Moods of Pan Festival 2007

Vere Henry - Celebrating 35 years in Pan

Antiguan International Steelpan Music Festival Rising - Day One

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Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - For three days the steelpan instrument took front and center as some of the most renowned musical talent in the world showcased their gifts at the 2007 Moods of Pan Festival in Antigua. Now in it's ninth year, Moods of Pan has firmly established itself as one of the international musical concert treasures. In addition it has made it's way into the consciousness of the Antiguan & Barbudan people. Operating under the guidance of its creator, Gemonites Steel Orchestra, the show has steadily increased in popularity and recognition.

   Moods of Pan 2007 Festival in Antigua - Day One - WST Video
PMS Steel Orchestra
PMS Steel Orchestra

Day one of the festival opened with a major tribute to one of Antigua's favorite sons, Vere Henry. The show, called "Vere Henry - Celebrating 35 years in Pan" was dedicated to celebrating and showing appreciation, for the continuous work Vere has done for the Antiguan & Barbudan and international steelpan community. For thirty-five years Mr. Henry has promoted the steelpan instrument in Antigua & Barbuda and in the USA where he currently resides. As a musician, leader, arranger and mentor Mr. Henry has had a profound impact on many steelpan players in their formative years. "He taught us to respect education and the steelpan and much more... he taught us to be responsible men..." said Everton Gonzales, a former student of Mr. Henry. Vere is also one of the founding members of Gemonites Steel Orchestra, creators of and instrumental in the development of the annual Moods of Pan Festival.

Hells Gate Steel Orchestra
Hells Gate Steel Orchestra

The world's oldest steel orchestra "Hells Gate" opened the Moods of Pan 2007 festival with a bang. Hells Gate varied repertoire showcased their versatility and musicianship. From ballads to 'jump-up' to gospel, Hells Gate brought it all. Moreover, they left no doubt as to why this storied and highly respected music organization is one of the top orchestras in Antigua & Barbuda. In addition Hells Gate is the reigning 2007 panorama champion, having won the title two consecutive years. Hells Gate can truly boast that it has some of the best players in the region. Of particular note was the performance of one of Hells Gate's young bass players - a true performing 'triple-threat,' the likes of which has not seen before. He can play, act, dance and hold the attention of the audience. The iconic steel orchestra ended their set with a thunderous roar as they played their panorama-winning rendition to a standing ovation.

Shades of Gospel
  Shades of Gospel

The night's serenading of pan stalwart Vere Henry continued with selections from PMS Steel Orchestra, followed by Gemonites Steel Orchestra. The latter's rendition of John Legend's "Ordinary People" went down especially well with all those present. These local acts provided inspired musical performances.

As a Moods of Pan tradition to showcase awesome talent from around the globe - the Friday night show attendees were in for a special treat when gospel-oriented Shades of Gospel from Tennessee, USA unleashed a musical volley of spirituals that had the audience clapping and swaying. Recording artist Nia Allen provided an additional treat as she performed her lead pieces while accompanying Shades of Gospel. The group traveled to Antigua to both perform and honor Vere Henry who also resides in Tennessee.

Vere Henry and Carib Sounds Steel Band

Closing the opening leg of the Moods of Pan Festival was the main attraction of the night, Vere Henry with his Carib Sounds Steel Band. The band is made up primarily of members of his musically talented and immediate family. A family affair it is, as Vere's two daughters, three sons and wife are all performing members of the group. Vere's group took the audience on a musical journey that included gospel, Christmas carols and soul classics such as "On the Boardwalk."

Vere's popularity and appreciation are not limited to the steelpan community. Good Morning Antigua and Barbuda, the country's popular television program featured Vere Henry and his group performing live. Day one of the Moods of Pan 2007 festival was off to a great start.

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contact: Moods of Pan
Patrick “Stone” Johnson -  - (268) 727-6633

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