Desperadoes Steel Orchestra is in mourning as its longest-standing female pannist has died.
Ursula Tudor died on July 21 at 9.30 pm and had been fighting cancer for some time, the band said in responses to Newsday.
Tudor had been a member of the band from 1970 until her passing. She was a tenor player and served as tenor section leader for a number of years and was also the band’s treasurer for six years.
Desperadoes said Tudor lived at the corner of St Barbs and Laventille Road, East Dry River, Port of Spain but was at her daughter’s Valencia home at the time of her passing.
“Ms Ursula is well known in the pan fraternity as the longest-standing female player in history. She started playing in the band in an era where it was taboo for females to be a member. She loved her band and enjoyed playing her tenor.
“With over 50 years of membership in the orchestra, always pleasant, always smiling, a true matriarch.
“She was a mother/grandmother not only to her family but to a number of us within the Desperadoes Pan Family, (Queen Mother as many of us would call her). We will truly miss her,” the band said.
Desperadoes said funeral arrangements were being made and will be shared as soon as details are firmed up.
The pan fraternity also mourned the loss of Godwin Bowen, former arranger of Pamberi Steel Orchestra. Bowen died on July 16.
Pan Trinbago, on its Facebook page, sent condolences to Bowen’s friends and family.