Panorama Gold

West Side Symphony Steel Orchestra

2023 Tune of choice:   Stressless  |  arranger: Aijal Jarvis

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Out of a need to develop a steel band in Greenbay - the most densely, youth-populated village on the island - WEST SIDE SYMPHONY STEEL ORCHESTRA was born. This memorable occasion took place, April 14th, 1995, on an ABS TV programme hosted by Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro. Former members and associates of AMP Halcyon were instrumental in bringing this band into being.

Some of the original leaders were Eugene Davis, Gerry Richards, Curtis ‘CC’ Cochrane, Eustace ‘Gatouks’ Velvet James.

Financing of the band was made possible by contributions from the public and private sectors, fundraising efforts and a loan from the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank. In 1997, with the assistance of former Prime Minister Lester Bird and Bernard Walker, sponsorship was attained via the Free Trade and Processing Zone. In this regard, the band acknowledges the support given by Ms. Ivy Hurst.

After two years of further fund raising, the band was able to purchase its own instruments and construct a pan yard for the rehearsals and training of youths between the ages of 8 years to 20 years.

The band has been competitive from 1997, and is managed by Eugene Davis, its arranger [for a period] being ‘CC’ Cochrane.

Source:  In Tune With Pan magazine, publication of the Cultural Development Division - Ministry of Education, Human Development & Culture, Antigua & Barbuda, W.I.  2008

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