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August 21, 2023

Steelpan Pioneers to be Honoured on Independence Evening

Trincity, Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - As part of the global schedule of activities for the annual Steelband Month in Trinidad and Tobago, and certainly, in support of the official United Nations Declaration of World Steelpan Day, the National Steelband Heroes Hall of Fame Foundation wishes to announce the hosting of its Second Annual Induction and Awards Ceremony, which is carded for Independence evening at the Central Bank Auditorium, St. Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.

The Foundation, which is chaired by Mr. Reginald Vidale, was commissioned in May 2020 as a non-profit organisation under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. According to Vidale, “Its primary mission is to identify and publicly recognise the steelpan fraternity’s pioneers and heroes – many of whose accolades remain unsung by the wider citizenry.”

The first installation of the Induction and Awards Ceremony was held in 2022 when eleven (11) icons were celebrated. Some of these included Ms. Franka Headley, founder and administrator of Golden Hands Steel Orchestra, Dr. Roy Cape – musician and band leader, Mr. Edward “Eddie” Hart – former Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Mr. Lawford Dupres – former captain of Harvard Harps Steel Orchestra, as well as the late Ursula Tudor of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, Edwin “Junior” Pouchet of Silver Stars Steel Orchestra and Vernon “Birdie” Mannette of Invaders Steel Orchestra.

Amongst this year’s inductees are the late Milton “Wire” Austin of Fonclaire Steel Orchestra, Vincent Hueloy Yip Young of Solo Harmonites, Iran “Duce” Anthony of NGC Steel Xplosion and music educator, Merle Albino-de Couteau. The Committee has plans to widen its nominations to include regional and international icons in the near future.

Vincent Hueloy Yip Young - former manager of Solo Harmonites Steel Orchestra and decorated Cultural Ambassador
Vincent Hueloy Yip Young - former manager of Solo Harmonites Steel Orchestra and decorated Cultural Ambassador

Iran ”Duce” Anthony (right) of Steel Xplosion, Tobago
Iran ”Duce” Anthony (right) of Steel Xplosion, Tobago

Secretary and Treasurer (Ag.) of the Committee, Ms. Rhona Harris also relayed the importance of the ceremony as “part of a comprehensive approach to nation-building.” She commented on the usefulness of the research that is undertaken in vetting each inductee and further added that the process, “enhances avenues for sustainability and innovation within our community, thereby leading to greater opportunities for wealth and job creation for many others.” As such, plans are also underway to have a physical Steelband Hall of Fame commissioned, which will help boost community and festival tourism.

Partners for this year’s ceremony include RHAND Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited, Votini Premium Infused Vodka, Rebuilding an Empire and Musical Instruments of Trinidad and Tobago Company Limited.

For further information about the Induction and Awards Ceremony and/or the Foundation, the Committee can be contacted at (868) 786-1703 or via

Press Release from:
National Steelband Heroes Hall of Fame Foundation

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