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Band looks at corporate sponsorship
Tamba Gwindi, the manager of Divine Echoes, hopes the band will be given the opportunity to perform for communities throughout T&T for the country’s 50th anniversary of Independence before their contracts come to an end on August 23. In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Gwindi said despite recent media coverage of the impending band’s fate, the group still has not received official word from the Office of the Prime Minister as to what will become of them.
“We have had nothing in writing to say yea or nay about being disbanded. We are being prepared. Auditors coming, and all of that done, but there is no communication to say, ‘Your contracts are being renewed,’” he said. The band, formed in 2007, was the brainchild of former prime minister Patrick Manning whose office held responsibility for funding the band.
Although the band has been in the public eye again, performing at an event held by the Ministry of Justice, and in a concert on July 2 with Black Stalin and pianist Louis Nurse at the Central Bank Auditorium in Port-of-Spain, it’s fate still remains uncertain. This uncertainty is, however, no deterrent for Gwindi, who plans to seek sponsorship from corporate organisations to keep the band together if the band’s contract is not renewed.
“If the contract is not renewed then we hope to reach out for corporate sponsorship,” he said. He said he has already contacted several corporate sponsors already and has received positive feedback. Divine Echoes, he said, has also made a proposal to purchase the instruments if the band is disbanded but was told they would have to await Cabinet’s approval for that plan to materialise.
Gwindi said he has also written to the Office of the Prime Minster about the band’s plans to host a series of community concerts free of charge to the public, but has received no word on that proposal. If disbanded, approximately 30 people will be affected. The members of the band have been pursuing their degrees in music from tertiary institutions such as University of Trinidad and Tobago, College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago and University of the West Indies.
The band comprises:
1 key boardist
Two members of the band, a vocalist and a pianist, whose contracts ended, have since left the band.
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