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International Conference on Pan — 5-7 August 2015

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Single Pan Bands formerly known as Pan ‘Round De Neck bands will have their own day, “Paving D’ Way”,  during the International Conference and Panorama in August.

Come Saturday August 8, 2015 from 3:00 p.m., in recognition of the role of the Single Pan Bands in the history and development of the steelpan movement, eighteen bands from across Trinidad will participate in a parade through the streets of upper Port of Spain. 

International Conference and PanoramaFrom August 5 to 7, Pan Trinbago and the ICP Secretariat present the first major International Conference on Pan. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Port of Spain. The Conference is open to the public with a nominal registration fee and will bring together pan scholars and researchers and practitioners from all over the world. The Conference will be a lead up to the International Panorama competition to be held on Sunday August 9 at 3:00 p.m. at the Queen’s Park Savannah. The exciting week of events has something to offer even the most seasoned pan aficionado.   The Conference will be preceded on Tuesday, August 4, with an invitation-only business session as PanTrinbago meets with international delegates concerning international cooperation in the world of pan and the role Pan Trinbago in facilitating.

The Conference is structured to explore seven major pan-related themes ranging from History and Development of the Steelpan, Science and Technology, Social Dimension, Education, Performance, Economic and Industrial Development and Steelpan Organizations.

Award winning novelist Earl Lovelace will present the Conference keynote address on the topic Resistance and Rebellion exploring the Socio-Historical development of the Steelpan movement on Wednesday 5th August. Further exploring the first theme of History and development, former Pan Trinbago President Melville Bryan will present research on the history of Pan. Professor Louis Regis from UWI will discuss Pan and Calypso. Dr. Andrew Martin will present research on the history of the US Navy Steel Band which had a major impact on Pan in the United States. Pan is Beautiful competition adjudicator and UWI graduate student Joanna Shortt will present research analyzing gender roles in steelbands.

From History of Pan to the Business of Pan, Dr. Keith Nurse, Executive Director of The UWI Consulting Company, will talk about pan as an economic driver in Trinidad. Michael P. Cooper of Panland Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. will focus on how Pan Manufacturing presents untapped opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago. Economist and international trade specialist Dr. Roger Hosein will moderate these discussions on Economic and Industrial development. 

A major focus of the Conference will be on the construction of the instrument itself and several talks are set to explore ongoing studies into pan and metallurgy. Hameed Shaqq will talk on Anthony Williams’ use of physics in the design of pan and leading Canadian pan tuner Ed Peters will talk on creating standardized courses for teaching pan tuning. Soren Maloney will discuss his exploration of a new processes for dishing pans and UWI professors Clement Imbert and Brian Copeland will present research of various aspects of pan manufacturing. Dr. Aurelie Helmlinger of the Research Center in Ethnomusicology (France) will cap the session off by addressing the connections between the note layout of pans and cognition.

The Conference also features several research presentations focusing on the development of pan in North America. Based in Montreal, longtime pannist and steelband leader Salah Wilson in Montreal will present research on the development of steelpan programs in Canadian communities and schools. Dr. Janine Tiffe of Kent State University will discuss Ellie Mannette and his impact on pan in the United States. Dr. Anthony Hailey was the Director of the steelband program the Virginia Rhythm Project and now leads the Mosaic Steel Orchestra, one of three American-based steelbands competing in the International Panorama. Hailey will discuss the positive effects that youth steelbands have in schools, communities, and society at large. 

Focusing on pan in Trinidad, Paul Massey and Josephine Torrel will present research on the use of pan in the Classroom in Trinidad and Tobago. Massey is a graduate student at UWI working on a dissertation that focuses on pan as an educational tool for social transformation. Jean Raabe is a Board Certified Music Therapist, UWI lecturer, and veteran of 17 Panoramas who will present her work using steelpan as a tool in music therapy.

The work of the Music Literacy Trust is the focus of a series of presentations on Thursday afternoon (August 6th) discussion panel. Mark Loquan, the founder of the Trust, will give a presentation on the organization’s history. Trust CEO Jen Lee will present research on City Angels, the organization’s educational efforts for children and music literacy which emphasizes pan as a base in Southwest Port of Spain. The Trust has been part of a major push over the past decade to get scored full panorama arrangements for both historic and contemporary Panorama arrangements.

Ray Funk and Dr. Andrew Martin will present an overview of the history of scoring steelband music in musical notation. Yuko Asada who works closely with the steelband at Northern Illinois University and teaches pan in secondary schools and at the summer program at Birch Creek, Wisconsin. Asada is well-known for scoring steelband arrangements by Liam Teague, Cliff Alexis, and Boogsie Sharpe among others and will discuss the challenges of the process.

The spread of pan in Europe is another major focus of the Conference. Matthias Kauer is the current treasurer of Steelpan European and started play pan in Switzerland in 1977. He has since gone on to edit the Swiss Pan News—a newsletter for the over one hundred steelbands in the region—and operates Panorama Steel Drums, the first European business specializing in pan music and instruments. Kauer will discuss the evolution and proliferation of the Pan Movement in Europe and lead a discussion of instrument layouts and standardization. In addition to her current role as CEO of the Music Literacy Trust, Jen Lee is the former president of Steelpan European and she will lend her expertise to a discussion of the origin and evolution of European steelpan organizations the likes Steelpan European.

Another area of special focus for the Conference is on burgeoning new pan scenes. In this regard the conference will feature research from leading pan proponents from Australia and New Zealand. Linda Fullerton is the director of PANZfest—the annual Australian Steelband Festival—and contributed research discussing the development of and general history of Pan in Australian and New Zealand. Denis Gonzalez grew up in Trinidad and is very involved in teaching pan in Australia and since 2000 he has directed the NSW School Steel Band Association which has programs at seven primary schools and an annual Panorama. ( As he summarizes his life . “In 15 years we have released thousands of Australian Pan playing children musicians into the Australian population.” Better than zombies, he hopes they cause a permanent change in society Down Under! Gonzales will discuss his work teaching pan in primary schools throughout the world. University of Washington professor Shannon Dudley, whose book Music From Behind the Bridge: Steelband Aesthetics and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago is required reading for anyone interested in pan, will present research discussing the impact the Panorama competition has on the music and social organization of steelbands in Trinidad.

The full conference schedule and registration form are available online at and those interested should check here first for any last minute changes in the schedule. As steelpan becomes more and more a worldwide phenomena, the International Conference is a chance to learn of the developments in Steelpan both in and out of Trinidad and Tobago.

For further information, please contact:

ICP Marketing & Events Unit:

First floor, Sterling Building

68-70 Sackville Street

Port-of-Spain, TRINIDAD.

Tel. No.: 271-2608/2610/2613


From the News Desk of Pan Trinbago