As UN declares World Steelpan Day - Ramsey-Moore: Pan Month even more special

Desperadoes Youth Steel Orchestra - SUREASH CHOLAI
Desperadoes Youth Steel Orchestra - SUREASH CHOLAI

Pan Trinbago will celebrate Pan Month once again this August and it is being made even more special with the UN declaration of August 11 as World Steelpan Day.

The body has a number of activities planned for the month including a church service, the Pan and Powder Steel Band Parade and Garcia’s Pan on D’Avenue.

On August 11 a special celebration will be held in Port of Spain, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore confirmed.

On Sunday, Newsday reported that the UN was expected to adopt a draft resolution for August 11 to be declared World Steelpan Day and be annually observed.

At the time of writing, the draft resolution had received 60 co-sponsors. It added that an informal consultation was held on June 29 with member states in which “overall support was expressed for the draft resolution…”

She said Pan Month has been celebrated since 1992 when late, former Prime Minister Patrick Manning declared pan as TT’s national instrument.

“In particular it is much more meaningful to us because pan will be declared a world instrument by the UN. It is much more significant when we think of where pan came from behind the bridge and, now, it is being embraced on the world’s stage.”

Ramsey-Moore this was significant in terms of the organisations’ advocacy, awareness and hopes it will be a boost for pan’s manufacturers, tuners, players, arrangers and all involved in the pan industry.

“The focus, for me as president, is the economic boost it will allow for the country and, in particular, tourism, knowing we present the greatest show on earth which is: Carnival.”

Pan Trinbago president says Pan Month will be more special this yeat with the declaration of World Steelpan Day by the UN. - Angelo Marcelle

Panorama is a major component of all of the activities that take place during Carnival, she added.

The body looked forward to appointing its international pan ambassadors to assist in the awareness programmes and assist in reaching out to markets where TT’s manufacturers would now be able to supply these markets.

That was the biggest boost of all, Ramsey-Moore said.

A toast was moved at Desperadoes’ New Pan Theatre, George Street to celebrate the declaration by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and Pan Trinbago, she said.

Desperadoes, Massy Trinidad All Stars and BP Renegades and the National Steel Symphony Orchestra will perform after the toast.

“On the 11, there will be a massive celebration in Port of Spain. We are going to have pan from behind the bridge coming right out to Woodford Square. At 5 pm in Woodford Square we will have official speeches and seven of our conventional bands that will be providing music to the world.”

Global pan enthusiasts and organisations will bring remarks, she added.

Pan Trinbago has restored credibility as an organisation to TT and pan was centre stage.

“I think we are on the right path because pan affects community, families. It unites. It is happy music and it is unspeakable moment. It is glorious day,” she said.

Desperadoes’ general manager Kwesi Moore said the UN declaration was a proud moment for TT, the region, the Diaspora and pan players.

“Desperadoes is particularly pleased due to our own contributions to the artform, having been world ambassadors for the instrument for decades among other orchestras as well. And that the celebration of this declaration will take place at our new home. Totally historic,” he wrote in WhatsApp responses.

BP Renegades - Jordon Briggs

He said this may move the needle that much further for the proclamation of pan as the TT’s national instrument. The instrument is yet to be proclaimed as such.

Last year July, tech company Google celebrated the pan with one of its famous Google Doodles.

Pan Month events:

August 5

4 pm: Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation: Steel Band Parade, Eastern main Road, Laventille

August 11

12 pm: World Steelpan Day, street parade, East Port of Spain

5 pm: Woodford Square

August 20

Church service and blessing of flags – TBA

August 23

5 pm: Pan and Powder Steelband Parade, City Hall, Knox Street, Port of Spain

6 pm: Pembroke Street to Queen’s Park Savannah

August 26

6 pm: Garcia’s Pan on the Avenue, Ariapita Avenue

August 30

8 pm: BP Renegades – Represent the Independence Fete, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain


"As UN declares World Steelpan Day – Ramsey-Moore: Pan Month even more special"

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