventille.

For yet another year, the organising committee has chosen the theme "Proud To Be... Laventille," in keeping with its desire to empower a greater sense of pride and belonging among those in the community.

Before the pan parade takes centre-stage, there will be a programme focusing on youth development in the form of a steelpan camp.

The camp takes place from July 18th through the 22nd at the Laventille Community Complex, Trinity Avenue, Laventille sponsored by Angostura.

Now in its fifth year, the camp caters for youths between the ages of 9 and 17 years, selected from schools in the Laventille district. Among the laudable objectives of the camp are: to improve the knowledge of the steelpan and its history, to identify and generate an interest in careers in the steelpan industry, to improve the image of the instruments and maintain Laventille’s prominence in the pan world.

At the camp, students will cover topics such as music theory and practice and pan making, in addition to exploring careers associated with the national musical instrument.


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