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New World Steelband Order: Teague’s minor changes make a major note

WST Steelband Panorama 2018 logo
by Sharmain Baboolal

Liam Teague

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - “I am a Dreamer,” he declared. And he’s got ideas. But, here in Trinidad, Professor Liam Teague does not speak unless spoken to except when he is teaching. You would have to seek knowledge. And it is only then this humble man with an unmatched steelpan performance resume and teaching history would give some insight. Usually stoic and measured, Teague steers clear of controversy. Being in a panyard is not quite a normal experience for him anymore. The greater part of his life is now in the classrooms and the concert halls.

But it has become an annual pilgrimage, a humbling one.  
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Silver Stars - 2018               

Beautifully orchestral ; Majestically symphonic ; Splendid execution.

Too much for Panorama, maybe?

A disparaging term that refers to elitist detachment from, and especially criticism of the everyday world, or of common sense and beliefs.
Let those scholars criticize our beliefs from their ivory tower; we all know how the world really works.

"He needs to get out of his ivory tower and put his feet on the ground."

I don't think so Claude. I have always appreciated his music. He doesn't have to come back here, but he does and "on the ground". He talks of improvement, and I can't find fault with that. If he criticizes and is constructive, maybe a lot of us can learn something.

"Usually stoic and measured, Teague steers away from controversy" He doh get involved in no bachanal. I can see why.

You see it in the classical world and in the jazz world where people like Leonard Bernstein would have broken down the symphony orchestra and created music for young people.

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

“I really wish that adjudicators would come to the panyards routinely; they could be anonymous because this is the level of respect that is afforded to Symphonies. You know nobody is gonna fully appreciate Beethoven’s Fifth without multiple listenings so why do we treat our own like that?

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

“It is just listening to all Panorama arrangements as works of art, the same that you would be if Shostakovich performed next to Mozart and next to Beethoven or any piece of art for that matter be it a Van Gogh painting lined up against Salvador Dali. They are all great for different reasons.

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

“Symphony orchestras do not play the work of just one composer."

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

"These are symphonic movements."

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

“It is very important that we do have some people that come back home and contribute."

How about you ... With all the GRAND SCHEMES to educate the masses so that they could understand CALYPSO on PAN which they already understand better than anybody else in the world?

I mean for example, when I play as a soloist with symphony orchestras many of the musicians see the steelpan as a novelty. They haven’t been exposed to it playing some of the most difficult kinds of music; profound music.

What does that have to do with PANORAMA?

And truth be told, the steelpan is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world and in the wrong hands it could be one of the ugliest because if you overplay it is very jarring.

Well, that is what they do in PANORAMA -- THEY BEAT PAN ... VERY JARRING!!!

“So that finesse is very important. We don’t always address that in the steelband world. We look at speed, but not playing with a consistent tone, coaxing the beautiful melody out of the instrument and part of that has to do with my violin background again."

Andy try to tell them that and they cussed him out for coming down here and telling us how to play OUR PAN!

I am not always a fan of how loud they play the instrument.



You could have been a great detective in another life.

Teague is not really interested in Panorama, as your question - What does that have to do with PANORAMA? - so brutally exposed. Panorama is but a means to an end for Liam. Which is easier - being a top ten violinist or a top tenor player for a an instrument that has only been around for a little over 50 years? Especially when its originators are poor people who can be taken advantage of.

Take a look at this - The Steel Times - The Steel Times, Vol. 1, January 2018  

I fear it may be too late for Trinidad & Tobago... For some reason this organization reminds me of the Trump administration with one token playing the role of Ben Carson or Omarosa.


bugs: Good detective work!!! It is NOT too late. PAN LOVERS just have to open their eyes to the ADMINISTRATIVE and MARKETING aspects of the PAN PRODUCT and see the instrument from the outside in rather inside out.

With your background in PAN you could apply for a post -- but call the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BOARD before you send in your application.

Mercer Ramdoo. I agree with your response to Claude Gonzales comments with regard to Liam being in an Ivory Tower and needs to put his feet on the ground.perhaps Claude Gonzales can learn something from him when it comes to music,and the manner in which he handles criticism and as you said stays away from controversy and on bacchanal ,especially when he described Silver Stars performance for semi finals as boring.

I do believe the judges got it right this time, as Phase 2 and Trinidad All Stars got the points and place they deserved.

Soem of you must learn when and when not to engage Mr Gonzales...

merrytonestothebone: Marilyn is a HARDCORE Silver Stars Lover ... and Silver Stars WAS the only STEELBAND that ever MADE SENSE to me. So she is free to SHOOT ME DOWN without any response from me!

Merrytonestothebone. I decline to accept your tone when you say quote 

Soem of you must learn when and when not to engage Mr Gonzales unquote. Please donot place me in the  category as !! SOME OF YOU !!. I believe everyone is free to respond to comments made on this forum with respect.

Mr Gonzales. just as you and several members of this site do have their favourite pan sides,which is yours/ theirs prerogative  please be mindful that others  are entitled to theirs. Also I will not shoot you down as you have mentioned as I respect your comments, but be mindful I will respond when I feel one should be made

Sorry Mr Gonzales ... is jest damn farse ah farse to put meh mouth in you and Miss Marilyn business ... ah fuget meh own advice ..."cockroach have no business in fowl party"...

he he he

Good for you!

Look how you get concussion for Claude.

Next ting - Claude will have you taking licks for Rolly Polly.



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