First Citizens is the proud sponsor of Pan Development Unlimited (PDU), a training school, which offers courses in advance pan tuning, and pan construction.
First Citizens chairman Anthony Smart recently met with Kerbasie Daniel, the most outstanding student for the 2018 programme as well as Barry Yeates, manager of Pan Development Unlimited.
Speaking at the First Citizens Corporate Centre in Port of Spain, chairman Smart said, “As a Group committed to the development of local culture and young people, First Citizens understands that the concept of setting-up and running courses in making and tuning the steelpan instrument is critically important to the preservation of the art form.” Smart continued, “The reality is that without pan-makers and pan-tuners, there would be no steel band movement.”
The First Citizens sponsorship of the 2018 Basic Pan tuning course ran from July-August at the Belmont Secondary School under the guidance of instructors Musa Muhammad and Brian “Bean” Griffith. Since 1990, the PDU has had the Introductory Pan Construction Course and over the duration of a four-week period, participants go through the stages of constructing a tenor-pan instrument.
This course has been done on an annual basis and in 2006 it was renamed the Introductory Pan Construction Course for Schools, thus allowing the participation of primary school students. In 2007, PDU expanded the programme by doing two introductory pan courses for schools plus the basic pan-tuning course, each year.
All PDU courses are offered on a scholarship basis and First Citizens said it was proud to be part of the nation-building initiative.