The Volpanics play at Rhythm Night in Salem during St. Patrick's Festival 2019 (DiscoverMNI Photo)

Pan Trinbago to Provide Steel Pan Music Support to Montserrat

The Volpanics play at Rhythm Night in Salem during St. Patrick’s Festival 2019 (DiscoverMNI Photo)

Steel pan music on Montserrat will be given an added boost as ‘Pan Trinbago’—the world’s governing body of steel pan music, has signed a contract with the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), to spearhead a project aimed at improving steel pan music here.

The contract was signed with ‘Pan Trinbago’ on Friday February 1, 2020. Under the arrangement, ‘Pan Trinbago’ will be required to provide training and skills upgrading for local steel pan artisans in playing, tuning, arranging and constructing steel pans.

The project was developed by the Montserrat Arts Council after consulting with local steel pan instructors and players about their needs. The steel pan music revival project will run over a three-month period, starting immediately following the St. Patrick’s Festival. Three steel pan experts from ‘Pan Trinbago’ will be on the island delivering the training in music theory, arranging steel pan music, playing of the pan at various levels, and constructing and tuning pans.

The broad scope of the project includes:

1. The development of a programme which introduces the art of manufacturing steel pans along with the provision of instructions in steelpan making/building/tuning.

Joint Primary School Steel Orchestra performing at the opening of St. Patrick’s Festival. (File Photo)

2. The provision of a curriculum in steel pan playing for youth and adults already playing the instruments.

3. Provision of instructions and mentoring in arranging music for the steelpan.

To further ensure the project is delivered at optimum level, a set of high quality pans will be procured and used during the training. These pans will later be used by local groups for performances at cultural and festival events, as well as other performances.

The steel pan revival project was requested by the Montserrat Arts Council (MAC) and is being funded under the BNTF9 Skills Training Programme. The allocation for this project is $48,000.00 US dollars.

The BNTF operates under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier.