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Steel Band to Welcome Pope Benedict at El Cobre

Santiago de Cuba  - A steel band will play the “Ave María” for Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, this Tuesday, March 27.

The “Steel band” composed by 14 amateur musicians is one of the most important in the town of El cobre, located in the central part of Santiago de Cuba province. The group director, Hermes Ramírez, expressed that when the Pope arrives to the national sanctuary, the musicians will interprete Schubert´s “Ave María” and “Virgen Mambisa”, dedicated to the Virgin of Charity, patrones of Cuba. Cuban “Steel Band” was created in 1987 and since the beginning was composed by workers at the mines of copper, now closed.

This band has performed to other personalities like the Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández. According the agenda, the Pope will stay at El Cobre during his first night, the next day, he will visit the sanctuary and greet the villagers as the “pilgrim of Charity”. The villagers will gather at the steps to the Sanctuary to salute Pope Benedict XVI.

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Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to the citizen of Santiago de Cuba the center of African drumming in Cuba.

Greetings It just seems that every other country can make use of the steelband more so than us. Cuba has now jumped into the act. We know that for years Disney World has capitalised on the pan  If we don't act soon, the pan will become universal and all we will get is credit for being the home of the pan. Blessings and guidance Dr. Lance Seunarine

TiPan already gone international we TnT have played a big part in this so who ever get the chance to dosomething as long as it is for pan just as long as we teach. those. who dont. no where it was born it does does. not matter. who is doing the playing
Pan is already universal and this is a good thing. Just go on you tube and you will see that it has spread like a wildfire Trinidad has missed the boat due to lack of foresight in the patenting and most important, the standardization of the pans. The people involved in the industry should be reaping some sort of income generated by worldwide sales of this instrument. The songwriter gets the lionshare,The author gets the lionshare,Trinis created and developped the pan.We get the bragging rights. The eternal "DIS IS WE TING".We don't even have a national steel orchestra. Ask Minister Gypsy why not.


Ask yourself: When did we have a "national steel orchestra", and how did it come about? (HINT: George "Sonny" Goddard.)

 Greetings: As  a kid growing up I was proud of TASPO and always referred to it as our Natioal steel band. I ,too, long for the day that Minister Gypsy would fund a National Steelband to showcase our art. I played with Rhapsody together with Tom, Dale, Abner, Jerry, Honey, Showboat, Ollie, Hollis. We had Earl Rodney arranging the music but so did Abner. We made sweet music for Point People.  Thank you for enlightening and eduacting me about the history of pan. Who says that you only have to go to college to be educated. Give thanks Dr. Lance Srunarine

Dr. Lance, both TASPO and the National Steelband materialized under George "Sonny" Goddard's leadership. He was not only not college educated, but never went to secondary (high) school. Yet was the one commissioned by the government to document the history, and was a Cultural Advisor under Eric Williams' administration. To really be "educated" about the history of pan, my dad's book is a MUST READ, and in fact, much of what you may consider as "credible", are references (some direct quotations) from his book. Agreed, attending college does not provide a "complete" education, and the greatest form of "education", is that of self-discovery, where you do the research yourself, and not just rely on secondary sources. That is the ONE lesson that I learned in college - to go to the primary sources. And, ANYONE can do that. Finally, I hope you come to find as much appreciation for the movement, as you have for the instrument; for it is the former, that led to the advancements of the latter, and not vice versa. And, it is the movement that addressed and tackled the objections of having religious (i.e. Roman Catholic) hymns played on these "pagan" instruments. Let's not (conveniently) forget that history. GHOST.


A national orchestra existed up until.late last year.Its players like TASPO were the cream of the crop.Young men and women .some with degrees in music,all able to read music.A government minister deciided that it was nonsene to pay them "just to beat a pan" He had his way.The bands manager was then fired,then the musical director.Those young dedicated players were left stranded. Appointments were Unfulfilled,players have no income.A whole ochestra of newly minted state of the art pans stands idly iin the bands headquarters in Port-of-Spain.MInister Gypsy it seems did not fight this travesty.Instead,he promptly went on to redesignate the prize money for the various competitions.Machel waltzed away with 2.5 million while panmen were left to split a million dollar pot(1mil to the winner) between one hundred and twenty players.After expenses of course that would require some great economic acrobatics.Dr Seunarine that's why I joined this great fraternity called WST.To gain knowledge,share knowledge and hopefully try to right some of the wrongs.

Yuh ain,t serious,,,Dismantled,,,does these people really know what they have done,,is it because  of the fact that  it,s considered by many in certain position of authority in  T&T the Steelpan is a  Blackmans instument,,,is it victimisation,racism with Gypsy sitting aside like a donkey,,,being ridden into a wall,one of the most Beautiful things to view is the performance of the T&T Police Force Band consisting of Brass and the Steelpan Another  Gift bestowed upon T&T,,,really really wonderful to look at,,the trueness,,, for the likeness of their national heritage is clearly seen on  their  faces   the Players,,their expression,,looking on the other side it clearly seen that the culture of another is fully supported endlesly without  disruption,mind yu facts and not fiction,,,,no accusation just a  voiced opinion,is it A CASE OF  A SQUARE PEG  IN A  ROUND  HOLE.,what  should those whom were and are  willfully deprived of an earnest living do,,??????where or to whom the finger is pointed , if anyone do understands my question??when would it stop?????God bless 

I am still trying to figure out why we assume a position of powerlessness. We sometimes speak of the old days as if they were insignificant, forgetting that back then we had more unity, a fearless leadership, and demands and positions that were uncompromising. That we were not afraid to march and strike, to be arrested and imprisoned, to be beaten and ridiculed, to be shunned by a society that claims "every creed and race finds an equal place". To work toward self-governance and independence from the government, "sponsors", or any other entity. Now, a crying, complaining, helpless group of self-seeking individuals, still dependent on others for their survival. Until we revive the "steelband movement" and take our freedom, we can continue to cry and complain. Gypsy? George "Sonny" Goddard stood up to the "Crown Prince of the Caribbean" - Dr. Eric Williams - in defense of the local steelbands and their members. George understood the value of our collective POWER. After all, it was the "Doc" who told him that politics "decides if you eat, when you eat, and what you eat..." If only the rest of us understood the importance and meaning of Dr. Williams' admonitions. GHOST

I quite agree with you The Ghost Who Talks, Your father was not scared to fight for the Steelbands organization, where would you find a leader of Pan Trinbago doing that? No body wants to rock the boat. When Boogzee open his mouth and said what was on his mind afew years ago, some people said that he shouldn't have said this and that, but he was right, These leaders now adays have no BALL whatsoever.


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