Steelband Panorama 2011

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Steel Pan History, UWI & Woodbrook Playboyz

My First Pilgrimage to the Mecca of Pan - Entry 9

Posted by Eric Mannweiler on February 5, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago


Panorama 2011Ok so I have some awesome experiences to share. On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Jeannine Remy and sit in on her "Steel Pan History and Development" course at UWI. The students were all young, around their 20s. It was really encouraging to see people investing in the history of steelband, and considering it's future. Dr. Remy has so much information and was very welcoming, so I hope to be able to talk to her more. (I also plan to buy her book on Invaders, which I encourage all of you to do once if comes out.) UWI has such an awesome pan program, which I must admit I am jealous of. They not only have the history and development course, but a Steelband Literature course, a Steelband Technology course, plus all of the ensembles.. wow, I wish there were programs like that in Indiana.

Lord Superior
Lord Superior

Thursday I had a number of really great experiences. I sat in on the National Steel Symphony rehearsal. First of all, the G-Pans sounded great together, particularly the basses. Secondly, it was wonderful to see such a professional, young, and talented orchestra. They were amazing! Thirdly, Ms. De Coteau came in to view the rehearsal. I am really disappointed that I didn't get to talk to her, because what a pleasure it would be to talk to her about pan history! Hopefully I will get another opportunity. After that I walked from POS to Woodbrook, which was not at all as long of a walk as I thought it would be. It was also nice because I got to see some things and solidify my grasp of where things are downtown.

Bertram Kellman

The coolest thing though, was when I got to Woodbrook Playboyz yard, Butch Kellman was in the midst of blending! I spent the entire afternoon talking with him and watching him work. He really has made me consider learning to tune! I was interested before, but he really encouraged me to pursue it. Maybe I've found a calling...?

Friday I met up with two other foreigners from Starlift and we went to see Lord Relator give a workshop on composing classic calypsos for the music students at St. Anthony's College in Carenage. Though I made us miss a lot of the workshop (getting maxis from Santa Cruz is not easy,) we got to talk to the students about our musical careers, our studies, etc. It was really really rewarding to see their interest, to inspire a little bit, and to answer questions and spark conversation. The music program there is really impressive, and in fact the entire facility there seemed like it offered a lot to the kids.


I had my first tastes of Buss Up Shut two days ago, and had more yesterday. I have to admit though, I'm making it a rule that I will not eat from food courts anymore. I also had my first taste of Starch Mango and Soursop this week. Wonderful, though the Soursop I had as a punch, so it wasn't actually the fruit itself. The Starch Mango is this yellow and black leopard spotted Mango with crazy stringy insides. It's super sweet, but the fibers can get a little painful on the gums.

Woodbrook Playboz
Woodbrook Playboyz

I am proud to say I will be earning my second pan jersey today by playing with Woodbrook Playboyz in their prelims today! This will be my first participation in a Panorama competition round, and I'm very excited!

With that being said, I'm going to get ready to go practice. I'm spending Sunday and part of Monday in Tobago, so I won't be able to update until sometime next week.

Life for Pan,

click to view entries - preface - 1 - 2- 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 -19 - 20- 21 - 22

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