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The World

Published on June 15th, 2017 | by Peter Ray Blood Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

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New steelband body formed

On Wednesday, five of the nation’s top steel orchestras officially launched the International Steelband Foundation (ISF) at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. The Company’s five founding steelbands are Massy Trinidad All Stars, Desperadoes, bpTT Renegades, Phase II Pan Groove in partnership with Hadco and Republic Bank Exodus.

At Wednesday’s launch, interim chairman Renegades’ Michael Marcano said: “We want to make it abundantly clear we are not considering usurping the role of Pan Trinbago.” He added: “The aim of the Foundation is to develop mutually beneficial opportunities for its members and to promote more collaboration between progressive bands throughout the year. It is also the objective of the Company to include bands from across the globe and to market steelpan music, the instrument and the musicians internationally. Bringing our bands together under one flag, will make it possible to share ideas and skills and work at making those ideas come to life as a team.” Joining Marcano at the head table at Wednesday’s launch were representatives of the steelbands, including Nigel Williams (Trinidad All Stars); Martin Cain (Desperadoes); Allison Harper (Phase II); and, Ainsworth Mohammed (Exodus).

Formed in 2010 with assistance by late attorney Theodore Guerra, the ISF is a non-profit organisation and its mission statement includes providing research and development to materials and acoustics and development of new pan tuners; providing advice on the marketing internationally of the players, the instrument and the music; to organise youth programmes in steelbands and to promote musical literacy among players; to access funding from International Funding Agencies; to produce, promote and stage concerts, festivals and other events; to manufacture and sell steelpan instruments including a chroming facility; and, to organise training courses, seminars, workshops on aspects of the steelpan industry. The ISF has begun communicating with a company out of Japan to produce prototype pan stands. These would be used on a trial basis to determine their adequacy and, if the price is right, market them commercially. In this regard, the ISF plans to do examine the possibility of producing T-shirts and steelpan paraphernalia for the benefit of all steelbands which may be interested.

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