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Story Time with Mr. Sanch– PanLara Undertakes a Christmas Mission of Goodwill

The 17-piece Steelband PanLara with players from teens to mid-twenties and working professionals was founded during a visit to South Africa in 2005 by music educator/social entrepreneur Debbie Lara of Washington DC, her three daughters, and a few young friends with support from parents and community. Their instruments are tuned by STGTT members Bertrand ‘Birch’ Kellman and Augustus Peters. The group has made several memorable appearances at signature performance halls in the DC Metro area. Interestingly, Debbie is the niece of calypsonian Lord Laro, long domiciled in Jamaica. She is also related to the late Parranderos Tito and Willie Lara as well as to legendary cricketer Brian Lara.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain; We all have sorrow; But if we are wise; We know that there's always tomorrow; Lean on me, when you're not strong; And I'll be your friend; I'll help you carry on; For it won't be long; 'Til I'm gonna need; Somebody to lean on” are the opening bars of the song ‘Lean on me’ composed by singer/songwriter Bill Withers inducted into the Hall of Fame of The Recording Academy /Grammys in 2007.

As a magnanimous act of benevolence and thanksgiving, PanLara and Debbie have committed to ship one barrel of clothing and toys to the children of Trinidad All Stars and BP Renegades Steel Orchestras respectively, scheduled to arrive in time for Christmas. Daryl C Joseph, Candice Andrews Brumant, and Michael Marcano must be beaming with joy. As Bill Withers suggests, Debbie is confident that the Universe will respond when her time of need beckons.

Lean On Me - Bill Withers (Steel Pan Cover)

Pan Lara performs "Lean on Me" at Discover Strathmore to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month 2015. Steelband music was arranged by Candice Thomas.

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Pan Lara performance at Pan Masters Steelband Jamboree 2016. Music arranged by Sheldon Thwaites.

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