Last update: 11-Dec-2013 3:23 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Genesis of great things in Exodus
This past decade some laudable things have been happening at the well-appointed amphitheatre at Republic Bank Exodus Steel Orchestra, on the Eastern Main Road, St Augustine.
Apart from two National Panorama titles in 2003 -2004, under the astute leadership of Ainsworth Mohammed, the band established Exocubs, its youth orchestra.
Exocubs was established more than ten years ago with the primary objective of developing T&T’s youth in the direction of music and moreso the steelpan. Over the years, in excess of 1,500 young people have graduated from its programme. In the more recent years youth were directed to the area of music literacy and formally graded.
Speaking to Pulse this week from abroad Mohammed said: “For the new term (2012/13) we have decided to introduce all other conventional instruments and to include the dance, chorale and other forms of the performing arts, example tassa, African drumming, parang etc.
“In this regard, we are being guided and supported through UWI’s (University of the West Indies) Creative Arts Centre as part of their community outreach programme. Republic Bank Exodus/ Exocubs’ desire is to formalise an alliance with UWI so that the youth of Trinbago can develop themselves in music and the arts to whatever levels they so wish.”
Through Professor Clement Sankat, principal of UWI, Mohammed and the band’s leadership has been in meeting with Jessel Murray, head of UWI’s Creative Arts and his deputy, Satanand Sharma, who have been exceedingly supportive and making time from their already busy schedules to so do. Under their guidance, the programme is being developed and tutors would include among a host of others, Exodus’ musical director Pelham Goddard and Roy Cape.
Mohammed added: “We have invited and received positive feedback from Michael Salickram of Shiv Shakti, Norvan Fullerton of Malick Folk Performing Company, Nancy Herrera of Metamorphosis and Xavier Phillip of Wasafoli to support the project.
“Our challenge is to meet the human resources needs demanded and the premises constraints. To this end we have been liaising with our MP for Tunapuna for temporary premises support as Exodus has ambitious plans to improve our facilities to include the required floor space above our existing building to accommodate this educational project. We are confident that this would be achieved within three years.”
It is the ambition of Exodus to develop a template in music and the arts which in two to three years may be extended to other steelbands and performing groups throughout our country. Steelbands, as you know, have been the true “community centres” in our nation though little recognition is given to them.
Registration for the new term 2012/13 was last Saturday and 161 participants were registered and interest has been expressed by several more who would be registering tomorrow.
And the Heat goes on
After more than a month of sustained action, live entertainment continues unabated into this weekend.
Last weekend saw a bumper pan show—Pantastic Friday—hosted by Witco Desperadoes at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain; the very successful Rum Festival was hosted by Angostura, attracting capacity crowds each of its three days at House of Angostura, Laventille; and, the staging of the opening of the 2013 parang season at Lions Cultural Club, Port-of-Spain.
Joining Desperadoes on Friday were Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, and CAL Invaders, plus reigning SuperBlue and Prime Minister Best Village Trophy Competition stars North West Laventille Folk Performers. Unfortunately this feast of music had to be truncated by the police as it went beyond its allotted midnight completion.
As badly as I wanted to I didn’t make it to the opening of the parang season but last weekend I did hear what is likely the first Christmas hit single. It is by Crazy, named Mr Back in Times, and is arranged by Pelham Goddard. Trust me, this song is really a sweet “lavway.” I also heard what is to be Crazy’s first release for C2K14—Total Sexorama—and that too sounds like a cracker.
This evening, the spacious and legendary panyard of Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, at Duke Street, will be the venue for Nostrand Steel Symphony steel orchestra’s Single Pan Extravaganza, from 7 pm. The ensembles billed to perform include St James Tripolians, Uni Stars, Pashphonics, Brimblers, City Sun Valley and One Love.
Tomorrow, from noon, the T&T Fire Services (TTFS) will hold its first ever Trimming the Waistline National Cookout, at Caldrac Sports Club and Grounds, Railway Road, California. Lions Club of Port-of-Spain North holds its Dining With the Stars...Sing a Happy Song fund-raiser, at Lions Cultural Centre; and Trini Revellers is launching The Sultan Palace, its C2K14 mas presentation, at Pier 1, Chaguaramas.
The Fire Service cookout is seeking to focus attention at maintaining a healthy lifestyle by the food we eat. Firefighting, through the use of technology, aids in its effective execution, but, if a fire fighter isn’t healthy, the chances of him or her becoming injured or suffering from ailments on the job increases greatly.
With that said, Chief Fire Officer Nyah Rampersad has endorsed this event by encouraging fire fighters and the invited public at large to improve their healthy eating habits whilst still maintaining culinary expertise.
Tomorrow’s challenge has been accepted by 11 teams across all divisions of the Service. Within the TTFS cookout competitions were held before at a smaller scale, with Sangre Grande Fire Station team being the last champion. With more teams and a wider span the competition is definitely going to be “beefed” up and may therefore result in an even better quality of food being delivered.
This event will not be televised, so make it your duty to see and be there as live entertainment will be provided, along with a round robin football competition at the same venue involving firefighters.
With already generated interest, plans are underway for the inclusion of more teams outside of the TTFS for the second edition of the cookout competition in 2014.
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