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Reboot -- Roll Call - Celebration of Women In Pan

Global - It’s March and that means this is Women’s Month.  It is the month when we celebrate the contributions of women to the world.  Normally - as it is a When Steel Talks tradition - we highlight the month through a series of articles and interviews with the female movers, shakers, and up and coming stars.

Let's not forget the great women who were awesome and unwavering supporters of the steelpan music art form who have passed on since our last roll call. Keep the late Glenda Gamory, Dr. Pat Bishop, Dr. Geraldine Connor and Allyson Hennessy among others in your thoughts.

We will continue the WST roll call of the Women in Pan from previous years. Add your name, or the names of women globally, that are involved, or should be celebrated, for their contributions to and/or love for - the Steelpan Instrument and Artform below.


Celebration of Women
and the Steelpan Art Form

Sisters in Steel - A Tribute To Women In Pan

Their Story, Their Voice, Their Life, Their Dreams, Their Passion



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Merle Albino-de Coteau, Dr. Dawn Batson, Pat Bishop, Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Glenda Gamory, Claudette Baptiste, Angela Fox, Iman Pascall, Dr. Jeannie Remy, Franka Hills-Headly, Michelle Huggins-Watts, Anna-Maria Raffoul, Jean Mayers, Carol Baptiste, Michelle Williams, Angela Howard, Nicole Gibbons, ...

Dotsie Perez played bass and guitars(?) with Tripoli in the late 50s. Caspar Durant should be familiar with this.  

My name is Dr. Geraldine Connor (PhD, MMus, LRSM, Dip.Ed)

My father Edric Connor (Singer, folklorist, actor and film-maker) was responsible for bringing TASPO to the Festival of Britain in 1951

Between 1978 and 1984 I adjudicated as a Judge many Panorama competitions.

I was the first woman to play bass in the then Trintoc Invaders 1977 - 1983 and in 1984 was the first woman to arrange a panorama tune for them. Indeed I might have been the first woman to arrange for a panorama competition

In the UK I arranged for Ebony Steelband for Panorama in 1983 which they won for the first time that year. I also arranged their classical repertoire for many years. In 2005 The British Association of Steelbands (BAS) gave the Connor family an award (which I accepted on their behalf) for their contribution to the Steelband movement in the UK

I taught Ardin Herbert a piece of Bach for the T&T biennial music festival. I have worked very closely with Dudley Nesbitt, pannist extraordinaire and New World Steel Symphony Orchestra in Leeds, UK for many years.

Most recently (2008) I played bass with Tobago band Steel Xplosion.

My show Carnival Messiah features a 25 player steelband playing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. This show is set be commercially produced and extensively toured throughout the world from 2012

Presently I am based in the UK and write validiation documents and handbooks for the Steelband to support its teaching in schools and universities.

I think that When Steel Talks is one of the best things that has ever happened to pan!
Mrs. Connor - Much appreciation for the great contributions you have made to the steelpan movement and music.

I view WST as a breath of fresh air ...... very, very informative, wide-ranging and relevant .. .. Your organization gives pan an international profile, credibility and audience ...... placing the steelband movement where it rightfully should always have been!

Dr. Geraldine Connor
i had the pleasure of learning the toccata and fugue from you while in ebony 87/88ish.
that was an incredible experience, I still have the scars.. lol

Thanks doc


Congratulations for attempting and surviving the experience ! Well done ..... .some good memories eh?
Dr. G
You don't know how we loved it, me and dexy still talk about it.
I also learnt to duck from straying pan sticks..hahaha

Yes, my best friend Dr Geraldine Connor has certainly made a contribution to the world of steelpan and continues to do so in grand style. Her creation of the musical drama Carnival Messiah which included a 25 piece steelpan orchestra, left a significant mark on the theatrical stages of Europe and the Caribbean, including Harewood Castle in Leeds, England, where a standing ovation was received on every night of the production,never has the Hallelujiah chorus been played to such an ovation as it was in Carnival Messiah [ in my opinion ] I also feel that I must be included[ as a woman who has made a contribution ] to the movement and world recognition of pan as I am the first woman to have sung with every major steelband coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, sponsored by Mr John Campi of the New York Daily news promoting the steelpan and building the cultural awareness of the greatest musical invention of the 21st century the Steelpan . These steelbands have included Phase 2,[recorded kitchener's symphony in 2004] Witco Desperadoes, Trinidad All Stars, Exodus, Casym [with leader, Arddinn Herbert based in new york ] and recently BP Renegades at the John F Kennedy Center in august of last year[ made possible by Mrs Glenda Morean Phillip Ambassador to Washinton DC for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to celebrate our 47th year of Independence. It was an exciting period in our history having performed at New York's, City Hall invited by both ex mayors of New York, [ Mayor Dinkins and Giuliani,] The Intrepid Museum, the fun evenings at South Street Seaport and last but not least, before its demise Centerstage at the World Trade Center. At this time it is an added pleasure to see and hear so many young people playing the steelpan in our Biennial Music Festival which is taking place at Queens Hall in Trinidad at this very time . Thank you '''When Steel Talks'' and long life to your contribution to the steelband movement. I am truly looking forward to singing at the academy [ NAPA] in a grand concert with BP RENEGADES on May 15th.
Sat-Nam(I Salute THE TRUTH In You),Anne.Thanks Also,for having sung, Majestically, The National Anthem of T'NT, with "Parry's Pan School" of Tacarigua..at PanTrinbago's "Champs In Concert"! It would be nice for Mr Aleong,(or whomsoever has a copy of it,)to release a copy to us! All Love And Blessings to you as you Keep Up your Wonderful 'work' on this Planet!ASE!!! Val/External Relations,Parry's Pan School,149 Eastern Main Rd, Tacarigua.(868)-701-8175/(510)-435-7851 (California,USA) pan_ase@hotmail.com
Geraldine I constantly remind people when I'm on air of your contribution even with Invaders although the Panorama experience, might not have been a totally happy memory for you. It would be nice if you recall that memory for us retrospectively. Thanks for your contribution to the musical landscape generally Judith Laird
Dr Geraldine, this is my first encounter with your name.  I am truely humbled.  You are a true asset and inspiration to the Pan World in general and Pan Women in particular.  I do sincerely hope that the powers-that-be will bestow upon you the honors that are befitting you in your lifetime, and not posthumously as they are so prone to do.


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