THE month of August is pan month with a number of pan events occurring across the country. From now on, August 11 will be known as World Pan Day. This was announced Sunday at the Pan Trinbago head office on the corner of Duke and Melbourne Street.
Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore said pan is a marvellous instrument of the 20th century that is played and celebrated all over the world. Countries such as Switzerland, Denmark, Grenada, Germany, Japan, Finland, The Netherlands, France, US and UK are have pan associations or teach and practice the pan.
“It is hailed all over the world that TT is the land of steel pan. As we look at it through the world, it should be recognised by our own. We will be there to support all organisations that have pan in their different countries... Let pan be spread through out the world. It is our gift to the world,” she said.
Pan is also a way to help young people stay away from crime she said. She acknowledged the origins of pan where it was associated with gang violence, but through its evolution it turned into an instrument that helped young people stay focused by giving them a sense of achievement and a constructive outlet for their energy. She called on the government to provide more of a financial support to the pan organisations who work with young people.
Simeon Sandifield is the MD of Sanch Electronix, a company that is building a digital learning management system with and animated steelpan instructor called Pete the pan stick. Sandifield said there is now a concerted effort to standardise layouts for instruments manufactured for the local, regional and international education markets.
“The initiative will facilitate the easy movement of players to participate in cultural exchanges with TT and worldwide by eliminating expensive transportation costs for middle and background pans.
He announced there is a plan to write a pan anthem similar to David Rudder’s Rally ‘Round the West Indies. This song is currently being written by poet Arlette Wiggins and Bertel Gittens. Sanch Electronix is the producer of that song.
Sandifield believes pan is most effective as a learning tool for students and hopes to develop a pan academy by 2020.
“The most important role for pan is in education where it can be used cost-effectively for training and certifying the music industry professionals in the areas of manufacturing, music literacy, music production, business, technical English and social studies.”
Royce Russell, a pan apparel businessman called on the pan community to be more proactive when it comes to their marketing of events and utilise social media.
“Pan people are not using social media and Facebook for their business. Recently there was pan in Laventille. People have money to jump on a plane and come over to jump up. They want to jump up to pan, but they don’t know about the events at all and the pan men lose out.”
A suggestion was made that on next year’s World Pan day all pan sides organise to play in their own panyard. Another person suggested that Victoria Square be turned into a pan park where the pan sides can set up tents, put on performances and sell merchandise.