Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2015 Contents A PhD candidate in ethnomusicology
at Florida State University and the cur-
rent player/manager of Pastiche Steel
Ensemble, Mia Gormandy is an accom-
plished pan player with an extensive CV
to prove it.
Gormandy, who will soon turn 27, began
playing the steelpan at age five and won
her first competition at age six. She was
exposed to a number of competitions and
shows where musical excellence was the
hallmark. She has won many competitions
in T&T and in the Caribbean, such as
Twelve and Under, Pan in Schools, Pan
Trinbago Junior Competition, Caribbean
Junior Pan Festival (Antigua), just to name
She has performed in several different
countries all over the world including Aus-
tralia, Austria, England, USA, Canada, and
At age 15, Gormandy attained a full schol-
arship to attend Northern Illinois University
(NIU) where she graduated in 2009 with
her Bachelor s Degree in Music (Honours).
She studied under steelpan pioneer Cliff
Alexis and steelpan virtuoso Liam Teague.
In 2008, she became the first pan player
to win the NIU Concerto Competition.
Gormandy guest-starred at several Amer-
ican university steelbands such as University
of Akron Steel Drum Band, Northern Illinois
University Steelband (before she became a
student there), and Humboldt State Uni-
versity Calypso Band. Several different
committees awarded her over the years,
including the Laventille Steelband Festival
Foundation and the Port-of-Spain City
Corporation. She was also awarded NIU s
Most Outstanding Woman of the Year 2011.
Gormandy graduated in May of that year
with her Master s of Music degree in steel-
pan performance. She has performed with
many world-renowned artistes such as
guitarist Berta Rojas and 11-time Gram-
my-award winner Paquito D Rivera. She
recently graduated with a second Master s
of Music degree in ethnomusicology and
is now pursuing her PhD where her dis-
sertation is entitled Pan in Japan.
She is the recipient of the Howard Mayer
Brown Fellowship awarded by the American
Musicological Society. She and her fellow
pan players formed the band Pastiche Steel
Ensemble in 2009. Pastiche is an artistic
word which encompasses the bringing
together of various art forms for the greater
good with people from around the world
having similar goals...the steelpan though
is the focus instrument of the band.
In today s International Steelband com-
petition at the Queen s Park Savannah,
she will be lining up with Trinidad All
Where did you grow up?
I lived for the first three years of my life
in Macoya but since then, Belmont has
been my home.
At what schools/institutions did you
receive your education?
Newtown Girls RC, then for one year
at South East Port-of-Spain High School,
then on to St Joseph s Convent, Port-of-
Spain, from where I received a full schol-
arship to Northern Illinois University. Then
it was on to Florida State University, where
I currently am.
Who have been the biggest
early influences in your life?
My parents, first and foremost. Outside
of that, musically, Odessa Vincent-Brown
from the age of five.
Tell us about your inspiration and
encouragement to do the type of
"work" you do.
Again, my parents, my dad a piano play-
er, who would accompany me as a child.
Now, seeing people like Liam Teague, Cliff
Alexis and Amrit Samaroo who are music
Which of your work(s) do you rate as
the most satisfying and memorable?
It has to be our most recent concert a
couple of days ago at the Hyatt in Port-of-
Spain, our band Pastiche Steel Ensemble
and the launch of the Virtual Steelband.
This was special and very different, espe-
cially with the launch of the Virtual Steel-
band, which was inspired by Eric Whitacre,
a Grammy-winning composer and con-
ductor, known for his Virtual Choir projects,
which brought individual voices from around
the globe together into an online choir. It s
the same concept except for the steelpan.
PhD candidate in ethnomusicology...
Gormandy lines up
with All Stars today
What daily motto/credo do you live by...
your recipe for success?
Staying positive even when there are roadblocks in
life, some doors may close but others will open, all God s
plan, his will, not yours. Continues on Page B4
Mia Gormandy, left, and some members of her band Pastiche.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9, 2015
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