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Revisited - Merle Albino-de Coteau - Steelband Music pioneer, adjudicator, educator speaks on Panorama 2012

“...sometimes describing oneself as a Panist can be met with disgust and even discrimination. The question which follows is “What else do you do?” ...the area from which you have come also sometimes brings discrimination.”  Merle Albino-de Coteau.

Global - In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, steelpan musician, adjudicator, composer, pioneer, arranger and educator - the distinguished Merle Albino-de Coteau gets to the point as she shares her overall thoughts and concerns on Panorama, its past, present and future....
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It is both amazing and sad that the steelpan player still experinces discrimination in Trinidad and Tobago.

Thank you Merle Albino-de Couto, for your very passionate, insightful and thought provoking comments, on the extent to which the Steelpan Instrument, has reached, in terms of its historical development and worldwidel acceptance.

The Steelpan’s uniqueness, is reflective of its unique birthplace. Its distinctive and characteristic tonal quality, surely makes it worthy of having a unique place, among the world’s orchestral instruments.  

The awesome progress that the Steelpan has made to date, has been largely made possible in part, by the passion and hard work of dedicated individuals such as you, Ms. Albino-de Couto. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for pan.

Your thoughts on what has most disappointed you about pan, rings mostly true. Sadly, the disrespect and disdain, often directed at pan and pan folk in general, still continue on, even to today.

Even so, like an unrelenting wave, the Steelpan as an entity, will continue to keep on moving forward and nothing could stand in its path. The Pan is here to stay.

Discrination  against Panists.

That may be true in Trinidad and other islands (still) but I have never found it in nearly 50 years outside the west indies.  I know full well the discrimination because I come from an illustrious prominent family and went to the best secondary school in my island and was even suspended back in the 60's for playing pan. It was and to some degree still is looked down or frowned upon in the islands. Today they ask me to come and talk to the musicians at the school.  Paddy Corea

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