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The International Conference and Panorama Initiative of Pan Trinbago

International Conference and Panorama logo

A Message From Michael L Joseph Chairman South / Central Region of Pan Trinbago

The International Conference and Panorama, an initiative of Pan Trinbago, has come and gone, and was a resounding success in the area of participation. Thanks to President Keith Diaz and his executive for their vision and fortitude in taking such a bold step in the life of the Steelband movement at this time.

Congratulations to all participants, both foreigners and locals who have contributed to its successes at the conference and the Panorama level.

Congratulations to the Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra for representing and to all the other participants, especially those from around the world, who came to the shrine of Pan for the first time. You are all winners by virtue of your historic participation.

You would have left these shores with lasting memories to pass on to your children about that day when you played on the stage at the Queen's Park Savannah, where all the greats of pan have played. You would talk for years about the day you landed in the home of the Steelpan, the Mecca. 

The days and nights of preparation and the anxiousness on approaching the stage; you would have felt the adrenalin pumping while waiting for the count. By the time you were finished playing and pulling your racks off the stage, you would have almost captured the feelings of a true Trini.

But you must come again and again and by your third appearance you may capture the true Trinbagonian spirit. It is something worth working on, you would agree. I enjoyed all the performances, and recognized that most of you are accomplished musicians, especially the band from Japan that was able to score such high points ahead of seasoned local campaigners. Hats off to you all!

But, again, you must capture the spirit of Trinbago, which will only come with time. Maybe next time try eating the cascadoux before going on stage. Brooklyn Steel Orchestra was no surprise as we all know ( all ah we is one family). Great showing!

It's a pity that the powers that be still don't understand the power of the Steel Pan and how much it has done to put this nation on the world stage. Steel pan and the players of Steelpan were the first ambassadors of this Twin Island nation. Truth be told: there is nothing or no one that has done more to represent our country and has gained less for all the hard work and effort to this very day. And I am always left to wonder, if it is a fact that pan is still controlled by the grass roots in this country, why it is being stifled as a viable industry.

If properly developed Pan could contribute more revenue than oil to our economy. But that would put too much money in the hands of the small man and he may no longer be depended on to man the mainstream industries of the multinationals. The slaves leaving the plantations? Madness!

Look at the state of our headquarters? After multiple sets of governments, its skeletal remains stand as a mockery for all to see; the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago is a vagrant in the land of its birth. A king has no honour in his own land.

The International Conference and Panorama showed, without a doubt, the love, appreciation and acceptance the world has for this instrument created by us which they use for therapeutic purposes and as an educational tool, yet we here still take it for granted. Reminds me of the phrase, use it or lose. In spite of all the obstacles, the Steelpan movement is surviving and making great strides. There is now a registered Steel Pan Tuners Guild, with a mandate to develop systems and programs that would look after and protect the interest of those who have been sacrificing over the years to produce and preserve what we now claim to be our national instrument. We look forward to that day soon when the manufacturing and production aspects of this billion dollar industry will be harnessed and regulated in such a way that the Tuners of today will be able to reap better rewards and not die broken and poor like most of their predecessors.

We are hoping that the day would come when royalties would be paid to the estate of Professor Anthony Williams for every fourths (4ths) and fifths (5ths) instruments made, wherever in the world.

I must say special thanks to the different government ministries that saw it fit to partner with Pan Trinbago in making the International Conference and Panorama the success that it was, hoping that they would see the light and complete the Head Quarters that is an embarrassment to all of Trinidad and Tobago and continue working with the organization to realize its goals that would be of tremendous benefit to our nation.

Thanks to Pan Trinbago for holding the fort, as we all continue to develop programs that would bring greater benefits to the Panist. I am also making a bold request to the international Steelpan community, to contribute one dollar ($1.00) a year to the Steel Pan Tuners Guild of Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of establishing a health and wellness program that would benefit our aging Tuners who are in dire need of medical attention. Please, let us show some love.

Michael L Joseph. (Bro. Scobie)
Chairman South / Central Region of Pan Trinbago

Treasurer of Steelpan Tuners Guild of
Trinidad and Tobago.


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