Casablanca Steel Orchestra
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The names of Oscar “Bogart” Pyle, Ormond “Patsy” Haynes, Arthur “Art” De Coteau and numerous others, cannot be forgotten for it was their perseverance that moved Casablanca to musical heights which ushered in a new era in classical “Steel Band” music.
Since 1981, Casablanca has been performing on the international circuit, consistent with one of its objectives to internationalize “Steel Band” music. In pursuance of this objective Casablanca made more overseas appearances than any other “Steel Band” between 1981 and 1987.
In 1950 they were the first “Steel Band” to use the soprano pan and five-set bass.
In 1981 they performed at the first Belizean Independence Ceremony then donated a full set of Pans to the people of Belize.
In 1982 they placed 1st at the Steel Band Music festival with a rendition on the “Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture”.
They were the recipients of National Award-The Humming Bird Gold Medal for Loyal and Devoted Service to the “Steel Band” Movement. Although never winning the coveted National Panorama title, in 1983 they came close by placing second.
|Casablanca was formed in Belmont, Port-of-Spain, in 1945 under the leadership of Oscar Pyle. The band was the first steelband to give a classical recital when it performed at Whitehall, St. Clair, in 1948. It was also believed to be the first steelband to be recorded when its album "Trinidad Steelband" was released in 1948. Casablanca had the sponsorship of the Iron & Steel Company of Trinidad and Tobago (ISCOTT) in the 1970s, but lost it in the late-1980s when the company's management changed. In 1982, Casablanca received the Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold for music. Casablanca finished among the top three steelbands in the following significant competition:|
|Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit|