Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 24th 2016 Contents A27
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• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Hollywood has an "epidemic of
invisibility" for women, minorities and
LGBT people that runs across the whole
industry, a new study has suggested.
The report by the University of
Southern California stated that
Hollywood has an "inclusion crisis" from
CEOs to minor characters.
"Overall, the landscape of media
content is still largely whitewashed," the
It comes days ahead of the Oscars,
which has been dubbed OscarsSoWhite.
The lack of diversity in the Oscar
nominations led Spike Lee and Jada
Pinkett Smith to boycott the ceremony
and Oscars head Cheryl Boone Isaacs to
pledge to double the number of female
and minority members of the Academy.
"The prequel to OscarsSoWhite is
HollywoodSoWhite," said associate
professor Stacy Smith, one of the
"We don't have a diversity problem.
We have an inclusion crisis."
The report by the Media, Diversity
and Social Change Initiative looked at
those in front of the camera and behind
the scenes in film and TV.
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Something that too many of us in T&T
take for granted is the beauty of pan
music, in all its diverse, fluid possibil-
ities---from music that s lyrical and medita-
tive, to jazzy or classical compositions, to
the visceral explosiveness of a Panorama.
Not so the many musicians and music stu-
dents who visit here every year, from the
US, the UK, Japan and other countries, who
are taking pan in all kinds of directions, yet
who still deeply respect its origins. For many
of them, trekking to Trinidad for Panorama
is akin to a musical pilgrimage; to not only
see and feel the space where the instrument
was born, but to actively participate in a
The talented Liam Teague, the "Paganini
of the steelpan," encouraged many American
pan students to visit T&T for Panorama this
year. Teague, who is Head of Steelpan Studies
and Associate Professor at Northern Illinois
University (NIU), has been an unflagging
ambassador for pan through his music, his
teaching, and his many musical collaborations
with ensembles from all over the world.
This Carnival, Teague arranged music for
PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra at
Panorama---his third year doing this---and with
him came students from NIU as well as other
US universities, to play with Silver Stars for
Panorama. They played Panoramic by Nesta
"Sekon Sta" Boxhill, placing seventh at Panora-
"2016 marked my third year arranging for
Silver Stars. The late Edwin Pouchet (former
arranger and leader of Silver Stars) handpicked
me to serve as the band s arranger when health
circumstances made it impossible for him to
continue in the role of arranger," said Teague
in a Guardian interview.
"It is such a pleasure to be able to work
with this talented ensemble," said Teague of
his experience this year with Silver Stars: "To
hear 120 musicians play one s composition is
an experience which is almost indescribable.
The management is second to none and the
players are very gifted!"
The Guardian interviewed some of the vis-
iting US musicians to see why they came here,
and whether they would return. Today we
hear from Brett Morris and Amanda Duncan.
Tomorrow, Patrick Altmire, Joseph Galvin,
Marcus Rattler and Tom Berich add their voic-
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Brett Morris began learning pan when his
percussion professor started the steel pan pro-
gramme at Truman State University (TSU).
"I have learned to play on all of the pans, but
my favorite to play is the tenor pan...The only
pan culture where I live (northeast Missouri)
is the TSU university steel pan programme---
Truman Steel," he said.
"I had not been to Trinidad before this
year...I had wanted to experience Panorama
after my first steel band concert and from
watching Panorama videos on YouTube.
Morris added: "Playing in T&T Panorama
was something special. Pan was born in this
country so it was incredible to be playing at
the instrument s home. As a musician, I learned
more about how to enjoy the music more, as
well as learning to entertain a crowd. What
stood out to me most about playing in Silver
Stars was that almost everyone was there
because they love the instrument. Putting the
show together was more fun that way because
money was not the sole purpose for our play-
"What I found unique about the T&T cul-
ture was that music really does seem to be
everywhere. The people I talked to seemed to
always have some sort of inflection in their
speech, almost as if they were singing. And
seeing people being able to pick out a tune
and arrange it for a band without the assistance
of sheet music is incredible to me. There are
some people in America that can do that, but
it is not as common," he said.
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"I started playing steel pan in my first year
in university in 2004, at California State Uni-
versity, Long Beach," said Amanda, a percussion
She has a bachelor s degree in music, and
earned her Masters in percussion at Northern
Illinois University, where she played in the
NIU Steel Band under the direction of Cliff
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The joy of pan
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