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Youth celebrates veterans in concert, A Long Time Coming—a musical celebration of our culture and a special tribute to Dr Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste at San Fernando Naparima Bowl recently.
The Pan Elders Youth Steel Orchestra brand fueled sound that proved they were nothing short of entertaining and vibrant with an all-star cast of youth talent complimented by song and the steelpan.
The orchestra’s full complement complied with tenor, double pans, guitar pans, cello, brass, and percussion solidify the band’s two years emergence and keen pan accompaniment on songs sung by local entertainers like Singing Sandra, Shadow, Blaxx, Johnny King and international Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin, and Sam Cooke.
The 62-plus Orchestra led by multiple times Junior Calypso Monarch and Sanfest winner Kevan Calliste arrangement provided back up on the national instrument to soloists and held their own with a pan medley for songs like Doctor Cassandra, Stranger, Hulk, La La, and Golo; and equally notable to mention was Lord Kitchener’s Bees Melody arranged by Verryl Charleau. Calliste, the grandson of The Black Stalin and his wife Patsy Calliste, said the group’s revolution is to allow the young talents an opportunity to stand on their own and to be appreciated for their capabilities.
Joshua Hinds, left, with Caleb Hinds and Nicholas Lucas teamed up and performed Africa.
“It is a young cast, pannist, and singers who are unknown. It was an opportunity to push the band members who are people from the community around the country and pay homage to some musical greats.
“The show was supposed to be held in 2020, but we know what COVID-19 did. So in that time we did two videos in 2020; a virtual and a steelpan cover of Farmer Nappy’s Backyard Jam. This show was an extension of what we can do outside of the Carnival.
“However, we rehearsed, and I was blown away by the level of performances on the night. I am hearing that people are asking for a repeat performance and for us to take the concert to Port-of-Spain. But there is a lot to take into consideration, there is the cost of a venue, transportation of the equipment, the members have to be fed and uniform,” Calliste said.
He said they are working on the next project A Long Time Coming—The Christmas Edition later this year. The youth band consists of members 21 years and under. The band was inaugurated to the parent Pan Elders band by manager Hollister Smith in 2019. They participated in the Pantrinbago’s Youth Panorama Competition in 2020 and emerged 7th.
Christian Rampersad and Joshua Hinds perform Change Is Gonna Come.
Calliste said during the heights of COVID-19 when so much was uncertain the members met online and forged a way forward. He said when some restrictions were lifted in 2020 they met to record Black Stalin’s Better Days Are Coming, to uplift citizens during the trying times.
Calliste had patrons on their feet and dancing and singing as he served a medley of his grandfather’s songs Play One and Blackman Feeling to Party.
Other mesmerising performances included the Hinds brothers, Nicholas Lucas, Patrice Richardson, and Christian Rampersad.
Part of the Pan Elders Youth Steel Orchestra during one of their sets.