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Caribbean

Published on January 28th, 2014 | by Verdel Bishop - TT Newsday Newspapers

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Steelbands get ready

Musical tones resonated from various panyards in the North as steelbands prepare their Panorama repertoire in time for the Northern Region National Large Conventional category preliminary round of judging which will take place at various panyards and communities on February 8.

Caribbean Airlines Invaders Steel Orchestra is one such steelband which was abuzz with activity when the Express recently visited panyards. The steelband will play “Jam It”, an Arddin Herbert composition and arrangement with lyrics by Rembunction (Roland Yearwood). Elizabeth Namsoo, manager, marketing and communications, said while exciting times are ahead for the band, there is one dark cloud hanging over its head. The band, located at 147 Tragarete Road, Woodbrook, was deemed a National Heritage Site by the government in October 2007. The band’s efforts to further develop its basic amenities have been crippled, according to Namsoo, as the government and the lease owner still have not settled on the amount to acquire the property.

“Next year is 75 years that we are here and it is crippling to the organisation that up to now we are still unable to build on the land or to develop it because it still does not belong to us legally.” She added: “We are appealing to the government to see what they can do to finalise the negotiation because the property was given to us in November 2012 and it was declared a National Heritage Site under the last government. To date nothing has been done with regards to negotiation between owner and the government and that is a major problem we are having. The steelband is almost 75 years; we are one of the oldest steelbands in the world and Trinidad and Tobago is the mecca of steelpan; I think it’s a shame that this has not been settled as yet.”

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