The 220th Commonwealth Point of Light honoree of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II—head of the Commonwealth, director and arranger for the NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra, Darren Sheppard, said he and his four-man cast are preparing to mesmerise patrons on August 26, with his event that celebrates his living, Sheppy The Concert, at Naparima Bowl—The Cultural Soul of South The Cultural Soul of South—9-21 Paradise Pasture, San Fernando, from 8-11 pm with gates to be opened at 7pm.
Also to be featured are international parang queen, Alicia Jaggasar, former Miss T&T Talent, songwriter and artiste, Moricia Cagan, jazz R&B and pop singer, songwriter, pianist, recording artiste Sherma Andrews, jazz connoisseur Vaughnette Bigford, and NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra.
Sheppard is celebrating his 50th birthday and has been a loyal member of Fonclaire Steel Orchestra for 42 of those years.
Earlier this year, Sheppard was identified for his exceptional voluntary service extended to children, youth and seniors via his pan music education programmes, said a British release, where in excess of 1,000 children spanning schools in south Trinidad benefitted.
The award will be presented to Sheppard at Fonclaire’s panyard on August 23 at 6pm by the British High Commissioner to T&T, Harriet Cross.
The Commonwealth Points of Light awards appreciates and celebrates acts by volunteers representing the 54 Commonwealth nations, inspiring others to do well and assisting in betterment on a whole. One volunteer per week is recognised.
The lone steel orchestra for Sheppie The Concert, NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra, performs at an event with musical arranger, director Darren Sheppard, left, playing the tenor.
Sheppard said the award doesn’t only shine a light on him, but also on the magnificent power of T&T’s steelpan music and the amazing community that gave birth to “our” steelband.
He said he continuously thanks God for being at the centre of his work, and will also forever thank Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for the respective honour bestowed upon him.
In a release from the British High Commission, High Commissioner Cross said she will be delighted to present Sheppard with the award on behalf of Her Royal Majesty.
She described Sheppard as “an admirable example of someone who works continuously to empower his community through his work with young people. In addition to highlighting Darren’s work which drives positive change in San Fernando, I hope this award inspires people to dedicate themselves to improving their own communities and their country.”