Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tribute To Women In Pan

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Dr. Geraldine Connor (Educator, Theatre Director, Musician, Composer, Performer, Panist & Arranger) - In Her Own Words

When Steel Talks and its members were extremely fortunate to have the late great Dr. Geraldine Connor as one of our members. She was one of the pioneers who had huge dreams,  tremendous respect and expectations for the steelpan instrument. Moreover, she applied her immense talents into the art form. She lit the torch, and pointed out which way was up. Through her few posts she told us about her accomplishments, gave us history, guidance and much encouragement.   Notes and thoughts for the WST family from the legendary and iconic Dr. Connor.

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Reply by Geradine Connor on March 8, 2010 at 4:34 a.m.

Geraldine Connor - “My name is Dr. Geraldine Connor (PhD, MMus, LRSM, Dip.Ed)

My father Edric Connor (Singer, folklorist, actor and film-maker) was responsible for bringing TASPO to the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Between 1978 and 1984 I adjudicated as a Judge many Panorama competitions.

I was the first woman to play bass in the then Trintoc Invaders 1977 - 1983 and in 1984 was the first woman to arrange a panorama tune for them. Indeed I might have been the first woman to arrange for a panorama competition.

In the UK I arranged for Ebony Steelband for Panorama in 1983 which they won for the first time that year. I also arranged their classical repertoire for many years. In 2005 the British Association of Steelbands (BAS) gave the Connor family an award (which I accepted on their behalf) for their contribution to the Steelband movement in the UK.

Geraldine Connor
Dr. Geraldine Connor

I taught Arddin Herbert a piece of Bach for the T&T biennial music festival. I have worked very closely with Dudley Nesbitt, panist extraordinaire and New World Steel Symphony Orchestra in Leeds, UK for many years.

Most recently (2008) I played bass with Tobago band Steel Xplosion.

My show Carnival Messiah features a 25-player steelband playing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. This show is set be commercially produced and extensively toured throughout the world from 2012.

Presently I am based in the UK and write validation documents and handbooks for the Steelband to support its teaching in schools and universities.

I think that When Steel Talks is one of the best things that has ever happened to Pan!

Reply by When Steel Talks on March 8, 2010 at 9:01am
- Mrs. Connor - Much appreciation for the great contributions you have made to the steelpan movement and music.

Reply by Geradine Connor on March 8, 2010 at 9:14am
Geraldine Connor
I view WST as a breath of fresh air ...... very, very informative, wide-ranging and relevant .. .. Your organization gives pan an international profile, credibility and audience ...... placing the steelband movement where it rightfully should always have been!

Dr. Geraldine Connor

Reply by lennie tyson on March 8, 2010 at 7:48am

Lennie - Dr. Connor could you please submit the names of some of the pioneering women like yourself who paved the way in the steelband movement much much thanks and appreciation for the contribution of you and your family.

Reply by Geradine Connor on March 8, 2010 at 8:34am
Geraldine Connor
Dear Lennie,
There are not many female pioneers from my generation and those I know you will know .... Alma Pierre, Pat Bishop, Merle Albino-de Coteau, and the slightly younger, Dawn Batson ..... but interestingly enough except for Dawn and myself, many of the above never actually played the instruments, even though they arranged for the bands

Dr. Geraldine Connor


   Carnival Messiah - created by Dr. Geraldine Connor

Dr. Geraldine Connor
Dr. Geraldine Connor

   Carnival Messiah - created by Dr. Geraldine Connor

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