Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2015 Contents RAY FUNK and ANDREW MARTIN
Youth are the future of pan, and with
this motivation Pan Trinbago, as
part of the International Confer-
ence and Panorama started a week of events
on August 3 with a youth empowerment
Over 50 teen representatives drawn from
steelbands spread across the country con-
verged on the engineering auditorium at UWI
for a forum to challenge them and their role
in pan into the future. The interactive event
featured talks, panel discussions, and video
clips. Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz chal-
lenged the group to step forward, to play an
active role in pan; and step forward they did.
The youth were not shy and participation
Diaz recounted and described pan history
and the struggles of pan players as well as
opportunities presented by pan. Inspired by
the event, the youth were eager to become
involved and to assert leadership roles in their
own steelbands and from there, move on to
Pan Trinbago and the wider steelband com-
The youth empowerment forum at the
International Conference and Panorama
offered representatives a chance for their voice
and perspective to be heard and acted upon.
Engaged youth representatives peppered Diaz
with questions and many expressed frustra-
tions with the management of their bands.
Concerns ranged from the lack of commu-
nications skills to the marginalisation of youth
in band decision making.
Another discussion panel featured a spirited
discussion of important (and always contro-
versial) subject of Panorama judging. Three
leading judges for Junior Panorama, Vanessa
Headley (arranger for Golden Hands and soon
to be judge at Notting Hill Panorama in Eng-
land), Akua Leith (graduate student in pan
at Northern Illinois), and Kareen Brown (cap-
tain of the National Steel Symphony Orches-
tra) addressed the youth and fielded questions
regarding the difficulty of judging Panorama
Writing clear, articulate, and useful com-
ments is a more difficult task than one might
assume and Headley stressed the importance
of judges taking the time to listen to the calyp-
soes numerous times ahead of the competition
in order to properly judge the arranger s skill.
Headley also talked to the importance of "cri-
tiquing positively" to encourage bands.
The youth, too, participated in the discus-
sion and frustrations were expressed regarding
poor judging, compliments for a good intro-
duction when the arrangement did not have
an introduction. Other issues were raised such
as the inclusion of subjective extra musical
categories that judge the idea of the concept
of Carnival spirit or whether "creating excite-
ment" is a proper category. The topic at hand
caused lively debate.
A panel discussion on the topics of Entre-
preneurship, Scholarship and Training featured
Barry Mannette, Junior Hutchenson, Marceline
Peters and Leroy Wilson. The panellists dis-
cussed a variety of issues regarding pan and
pan manufacturing. Wilson is the Managing
Director of Pan 2000 and Beyond and talked
about the importance of focusing on improv-
ing the sound of pan performance.
His abiding interest in improving pan per-
formance by improving the sticks, such as
creating a series of seven different sticks for
tenor pan from plastic, wood or aluminium,
was a point of major discussion. Hutchenson
works in the manufacturing pan development
program at UWI and promoted the program
that sadly is unknown to many UWI music
students. Marceline Peters from the Ministry
of Education gave an overview of pan in the
educational system and what opportunities
are available for young pan players of high
proficiency to become instructors in the sys-
The youth of pan need only to look around
and see that in most steelbands the average
age of the pannists is under 30 but the median
audience age is much older. As a result,
attracting youths to pan events, proved a vital
topic. By a show of hands, representatives
acknowledged that if they are not performing,
they do not come to pan events.
Discussions of marketing and retention
ensured and the youth grappled with questions
the likes of how does a youth steelband attract
more young people? What type of marketing
is most effective? Is social media outreach
best? How does one create a youth-oriented
party in the panyard? How can steelbands
collaborate with rock bands? How can steel-
bands play more modern music that resonates
with the youth? Discussions ensued but no
easy solutions emerged. However, the need
for such solutions was clear to all.
Paul Massey from the Ministry of Education
and Aquill Arrindell from Pan Trinbago mod-
erated most of the day s discussions and the
youth were constantly challenged to think
about their role in shaping the future of pan.
Said Kenny Phillips, "What s next?" To this
end, the youth delegates further discussed
the importance of the academic side of pan
and not just the social aspect.
The forum ended with a fabulous perform-
ance by Fusion Steel, a small pan ensemble
from South. Fusion Steel was formed just five
years ago, has a vocalist and a rapper, and is
led by pan master Darren Sheppard performing
on the PHI.
Samsung has announced two new large
high-end Android handsets: the Galaxy S6
Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5.
Both phones have 5.7in screens and are
going on sale earlier in the year than their
The launches follow five successive falls
in Samsung Electronics' quarterly profits.
Analysts say the popularity of mid-range
phones from Chinese rivals, and Apple's
shift to bigger iPhones, have dented de-
mand for Samsung's devices.
However, the firm remains the world
leader in terms of overall smartphone ship-
ments. The announcements were made at a
press conference in New York.
The company also revealed that its smart
wallet service, Samsung Pay---which allows
the phones to trigger payment card transac-
tions---would go live in South Korea on
That service will be extended to the US
on 28 September and then to the UK and
Spain at an unspecified date.
Like previous versions of the Note, the
new version comes with a stylus---which
Samsung says makes it suitable for produc-
But the phone now has metal edges and
a glass back to give it a more "premium"
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Continues on Page B2
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 unveiled
Although there are a lot of young people playing pan, the audiences are often middle aged. One of the issues for Pan Trinbago is how to get
young people to attend pan events in the future.
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