The Revelation Institute for Performing Education (Ripe) will hold its first gala Christmas concert tonight and tomorrow (November 30). The two-night event, to be held at the UWI Learning and Teaching Complex, St Augustine, will feature the talents of our nation's youth, some as young as five years old, on the steelpan.
A release from the organisers said while seasonal pieces are on the nights' playbill, guests can look forward to scintillating music in a variety of genres, including classical and jazz, arranged and conducted by such noted musicologists Desmond Waithe and Maureen Clement; musician, arranger and percussionist Dante Pantin; Kristofer Carter; Jamaal Lewis; and musician, arranger and soloist Kareem Brown who will showcase his own composition for steelpan orchestra.
Featured guest performer is Mia Gormandy, a doctoral student in ethnomusicology and current director of Florida State University's steelband, Mas and Steel. Trinidad-born Gormandy began playing the steelpan at the age of five, and excelled at numerous local and regional competitions before being awarded a full scholarship to Northern Illinois University at the age of 15. In 2009 she graduated with a bachelors degree in music.
She subsequently attained a masters of music degree in steelpan performance; a second masters of music degree in ethnomusicology and is currently pursuing her PhD.
The accomplished 25-year-old musician, who studied under pan pioneer Cliff Alexis and pan virtuoso Liam Teague, has performed around the world, including the Caribbean, USA, Canada, Australia and Austria.
She has also performed with several world-renowned musicians, including guitarist Berta Rojas and 11-time Grammy winner Paquito D'Rivera.At the RIPE concert, she will play a number of solo pieces, and collaborate with the young pannists on the grand finale performance of Michael Jackson's Heal The World, arranged by Maureen Clement. Other guest artistes include former National Parang Champions Amantes de Parranda, violinist Harold Beckles and Anthony "Zoom" Saloum.
�2 Showtimes are 7 pm on November 29, and 5pm on November 30. Tickets are available from any Ripe committee member at the venue on November 29 or by contacting Julian Bada at 467-5317.