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Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble heads to Ireland on tour

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TTCSE at recent performance at Fiesta Plaza, Movietowne, Trinidad
TTCSE at recent performance at Fiesta Plaza, Movietowne, Trinidad

Global - The Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble (TTCSE) has been hard at work polishing up their already noteworthy repertoire and presentation for an upcoming tour to the Republic of Ireland later this month.

On May 15, the steel orchestra will participate in the Dublin Summerfest at St. Stephen’s Green from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.  This was arranged through the kind courtesy of Trinidad and Tobago’s Consul to Ireland, Brian K. O’Farrell.

May 17 will see the band being hosted by Fr. Senan Murray, an Irish Holy Ghost (Spiritan) Father who spent many years in Trinidad and Tobago.  Just before returning to Ireland Murray had been the scoutmaster of the First Trinidad Sea Scouts at St. Mary’s College in Port-of-Spain, and then served as parish priest at St Mary’s Parish, St James.  The steel ensemble will appear in concert in the parish of Askeaton, Limerick - where Father Murray has been since 2006 - at the parish church.

The Trinidad & Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble in 2006 for the Chinese Bicentennial celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago
The Bicentennial Chinese Steel Ensemble in 2006, as the TTCSE was then known

The Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble already boasts a repertoire spanning Chinese music, contemporary classics, modern pop, and of course vintage kaiso and soca.  Naturally, for their Irish tour, the group shrewdly added well-known Irish tunes such as Wild Rover, Black Velvet Band, Lord of the Dance, Phil the Fluter’s Ball and Molly Maloneto to its music inventory - a move which will be highly appreciated, and their performances all the more enjoyed, as the steel ensemble tours Ireland.

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The group was first conceived on March 26, 2006 and known then as the Chinese Bicentennial Steel Ensemble (CBSE) (pictured above).  As the first-ever Chinese steelband, the group came together when the Chinese community in Trinidad and Tobago celebrated their bicentennial - the two hundredth anniversary of their arrival on the shores of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Last January the steel ensemble joined with China’s visiting Tianjin Song and Dance Troupe, for the honor of performing at the residence of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Trinidad and Tobago.

The band is headquartered at 34 McDonald Street, Woodbrook, on the outskirts of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where ‘Learn To Play’ classes are conducted in its comfortable air-conditioned band house.  The ensemble is of course available to play at private functions and events, and may be contacted through Noel at 1 (868) 758-4099.

Kenneth Chang On
Public Relations Officer
T&T Chinese Steel Ensemble

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