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Archive for September, 2014

Pan Yaad 2014 It’s All About the Pans…….Steel Pans!

Steel pans have been credited as the only acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century. The first steel pans were created in Trinidad and Tobago, by recycling old 55 gallon drums. They carry a distinct sound and today, they are played and listened to worldwide. True to Belize’s multicultural background and Caribbean influences, the steel pans have found a home here as well. Since 2009, the Pan Yaad Concert has become a highly anticipated event and one of the highlights of Belize’s September Celebrations. This year’s concert featured 3 groups: the veterans, Pantempters Steel Orchestra; Belmopan City’s Panerrifix Steelband; and the newcomer, Pandemonium Steel Band. It was a night of pure bliss and each group brought something unique to the show and kept the crowd on their feet. Pandemonium Steel Band is the result of the collaborative effort of NICH, Restore Belize, and UNICEF and its goal is to increase the number of Belizean, at-risk youth playing music and to provide a positive outlet for them. Pandemonium wowed the crowd with their arrangements which included: an evolution of dancehall music, a Belizean medley and a Nigerian-Caribbean mix. It was the culmination of months of hard work and a wonderful manifestation of what can be achieved when one is given a fair chance to accomplish something. Both the Pantempters Steel Orchestra and the Panerrifix Steelband have junior sections. They range in ages from 5-13 and captivated the audience with their vigor and love of music. Great things can be expected from these young musicians. Panerrifix Steelband, from Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan, is no stranger to the steel pan scene and took the stage and performed a series of modern tunes, Belizean pieces and a Caribbean fusion. With support from their Belmopan fans and Senior Steppers, they engaged the audience and kept the crowd moving. The Pantempters Steel Orchestra started in 1992 at the University College of Belize and has now evolved into the largest steel band in Belize. Each year this group enthralls their audience with not only their music, but their costumes and stage presence. This year, their playlist featured Samba, Soca, Belizean, and Nigerian pieces. Their high energy performance sustained the energy from the previous groups and had the audience shaking and swaying. The second segment of the concert featured combined performances from the various groups and encouraged the spirit of working together and music being a force of unity. Everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing a Pan Yaad concert. It is a most wonderful experience: the reverberating sound of the pans, the gleeful faces of the pannists and the festive atmosphere from the crowd are just a few of the sights and sounds you will encounter!