Mia Gormandy in Concert

Northern Illinois University Panist Shines

Panist Mia Gormandy from Trinidad & Tobago performs the Jan Bach Steel Pan Concerto with the NIU Philharmonic at the Concerto Competition Winners Concert - February 2, 2009... Mia is currently studying with Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis at Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, Illinois, USA - “The thing that has impressed me the most about Mia has been her personality. In addition to her talent and work ethic, she is a wonderful person to be around. When Mia first came to Northern Illinois University (NIU), she had already gained a growing reputation as one of the best up and coming young steelpan talents in Trinidad. Like any other young talent, she had a number of areas that needed development and I think that she recognized that from early and never got too caught up in the hype. Over the 4 years that she has been at NIU I have seen her skills as a musician grow drastically. She has demonstrated a great work ethic and has brought a lot of energy to the NIU Steelband.

Liam Teague
Liam Teague

“Mia recently became one of the joint winners of NIU’s concerto competition.  She played a concerto for steelpan and orchestra by Illinois composer Jan Bach.  This piece was originally written for me and I felt so proud to see Mia win such an important competition.  She had to compete against some of the university’s top musical talents and a victory like this definitely bodes well not only for her future, but for the steelpan in general.

“She intends to stay on at NIU for her masters degree and already has thoughts of pursuing a doctorate.  It has been a joy to work with this young lady and I look forward to seeing her mature even more as a person and musician.” - Liam Teague -

About the beautiful and super-talented Mia Gormandy

Mia Krystal Gormandy was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on August 27th, 1988. Her musical gift prompted her keen interest in the pan and piano in the family home. She was exposed to a number of competitions and shows where musical excellence was the hallmark. The mayor of Port-of-Spain - the capital of Trinidad and Tobago - and a number of recognized groups in the country, rewarded her talents.

In 1995 at age 5, Mia’s obvious competence on the steel pan persuaded her parents to sign her up for formal music lessons, both on the piano and the pan.   By age seven (7), Mia’s musical talents had her on winners’ row.  Her debut performance was at City Hall, Port-of-Spain.  Mia walked away with the grand first prize.  Because of her proven ability on the pan, in August of 1998 Mia received a “Pan Minors Scholarship” sponsored by The Republic Bank Ltd. of Trinidad and Tobago to pursue advanced studies on the pan at the Creative Arts Centre at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad.  Mia also became a member of one of her country’s leading steel orchestras, Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, and was honored to be part of the band’s complement when they entered the competition “Pan is Beautiful IX.”  She represented the band in the soloist category, and went on to place first (1st) in the North Zone. 

In August of 2000, Mia won the “Something Positive” pan competition at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York; the first prize was a scholarship to attend the college - but at age 11 Mia was too young to accept!!  She also won Citibank’s Twelve & Under series. Her pieces on pan were “Ever Green” and “Masquerade”. Her winnings took her to Disney World.

In 2001, Mia enjoyed being a musical ambassador when she traveled with Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars to Australia, where she performed as a Soloist with the band which was very well received.  Participating in the “Pan in Schools” competition, Mia walked away with the 1st prize in a field of 46 competitors.  She also claimed first place honours in the Pan Trinbago Junior competition.

Mia continued to garner awards in 2002 including the Dennis Kerr Cup for the “Most Outstanding Instrumental Performance” with her rendition of “Flight of the Bumble Bee.”  In December of that year, one of her country’s premier secondary educational institutions - St. Joseph’s Convent in Port-of-Spain - awarded Mia “The Myrna Huggins Wood House Memorial Trophy” for Excellence in Music – pan and piano.  This was the first time in the history of the school that this award was given.

2003 was a very busy and rewarding year for Mia as well.  After competing against 15 contestants and performing Rimsky Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” Mia emerged “Miss Hal Jackson’s Talented Teen - Trinidad and Tobago.” She then went on to represent her country in the “Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International Scholarship Competition” held in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, where she was 1st runner up.  This placed pan ‘second’ in the world.  In October, Mia once more triumphed in the pan solo category in both the Pan Trinbago Junior and Pan in Schools competitions.  She then went on to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the “Caribbean Junior Pan Festival” in Antigua, where placing first made her the top panist in the Caribbean for 2003.  To crown her sterling achievements, Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra Association rewarded the proud and talented Mia.

In 2004, Mia was recognized by the Port-of-Spain Corporation Calypso Committee under the patronage of the mayor for her musical achievements in 2003.  Also, Mia and St. Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain represented Trinidad and Tobago in Vienna, Austria at the International Youth Music Festival where they placed second, with Mia performing her solo piece “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” which was well received by thousands of people.  At age 15, she received a full scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Illinois, USA.

In 2005, The University of Akron Annual Steelband concert was graced by the performance of their featured artist, the by-then 16 year old Mia Gormandy.  She was then a surprise guest at the NIU Steelband Concert that same weekend.

Presently, Mia is attending NIU and pursuing a performance degree in music.  Her most recent achievement is winning the NIU Concerto Competition in 2008 along with three other competitors.  She performed her winning selection “Steelpan Concerto” composed by Jan Bach in February 2009 with the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra.  Mia will graduate with full University Honors in May 2009.  She then plans to do her Masters degree in Education and Conducting at NIU. read comments on Mia’s performance

Update - Mia Gormandy-Benjamin is now an Assistant Professor of Music at University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)

Leave a comment


Comment by Lydia on August 28, 2013 at 2:07pm
That was fabulous indeed...very very rewarding and fulfilling piece of music!
Comment by chad on January 11, 2011 at 12:12pm
i love it babes
Comment by Rum-Pan on August 29, 2010 at 8:22am
Specialized-distinction! "Lady-Soul" is always like a touch of the Fairy-tale/Magical. Excellent Harmony with Classic Filharmonic Orchestra. Yes, absolutely, Ms. Mia Gormandy is really Steel-Pan Style Master!!!! And even as i hope so better way in to the Future..............
Comment by Brian Sylvester on August 28, 2010 at 4:00pm
Excellent young lady. You make the Caribbean proud of it's gift to the world
Comment by marcelo heer on August 28, 2010 at 1:38pm
Ms Gormandy. Excellent work. You are a great musician. I am preparing for this concert, it is very difficult. Regards. From Santa Fe, Argentina.
Comment by Brian Copeland on May 1, 2010 at 7:09pm
Comment by Keston 'Philmore' Marchan on May 1, 2010 at 12:08pm
AMAZING represent Mia excellent job
Comment by JIm Royle on May 1, 2010 at 10:50am
Bravo Mia!!!!!!! 8-)
Comment by garvin lewis on April 15, 2009 at 11:26am
keep it up ur soundin really good
Comment by JOSHEMA "FLASH" MCINTOSH on April 14, 2009 at 12:08pm
I love the sound of your tenorpan! It posses a low,full tone that most bore pan seems to bereft of.
Good playing by the way! Keep it up.
Comment by Trevor Townsend on April 6, 2009 at 12:47pm
We at All Saints Anglican Church in Trinidad & Tobago celebrate Mia's Achievements. Despite her obvous talents, Mia's demure and quiet demeanour spoke of a grounding in good family values. We saw how her family took a keen and suportive interest in helping her to develop and grow as a fine young woman and musician. Congratulations to Mia and the Gormandy family from your friends and well wishers at All Saints Parish
Comment by Patricia Adams on April 5, 2009 at 11:06pm
Mia ,I read the details of your accomplishments so far and they have been an inspiration to me. I will certainly share this video with other young people who are at my church, All Saints, where Mia taught in the Sunday school. Hard work always brings rewards. God Bless you!!
Comment by Ca2oon on April 4, 2009 at 10:50am
It is a wonderful performance Mia, keep it up. Please continue even after ur done with your studies, who knows, we may cross paths sometime in performance, lol!
Comment by Jarod Pierrepoint on April 3, 2009 at 11:59pm
i love it MIA
Comment by Dudack on April 3, 2009 at 5:04pm
Bravo! You make it look easy!
Comment by Don Prorak on April 3, 2009 at 3:23pm
Beautiful performance!


Comment by Miuel Polo on June 15, 2009 at 9:39am
hi mia good day to u, your performance was one of the most artistical piece of work i have ever seen just like liam tague a rool class model of pan u are an excell in future of the instrument, but one thing that's bothering me is who proclaims the instrument is it really born in trinidad & tobago or everyone's own, for far to long this problem has scrolled on deaf ears and i think you can retain wats ours becuz you have the power and will to do so, pan trinbago is'nt doing anything so they need a driving force to help retain wats rightfully trinidad & tobago property the steel pan. thanks and i wish u the best in all your endeavours.
Comment by Ian Franklin on May 11, 2009 at 3:36pm
Hello Ms. Mia Gormandy,
I enjoyed your performance. As I said in my compilation entitled,
"400 Questions and Answers on Pan from 1960 to Present",
We need to be more diverse, if we " Trinidad and Tobago" want to spread pan music to the rest of the world. For too long, many Steel Orchestras have been featuring too many Caribbean pieces. Most of the non-Caribbean population see the steelpan, as merely a merry making novelty. Very few see it as a viable instument.
I hope that Trinidad and Tobago's Government will allocate funding so that the bi-annual, (Pan Is Beautiful Classical Competition,) will now become an annual event and attract the more popular Steel Orchestras in T&T.
Comment by Alge Lawre on April 24, 2009 at 3:26pm
girl you good:real good; you make us West
Indians proud.
Comment by SIPARIA DELTONES on April 12, 2009 at 4:39pm
hi mia this is akinola from deltones do you do improvised type work also
Comment by Kevin Gowrie on April 8, 2009 at 7:55pm
Go girl, you make us proud, trini living in bermuda
Comment by Sophia Subero on April 8, 2009 at 4:04pm
Great work!
Comment by Curtis "Sleepy"Marcelle on April 8, 2009 at 2:57pm
Mia, I am very proud of you, show the world what this wonderful instrument can do.
Curtis" Sleepy" Marcelle, Bandleader/Musical Director, HAL Westerdam Orchestra.
Comment by Don Gilberto on April 7, 2009 at 9:28pm
very well done this young lady has a very bright future ahead, may God Bless her. I take my hat off to
Mr. Liam Teague., way to go TRINI
Comment by Joseph Jackman on April 6, 2009 at 1:16pm
Whenever a West Indian excells it adds years to my life. Hold your head High young lady and continue to make your people proud..
Comment by Trevor Townsend on April 6, 2009 at 12:58pm
Great Stuff.

Comment by george on April 6, 2009 at 9:41am
calling this young lady talented is an understatement. just don't label her; just sit back and enjoy what God has done.
Comment by Patricia Adams on April 5, 2009 at 10:40pm
Very delightful!!
Mia certainly seemed to be enjoying her playing.
very well done.
Continue to grow.
Pat Adams
Comment by Lester Flax on April 5, 2009 at 6:40pm
The versatility of Pan!
Comment by dessie bee on April 5, 2009 at 4:58pm
Well done as always.... what more can I say. Keep it up. Luv ya!!!!!!!
Comment by Bob Mercer SVOoh-La-La on April 5, 2009 at 8:29am
As a fomer yachtie who spend several years around Trinidad I appreciate hearing classical,Jazz as well as carnival Pan. I have shared your site not only with many of our cruising freinds but with several of our Trini freinds who now reside in the states Bob Mercer SVOoh-La-La
Comment by Patrick Fullerton on April 5, 2009 at 7:50am
Mia, you make me even more proud to be a Pannist and a Trinidadian in particular.
Comment by cecil tortee philgence on April 4, 2009 at 11:13pm
That was beautiful Mia you make all Pannist proud
Comment by Jojo on April 4, 2009 at 4:03pm
Comment by Cedel Hinds on April 4, 2009 at 2:23pm
Wonderful performance...... Steelpan has come a long way & I'm loving where its headed........ Keep up the good work young pannist.......:)
Comment by ANTHONY ROSE on April 4, 2009 at 3:59am
A very innovative and humorous interplay between Pannist and Percussionist, conversational style.

Comment by ANTHONY ROSE on April 4, 2009 at 3:47am
I think that this is tremendous insipirations for young Trinbagonian musicians (PANNIST). Great performance, and with so much class.
Comment by Gren on April 4, 2009 at 2:50am
Loved it!!!
Comment by Mia Gormandy on April 3, 2009 at 9:53pm
Thank You all for the wonderful comments!!
Comment by odw on April 3, 2009 at 8:58pm
Comment by Hamilton web lexander on April 3, 2009 at 7:09pm
Fantastic,Great,Solid performance.
Comment by Annette Agarrat-Beckles on April 3, 2009 at 6:33pm
Super!! Superb!! Beautiful Music and Beautiful You Mia !! And I know you have not even reached the pinnacle of your ability. One other aspect of this is that you are keeping Trinidad & Tobago well represented and established in the world of Pan. . Keep on keeping on Mia. Love, Annette Agarrat-Beckles
Comment by Abby Savell on April 3, 2009 at 5:04pm
Rad! A great piece of music, and a great performance on pan.
Comment by Ron Berridge on April 3, 2009 at 3:49pm
Comment by Pan Woman on April 3, 2009 at 2:23pm
Super! Keep on doing your thing. I'm very proud of you.
Comment by Beresford Hunte on April 3, 2009 at 1:30pm
Mia, congratulations! Just keep up the fantastic work.
The phone message was not quite correct but I am home now. Thanks.
Comment by Bugs on April 3, 2009 at 11:51am
Congrats indeed!
Comment by GospelPan on April 3, 2009 at 11:45am
Congratulations Mia, not just on your performance but also on your ability to read music. It just goes to show why reading music it's so, so important...Liam & Cliff Alexis, keep up the good work...you all have already left your mark on the art-form.
Comment by VINCENT HUELOY LILA YIP YOUNG on April 3, 2009 at 10:19am
well done Mia, looking forward to a duet with you and mr. teague.
Comment by Marcus Ash on April 3, 2009 at 9:11am
wheyyyyyyy so long i aint see you mia. . . you doing really good over there. continue to make us proud.
Comment by Pan Radio on April 3, 2009 at 8:58am