Golden Hands Steel Orchestra
2023 Tune of choice: “Mash Up”
*** withdrew from competition for 2023
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Golden Hands, founded and directed by Franka Hills-Headley, is a registered nonprofit organization of Trinidad and Tobago. Based in San Fernando, this group of young, elite panists has been in existence for the past nineteen years. Its objectives are geared towards the holistic development of young musicians, with specific emphasis on the National Instrument as the core instrument.
Golden Hands has won thirty-eight trophies in the Trinidad and Tobago Festival on the five occasions of its participation. In the 2012 edition of the Festival, which commemorated this nation's Fiftieth Independence, the group emerged with fifteen trophies, seven of which were Adjudicators' Awards, including the President's Award for Best Overall Performer.
Golden Hands Steel Orchestra has graced the national music scene with its vibrant Panorama performances- both Junior and Small Band categories as well as the World Steelband Music Festival and Junior Steelband Festivals. Its young talented arranger, Vanessa Headley started performing at the age of four and arranging at the age of fourteen. Vanessa placed first in the Caribbean in the 2004 Caribbean Secondary Schools Examinations. Now a graduate of The University of The West Indies, she appeared in the Berklee College of Music All Star Band in the 2011 Five Week Summer Program and has been awarded a scholarship to study at this premier college.
Indeed, all Golden Hands members are musically literate and eight have already pursued and completed music at tertiary level to date. The executive is young and vibrant and led by captain Pete Braxton.
Two young men of the group, Jonathan Grant and Daron Roberts, have each been recipients of the National Youth Award (16-19) in the category of music. They were also presented Adjudicators' Awards as Most Outstanding Soloists in the 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival.
Golden Hands has not only well demonstrated the steelpan as a bona fide musical instrument, through its seven international performances in the U.S.A., Dominica, Martinique and Antigua, but has facilitated steelpan clinics and workshops on these tours.
The band has recorded three CDs.
2023 Tune of choice: “Mash Up” | arranger: Vanessa Headley *** withdrew from competition in 2023
2020 Tune of choice: “Oil And Music” | arranger: Vanessa Headley