Brent Holder continues to
reap rewards on his musical journey
United Kingdom - Brent started playing pan
with the Port of Spain Police Youth Club in Trinidad was from the tender
age of eight.
During his time at the Youth Club, he also able to play with Potential
Symphony and Blue Diamonds steel orchestras at the Trinidad and Tobago
National steelband Panorama competition. The youth club also competed in
many school festivals until they were victorious at the School Steelbands
Music Festival in 1991. In that same year, at the age of thirteen, Brent
played with the infamous Renegades Steel Orchestra at the T&T National
Steelband Panorama competition. They attained second place playing ‘Rant
and Rave’. Brent’s pan playing skills continued its development cycle
whilst he was at Renegades steel orchestra for eight years.
He was also a member of Solo Pan Knights orchestra for a few years. After
returning home from touring in 1998, Brent travelled to England with some
members of Solo Pan Knights, after the bands manager, Owen Serrette,
invited him to join as the bands arranger and drummer. They played with
Ebony Steel Band for the Notting Hill Panorama and won the competition.
Brent immigrated to Britain and continued playing with Ebony for six
Brent is no stranger to competitions and following are some of his
'95 Junior Steelband Music Festival - 2nd place in the soloist category
playing 'Patience'(own composition)
2. '96 Pan is Beautiful - 1st place in the soloist category playing 'Patience'(own
3. '97 Junior Steelband Music Festival - 2nd place in the soloist category
playing 'Voices of Steel'(own composition)
4. '98 Pan is Beautiful - 1st place in the soloist category playing
'Voices of Steel'(own Composition)
5. '00 World SteelBand Music Festival - 2nd place in the soloist category
playing 'Musical Antics'(own Composition)
6. '01 Pan Explosion - 2nd place in the soloist category playing 'Musical
7. '02 Pan Explosion - 1st place in the soloist category playing 'Voices
of Steel'(own composition)
Brent’s arrangement of the musical piece ‘Free Up’ saw Solo Pan Knights
placing second in the Point Fortin Borough Day competition in 1999. Brent
was also one of Ebony’s Steelband Trust’s house arrangers. He stated that
composing is not easy and needs lots of focus and determination. His
domination of the British Association of Steelbands’ Pan Explosion 2002
competition proved this. His own composition 'Daylight' was one of the
songs Ebony played to win the 2002 Pan Explosion. Brent stated ‘I felt
very good because I didn't play someone else’s music. I composed my own.
Pan Explosion is a good competition that allows the youth in the steelpan
fraternity to show their artistic abilities and also provides an audience
for their music to be heard.’ In 2002, he started his own group called
Caribbean Steel International which consists of a 3 or 4 piece steel band.
They perform at corporate events, wedding receptions, birthday parties and
the like, and are one of the resident Steel bands at the Holiday Inn,
Kensington, Caribbean Experience evenings.
For the past few years Brent has been a visiting tutor for the Co-Musica
Project and the Weekend School at the Sage Gateshead, Newcastle, UK. He
continues to teach the Steel pan instrument in several London schools.
Recently, Brent had the opportunity to work with Stardust Steel Band and
arrange their 2005 panorama tune incorporating some members from his
Newcastle project. Brent was able to lift Stardust to 2nd place in the
Notting Hill Panorama, Champions of Steel competition, the last time they
achieved this placing was back in 1989.
Brent released his first CD; a Xmas album in 2002 and is looking forward
to releasing a Classic and Jazz album in the near future. Brent has stated
that he is looking forward to the many challenges that still face him in
his musical career with great enthusiasm and faith. Pan Podium recognises
Brent as a success for the youth in pan and wishes him all the best in the
-From The News Desk of - Robbie Joseph - 10-27-05 -- All
Photos - R. Joseph
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