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Caribbean

Published on October 15th, 2014 | by Ray Funk - Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

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Music Literacy Trust celebrates ten years of promoting steelpan

On October 10, a group of benefactors, patrons and well wishers joined to the sound of sweet pan and more music at the Renaissance in Glencoe in celebration of a decade of the Music Literacy Trust (MLT). It was a look back at a decade of achievements and a way forward with new plans and initiatives for the future.  MLT has spent a decade working to have great pan arrangements scored for posterity, encourage the creation of original music for pan, bring instruments and teaching to disadvantaged children, and offer vital scholarships to some of T&T’s most talented musicians so they can further their education to become the bright stars of the future.

MLT is the vision of its founding director Mark Loquan, who believed that the wonderful, complex pan arrangements heard at Panorama and in the panyards needed to be preserved. He felt that music literacy for young people was lacking and that the ability to read music and by extension, adapt to a range of instruments, could increase opportunities for some of T&T’s most talented musicians. His close friend, the late Dr Pat Bishop nurtured Mark’s vision from the beginning but she also told him it would be like pushing molasses up the hill with a rake.

Now based in Perth, Australia, Loquan at the time was head of energy company Yara Trinidad and he worked to get a board together and to approach a range of colleagues in the energy sector to jump start the funding and make this dream a reality. They rallied and gave the seed money that started MLT and corporate sponsors have continued to be the majority of the organisation’s financial backers, who were thanked repeatedly at Friday’s celebration. The event offered proof of the good use of their generous support.

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