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Deconstructing the Steel Band Panorama Format


New York, USA - The spirited discussion and widespread interest generated by the Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute’s symposium earlier this year on the format of the steel band Panorama competition has prompted the organization to schedule a panel discussion on the topic as its next forum at Medgar Evers College, whose School of Professional & Community Development is the collaborating partner for this ongoing series centered on the indigenous folk culture of Trinidad and Tobago. The panel discussion entitled “Deconstructing the Steel Band Panorama” will be held Thursday evening, April 28 in the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall on the Medgar Evers College campus, Brooklyn from 7:00-10:00 PM.

NYU Steel logo“We clearly had to revisit this theme,” said Les Slater, chair of the Folk Arts Institute, “given the feedback in the wake of the February 17 exercise. The question of whether Panorama, institutionally ingrained in steel band culture for 48 years now, needs to be fundamentally changed or tweaked a little, does not lack for strong and passionate points of view. We are happy to be highlighting the issue to hopefully facilitate healthy discussion.”

The panel discussion format on April 28 conceivably will allow for engaging many aspects of the subject area. The individuals so far scheduled to participate as panelists include: Garvin Blake, acclaimed steel pan instrumentalist and arranger; Arddin Herbert, prize-winning arranger for CASYM steel orchestra in New York and the legendary Invaders in Trinidad; Winthrop Holder, educator, cultural activist and author of Classroom Calypso; and Randolph Babb, member of one of Trinidad’s early-period steel bands and board member of West Indian-American Day Carnival Association, WIADCA.

Prior to reproducing presentations made at the February symposium, the popular steel band music website, When Steel Talks, reporting on the event, said, “…the aftermaths of what was put out there on the table for public consumption may have volcanic repercussions in the future, all over the Panorama world.”

The upcoming panel discussion will be the final collaborative exercise of the Folk Arts Institute and the School of Professional & Community Development before the end of the current semester at Medgar Evers. The series was initiated in the fall semester of 2009.

Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall is Room S122 at 1637 Bedford Avenue (between Carroll and Crown Streets). The event is free and is open to the public. For further information the contact numbers are: 718-252-6161 and 718-804-8815.

Trinidad & Tobago Folk Arts Institute



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