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Caribbean

Published on May 25th, 2016 | by Gary Cardinez - Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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NSSO delivers top music to poor turnout

It truly was a Black Friday for the national instrument. If ever there was a disappointment involving our beloved pan; it came to pass on Friday 13 and Saturday14 at Exodus Pan Theatre in St Augustine. The National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) played to an audience of about 75 patrons on Saturday and less on Friday.  If this concert was held in any other country in the world it would have been sold out yet in the country of its birth, the free pan concert literally “buss”.

The quality of music put out by the calibre of players in the NSSO warrants much better than this.  Don’t get it wrong, the Neighbour Connection put on by the Culture Division of the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts is a fantastic idea. It showcases the work of the NSSO while the production is designed to include artists from the local community.  According to the Culture Division, “It provides an opportunity for the performing entities (NSSO) to partner with the community in a display of the richness of the artistic and cultural tapestry that is Trinidad and Tobago.

“Central to the performance is the celebration and interpretations of local works from persons who have contributed through musical arrangements, composed music, instrumentals and dramatic pieces.” Saturday’s audience was treated to a fantastic repertoire by the NSSO, it included “March Op 99” and “Overture to William Tell” arranged by Dr Jeannine Remy, “Tico Tico” arranged by Amrit Samaroo and “Morning Dance” arranged by Robert Ledbetter.  Just when the audience felt that it had the best of the NSSO came “Utsav Ki Awaz” (“Festival of Voices”) composed by the late Jit Samaroo and Mungal Patasar’s classic composition “Deadlocks”.  Guest vocalist Adafih Panmore added a touch of spice with her rendition of Mack Gordon and Harry Warren’s classic “At Last” and George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the Opera Porgy and Bess as Kareem Brown conducted the NSSO during her performance.

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