Home * Site Search * Headlines * Events * Pan Global * Message Board * Guest Book * Pan News * Pan Radio * Twitter * Facebook * About Us

Put the Steelband back in the Carnival

An Opinion by Michael L. Joseph (Trinidad & Tobago)

 Follow When Steel Talks on

Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. - I have heard Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Mr. Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters talking about the introduction of the People’s Band on the streets of Trinbago (Trinidad & Tobago) for Carnival 2011.  And one of the reasons behind this idea is the fact that the high price of Mas costumes seems to be out of reach of the average citizen, still willing to participate in the National festival.  The Minister spoke about the promotion of Trinbago, and the fact that the creativity of the people is being stifled through the importation of costumes from abroad.

I would like to endorse this initiative by the goodly Minister and the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism for seeking to bring back the Carnival to the people where it rightly belongs. However, I am very much disturbed with his choice of music to accompany the People’s Band. Where is the People’s Music in all of this? The Minister, himself being a Calypsonian, one would think that he would have a better history of the Carnival, and the basic elements that propelled it. When one mentions Carnival and creativity, it was always Calypso, Steelband and Mas. How could you have totally left out the National Instrument in your vision of the People’s Band? I think it is an oversight that should be corrected.

I believe that there is nothing more creative and inseparable in Carnival than Calypso, Steelpan and Mas. When one takes into consideration that thousands of young people gravitate towards the Steelbands especially around Panorama/Carnival time and the kind of contribution the Steelband movement is making towards the preservation of the social fabric of our fragile society is reason enough, for greater incentives to be pumped into the Steelband Organization in order to harness and encourage this influx of youths into the Carnival.

Compare the DJ Trucks to the Steelbands and see which is contributing more to youth development, and enhancing social integration in the communities across this Nation. After near three months of nightly preparation for Panorama, with only a small percentage of the Steelbands going on to the finals of the competition, there is a void to be filled, and there is no better way to full this void, than to give attractive incentives to Steelbands to get them out on the road for Carnival. This would definitely attract more tourists to our country, which would naturally bring more revenue to the treasury. More people would like to come and take part in our National festival, and jump up on our streets to the music of our National Instrument.

I would also like to recommend, that serious consideration be given to the employment of Steelbands to accompany the Junior Parade of Bands, thereby giving the younger ones a greater sense of value and appreciation for our own creation. We can start by using the traditional Steelbands that are there and readily available. The noise from the Big Trucks does have a negative effect on the ears and minds of the young children on the parade.

Let us get the Steelband back in the Carnival. All pre Carnival shows should employ the National Instrument, by proclamation. This Mr. Minister, would go a long way in harnessing and preserving our creativity for posterity.

Yours In the Advancement Of Culture.

Michael L. Joseph
Bro. Scobie

Leave a comment in the WST forum

When Steel Talks...
Everybody Listens!!

Get your WST Tee shirt now!
Click for details

  Bookmark and Share
 Follow When Steel Talks on

Get your Steelband Music CDs, DVDs and Exclusive Steelband Artwork here

© 2010 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

 More on Steelpan In Trinidad       
Pan Global Page

Home * Pan News * Headlines * Events * Message Board * Guest Book * Pan Radio * Pan Global * Pan TnT * Pan New York * About Us * Join Mailing List * Contact

Search for Anything Steelpan Music Related