Panorama 2013 Medium Band national champs, NLCB Buccooneers Steel Orchestra, celebrated its 50th anniversary of ‘Ah Buccooneers’ in fine style on Saturday, promising a series of post-Carnival concerts
throughout Trinidad and Tobago, and welcoming the input of young people to its success.
Speaking at a dinner and awards ceremony, combined with sweet pan music, to a packed crowd of guests at the Colibri Ballroom of the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, Lowlands, Manager and founding member, Mervyn Solomon said:
“I am extremely happy and elated that we could have grown and developed our band for 50 years and I hope that the younger ones now who are behind us are going to carry on what we would have started.
“In the next 50 years I may not be around, but I hope the young ones are going to take up the mantle. We have a good group of young people and I think they would be able to take on the responsibilities.”
“The band is very viable at this time and the (steel band) activity helps to keep them (young people) away from the street and it keeps them busy. The young people love going out to play pan and if they stay with the band, it is going to take them very far. I always encourage them to stay on the positive lane and don’t be distracted. At this time 80 percent of the band are the youths, our stage side is about 26 people and 20 of them are young people.”
“The figure may seem small during the year, however as Carnival approaches, the medium band’s membership increases exponentially as Panorama approaches to approximately 90 players.”
Buccooneers was formed in 1967 at Chance Street, and has grown in strength through the years. As it heads into another pan season, another founding member Charlie Murray, said the band was heading into the 2018 Panorama with the goal of improving on its third place standing in the Medium Band category this year.
Murray also said that after Carnival, Buccooneers will continue its 50th anniversary celebrations by holding concerts throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
“We will be starting up in Toco and ending in Tobago, however we are hoping that we could reach more villages in Trinidad. We usually conduct this initiative by also taking hampers for the needy in Toco, and we will be doing the same home here in Tobago,” he said.
He said too, that the band intends to keep up with global music trends, with plans to move away from a simple pan tent to a pan theatre, complete with visual art and music rooms to view, learn and read music.