Minister Garcia should be made the Minister of Pan; Junior Panorama is on and cooking with gas.
The Honourable Minister Garcia is said to be a pan man and the support he has displayed to the Multicultural Music Program Unit (MMPU) formerly known as Pan in The Classroom, shows that he is true to form. In most nations, first world countries included, when money becomes scarce for education, the first department to suffer from budget cuts is the visual and performing arts. The M.M.P.U is a subsection of the Ministry of Education that is always in limbo as it pertains to its permanency in the fabric of the ministry. However, although the unit has weakened tremendously over the last three years, the Minister gave the assurance that he would not close it down. True to his word, as honourable men are, he, through the Ministry of Education, conducted interviews and brought the unit up to full strength. From the bottom of my heart, on behalf of the steel pan community, thank you. And I am hopeful that when T&T forms a ministry for pan, you will be at the helm.
Mr. Auburn Wiltshire was appointed the project coordinator of MMPU, and in a short time he has changed the attitude of the the employees, the employers and the various departments within the Ministry of Education toward the unit. His vision is to have music positively impact the lives of all our nation’s youth. Within three months of fulfilling his role, he has lead the unit to be partnered with the Laventille Movant Schools Improvement Project Unit (LMSIPU). He was then responsible, through his 50 instructors, to provide performances for a week-long concert of local Christmas songs in front of the MOE building, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain. Ninety percent of these performances were prepared by our music instructors. There were steelband ensembles, choirs and soloist. There were students, mostly from the Laventille Movant district, who were backed by a live band which comprised of the members of the MMPU. The show was a huge success. Thanks to the Mr. Garcia & the LMSIU for allowing the MMPU to be a part of production.
The MMPU together with the Pan in Schools Coordinating Council, MOE’s Visual and Performing Arts Department and Pan Trinbago are presently working on having a super National Schools Panorama (Junior Panorama). Despite not having the budget we would like, the show is moving towards and promising to be one of the biggest Junior Panoramas ever. Two weeks ago, there was a big launch where our Minister revealed his intentions to put steel pans in all schools. This week there was the drawing for positions. Although the prize money has been reduced significantly since 2015 to now, the bands who can afford to participate are taking the competition very seriously. It looks like it will be a battle to the finish line in all categories, primary, secondary and non schools.
I encourage all schools, members of the public, government officials and corporate sponsors, to come out and support. This Sunday at Queens Park Savannah for 9am sharp. We all will like to see a better nation, come and take a glimpse of Trindad & Tobago’s future at its finest.
Captain of San City Steel Symphony
Big UP to you Aquil...thanks for putting us on notice.
Guaico Primary - Iron Love
2019 National Junior Panorama (Primary School) Champions
Naparima Girls HS and College - No Weapon
2019 National Junior Panorama (Secondary School) Champions
El Dorado East Secondary - Iron Love
St Francois Girls College - Jump and Play Yourself
Bishop Anstey - Iron Love