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Caribbean

Published on January 29th, 2016 | by TandT Newsday Newspapers

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St Francois gets tenor pans

AFTER struggling for years moving from panyard to panyard, defending Junior Panorama Champions St Francois Girls’ College has marked a milestone in their pan history finally having their own space to play, outfitted with their own instruments. Yesterday, they received eight tenor pans valued at $24,000, from its Alumni Association at the school’s compound, St Francios Valley Road, Belmont. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, school Principal Jenifer Gittens said the constant moving from panyard was costly, and disrupted student’s learning.

“As a result of this, in 2015 a committee of staff members spear-headed by Mrs Arlene Williams and Mr Alvin Thomas supported by the Administration forged a plan to raise funds in order to purchase our instruments.” She also pointed out, “Not only did we have to purchase the instruments, but we also had to have them tuned. We are grateful for the support of Mr Andy Neils parent and pan tuner who brought the instruments to its full potential,” she said. She said the new pans will enhance the music quality of the school band, and the benefits of the girls participating in the Steelband are many.

“But the one I chose to highlight is that our steelband continues to provide skilled players for many of the bigger bands. We can find many of our past and present players in bands such as Phase II Pan Grove, Sliver Stars Steel Orchestra, BP Renegades, Invaders Steel Orchestra, to name a few,” she said.  Gittens said the students at St Francios are making an invaluable contribution to the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.  However, she appealed to the powers that be to assist them in acquiring several instruments which are still outstanding, and for the construction of a Pan Theatre which will help secure valuable instruments.

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