EVERY August for the last 28 years Pan Trinbago has used the month of August to observe and celebrate pan.
This year despite challenges posed by covid19, is no different. Pan Month will honour the national instrument through various online activities .
The organisation’s president Beverly Ramsey-Moore said in a phone interview with Newsday it has encouraged all the regions and pan organisations to do something effective for Pan Month.
She added that Pan Trinbago recognised that because of the pandemic, all of its events have been brought to a screeching halt as its members cannot gather. But while the organisation and bands need large groups and crowds for its events, its main business is preserving lives, she said.
So the Pan Month calendar has been trimmed considerably this year.
Ramsey-Moore said the organisation has suffered a lot in terms of raising revenue, but the organisation’s members have been bonding.
“For me as president, I miss my member bands. I miss going to the panyards. I miss socialising. I really miss it.
"Then on the verge of the entertainment industry being reopened, there we had a second phase with covid19. So our industry has now been put back.
"We don’t know when we will be able to have our events in panyards.
"We don’t even know what is going to happen about Carnival and so on.”
For now Pan Trinbago plans to wait it out and hope “that one day glory will come.”
One of the events people can look forward to for Pan Month is the Pan in Unity: International Virtual Steelband Project.
The Pan In Unity team is composed of Dr Mia Gormandy-Benjamin, pannist Tracy Thornton and performer, arranger and educator Yuko Asada.
Pan In Unity invites 1,000 pannists throughout the world to to “virtually come together as one to create positive vibes and lift people's spirits during these unprecedented times we are living in.”
It asks the pannists to join in performing a medley that includes John Lennon’s Imagine, Bob Marley’s One Love and Calypso For Africa (Now is the Time).
Pannists have been asked to download the part of the song they wish to perform and practise with given audio tracks, video-record the music and then upload the video on August 24 at 11.59 pm.
Ramsey-Moore described the Pan In Unity project as a great initiative and said the organisation was looking forward to the virtual event.
“With this in mind, the root of the project stemmed from TT and Len "Boogsie" Sharpe has already completed the musical arrangement that comprises three pieces,” she said.
She thanked the group for its initiative at a time when steelpan enthusiasts and community “have to seek alternative entertainment.”
Its website said the Pan In Unity score and parts will be made available after the project is completed for purchase for bands wishing to perform the piece afterwards.
Ramsey-Moore said she is proud of the member bands and the work they have done during the covid19 lockdown.
“I saw them dig really deep to come up with initiatives on social media platforms.”
She highlighted BP Renegades’ Beat the Pandemic series, Nevin Roach’s Panograma and Republic Bank Exodus’ International Pan Ramajay as some of the virtual events put on by the pan community.
“Steelpan organisations throughout the world have been providing entertainment. We salute individuals and organisations for keeping pan alive,” she said.
Some of Pan Trinbago’s events for Pan Month
World Steelpan Day: August 11
Pan Memories live: Pan Down Memory Lane/Pan in the 21st Century
World Steelpan Day event shared live via social media. From 4.30 pm at the Pan Trinbago head office.
Pan Talk with president Beverly Ramsey-Moore hosted by Marcus Ash: August 15, 6-7.30 pm
Church service: August 16, Holy Trinity Cathedral, 10 am.
Staff Appreciation Day: August 21
Virtual Solidarity Concert: August 28
Pan Education Series: entire month
Champion band and arranger appreciation: entire month
Way back Wednesdays and Flashback Fridays with Pan in the 21st Century: entire month
Conversations with arrangers: entire month