When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Trinidad Guardian

"The T&T Na­tion­al Steel­band Mu­sic Fes­ti­val was start­ed in 1952 as a cat­e­go­ry in the Na­tion­al Mu­sic Fes­ti­val host­ed by the T&T Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion ... A defin­ing year in the Fes­ti­val's his­to­ry came in 1959. At the fi­nal, which ac­tu­al­ly took place in 1960, Dix­ieland Steel Or­ches­tra led by Cur­tis Pierre, with an awe­some in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ag­nus Dei, a litur­gi­cal text from the Ro­man Catholic Latin Mass set to mu­sic by many com­posers, se­cured a nar­row vic­to­ry over the El­lie Man­nette-led In­vaders Steel Or­ches­tra do­ing a mind-blow­ing Jo­ce­lyn Pierre arrange­ment of In a Monastery Gar­den, a fa­mous piece of light clas­si­cal mu­sic com­posed by Al­bert Ketel­bay in 1915."

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The one and only time I met Curtis Pierre was 15 years ago and it had nothing to do with pan (although I grew up to the strains of Dixeland accompanying the Goretti Group every single morning with "Hear Oh Lord" one of my mother's favorites), but with his work as a cancer survivor. Curtis as a survivor of prostate cancer was also an ambassador for the method of treatment he received called Brachytherapy, which is a form of radiotherapy where a sealed radiation source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment. Curtis Pierre in the twilight of his years lectured extensively on prostate cancer as part of a team headed by a renowned urologist. For your lifelong work and dedication you've earned my respect during your lifetime. RIP Curtis Pierre.


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