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Caribbean

Published on June 26th, 2015 | by Wesley Gibbings - Trinidad Guardian

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Mallets, Brass and Steel

Pan Trinbago vice president, Brian Serrette, rather curiously asserted at the opening of the University of T&T (UTT) produced Mallets, Brass and Steel concert on June 13 that “in order for it (pan) to take its place, it must be able to be played alongside other instruments.” The performance of Supernovas Steel Orchestra alongside the Percussion Ensemble of the University of Delaware (UD) and the UTT Brass Ensemble however went on to confirm the long-established credentials of pan as an instrument in its own right. Few would have thought there was a question to answer or credentials to be determined.

The Amrit Samaroo-led band from Lopinot won in the Small Band category of the annual Panorama competition in 2014 and, in 2016, is expected to skip straight through to the Big Band contest— just six years after its formation. So, when the combined ensemble of mallet, brass and steel took the stage for Lord Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor there was no contest to determine the bona fides of well-established musical instruments, only an entertaining mingling of diverse musical disciplines.

The vibraphone and tenor pan conversed in familiar tones throughout the evening’s performance, particularly when UD associate music professor Harvey Price played solo on Chick Corea’s Spain and found equally competent responses from pannist Mia Gormandy and trombonist, UTT lecturer, Aiden Chamberlain. It was the highlight of an evening that brought out a sizeable audience at Theatre 1, Napa, with many patrons having to stand throughout the 90-minute concert.

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