In her interview, Ms. Gamory sheds light on her background. Her achievements make her a role model for young women, and most notable is her transformation into an extremely formidable female presence, as head of one of the most popular and powerful musical organizations in North America.
Affectionately known as "Aunty Glenda" - Glenda Gamory is the chairman, founder and leader of one the most successful, important and popular musical organizations in America. Pantonic Steel Orchestra which resides in the heart of the New York City’s urban community, is one of the most talented and respected orchestras in the world. As the manager of Pantonic, Ms. Gamory has accomplished in a relatively short space of time what few have in a life time.
Upon completing her formal education in 1967, Ms. Gamory migrated from her place of birth Trinidad and Tobago to the United States where she has made her home ever since. Ms. Gamory retired from the Telephone Company in June 2002 after 30 plus years with the company, to pursue her dream of creating a world class championship organization that would impact on the youth and her community positively.
Having been involved with the steelband movement from infancy, Ms. Gamory became familiar with and acutely aware of, the positive influences that a community-based orchestra can have on its society; its young people in terms of providing opportunities, self esteem, education, jobs and its ability to enhance the human spirit in spite of their environment, thus promoting advancement Already well-acquainted with the ability of an organization to impact positively on a community, and having grown up with the world famous WITCO Desperadoes located literally in her back yard, Ms. Gamory was able to observe first hand how the success of that organization changed the face and perception of that community on a global scale. Therefore, a few years before her retirement, Ms. Gamory decided to put her passion and knowledge for the steelband, love for the community at large, especially the young people, along with her business acumen to use, by forming Pantonic Steel Orchestra in 1997.
Pantonic has become much more than a steel orchestra; it represents a social educational and musical institution that provides opportunity, leadership training, motivation and mentoring for youth and young adults. In addition to serving as a source of pride for a community in a world where this is in increasingly short supply, Pantonic is one of the most sought after organizations which the community at large, and wants to be part of. It has built the reputation, teaches the young people the necessity to be always goal-oriented, disciplined, tenaciously dedicated, and the importance of team work, not to mention a commitment to excellence.
The successes of the band are internationally renowned as people from all over the world and from all walks of life, make the pilgrimage to Brooklyn for their chance to become part of one of the band’s main annual presentations, and beyond. They all try to make the special-one hundred player team which ultimately competes in the elite annual musical competition.
Ms. Gamory’s success is undisputable as they have won the coveted title of Champion three years in a row, and four times in the last five years. She has distinguished herself as the only woman to have led a steel orchestra to a championship in any part of the world; she has been and continues to be, successful in an environment that is extremely hostile to such endeavors.
Glenda Gamory with Wyclef Jean
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