British High Commissioner Tim Stew
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Success Stars steelband releases fund-raising CD
Success Stars Pan Sounds Steel Orchestra recently released its new fund-raising CD titled Legacy of Excellence.
The 11-track album, a Pan In Education fund-raising initiative, contains compositions from the pens of the late Andre Tanker, Maestro (Cecil Hume) and Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), in addition to selections by SuperBlue (Austin Lyons), and others. They include Lament Of A Flower, Something To Celebrate, Payphone, Grenade, Pan In A Minor, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Friday/Ethel, Savage/Little Wine, Rebecca, Ben Lion, and Pan Night and Day. The arrangers are Sean Lewis, L Salvary, C Codrington and Mickiel Gabriel.
The orchestra, which has won many trophies over the years, was spawned at the Success Laventille Secondary School (SLSS), which resides in the belly of the steelpan world, home of many renowned innovators and pan tuners, and whose musical programmes, from inception, reflect its love and respect for the heritage and legacy of the founding fathers of the steelband movement.
In 1985 and 1986 the steel orchestra, fondly abbreviated to Success Stars, participated in two prestigious music competitions for the first time—the Steelband Music Festival and Junior Panorama. In 1987, under the musical tutelage and directorship of teacher Sean Lewis, the band claimed its first victory in the Steelband Music Festival. This was followed by winning the Junior Panorama title in 1988. The band went on to secure victories in the Steelband Music Festival in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003 under the baton of Ben Jackson.
With past students showing allegiance to their school and steel orchestra, Success Stars Pan Sounds now comprises alumni and present students teaming up to enter competitions. Manager Kay Felix, arranger Mickiel Gabriel and dedicated parents supervise rehearsals on the compound after school hours to allow the young people to do what they love doing —playing the pan.
Success Stars has performed in Canada, Scotland and USA. In March 2014, the band was selected by the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism to represent T&T at the IX International Festival Cedros in Mexico.
SLSS wishes to recognise British Gas T&T which has financed the three-year pilot programme Pan in Education, an initiative of Sanch Electronix, aimed at creating music industry professionals.
Copies of the CD, produced by Sanch Electronix, can be purchased only at the school on the Eastern Main Road, Laventille, and Sanch at 23 King Street, St Joseph. It is not available at record shops.