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As a young pannist/musician/artist having an organization that looks out for the needs of the PLAYERS within the {TNT} steelpan community and movement (and by extension Regional and International) is very important in my opinion. It has been my observation over the last few years after being around and experiencing varying situations that there is very little geared towards ensuring the Fair treatment of each player as an Individual and not just as a member of a Band and or Orchestra. Which lead to this thought: why isn't there some sort of Union organization to adhere to such? 


I would like to hear peoples' thoughts on this Topic.... 


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This is very interesting information and I will keep it in mind. However, I still believe that a change is necessary. I can't say I know what others have done (in particular) to change or add to intervene or uplift the steel pan organization but as with anything in Life, I believe that there is always room for change and betterment. It may not or will not happen overnight but once there's dedication and perseverance among serious persons' in the steel pan arena (as hard as it seems), some sort of cause and effect will come out in the end.

If WE as Pan Players, Pan Builders, Pan Arrangers, Pan Tutors and Pan Enthuiasts truly value ourselves, and the Steel Pan Artform, it is of uppermost importance that WE understand the power of ORGANIZATION. We exist in democratic societies, hence our various Governments would have become signatories to the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights", of which Article 23 (4) states, "Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interest". Clearly, if the Organization that WE look to for representation has become irrelevevant, then it is our right to ORGANIZE ourselves. Organizations such as Pan Trinbago and similar Bodies are established for the advancement of the masses, and not for the personal advancement of any individual or any special interest group. Powerful people never have to prove anything to anyone. And by extention, powerful people never apologise to powerless people for actions they take to remain in power. We would have taken a great step fprward when WE face this reality. Powerful people never teach powerless peolpe how to take their power from them. Who gave them the power????? Seems like our local Steel Pan Association in Antigua has gone to sleep.

Hi Stove, let me just jump in here and put it my two cents.  This discussion is as old as the sea.  I can remember early last year it came up and I laid out a framework for a multi-tiered international organization that was workable.  Basically, it was splitting the globe into four quadrants/regions each with a head organization.   Local level issues would work thier way up to their respective regional head offices until resolved.  All of the regional offices would meet once a year and set the agenda for the following year.  I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS THE ONLY WAY.  It was intended to be the start of a meaningful discussion, but it went nowhere fast.  The basic problem with PAN, is that EVERYBODY TALKS A GOOD GAME.  Very few are willing to get off of their tails and do some thing constructive.  In addition, there is so many opportunities that we as pan people are missing.  We act like second class citizens and then when we get treated as such, we complain.  It is a simple formula.  IF YOU CONTINUE TO DO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GET WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS GOTTEN.

A very realistic statement..my follow up would be ,,,it,s better to try,,and fail ,,than  never to try at all,,,,beat the iron  while it,s hot,,,sooner or later this must become a reality,unity,,dedication,,co-operation and togetherness.God Bless .

Sidd, I am with you 99%.  I must however disagree with doing things through PAN TRINBAGO.  What pan needs is a global entity WITH NO GOVERNMENTAL TIES and or funding.  History has taught us that Pan Trinbago will only go so far.  Are they not a Govenment Funded Entity?  Then their hands are tied.  A good example is Bro SALAH'S petition earlier this year.  One school of thought would say that Pan Trinbago came through for the Pan Community by putting up the money.  Another school of thought would say that they chickened out, rolled over and did not go to bat for the local pannists.  The point of the petition was NOT to just get the money.  We wanted to get the money back FROM THOSE WHO TOOK IT in the first place. 


I have a question for the forum. 

Is Pan Trinbago a democratic organization? Are the leaders elected into office by its members?

If so, then the "revolution" should be within the organization.Pan people should work within the organization to change it for the better.

Pan Trinbago is an established organization that has the potential to be  extremely powerful in working for the betterment of the steelband worldwide.

If Pan Trinbago is a dictatorship that doesn't address the needs of its members, it should be done away with.

If, on the other hand, pan people have the power by their vote to change the direction of the organization,then that power should and must be exercised.

Starting another organization from the ground up would be extremely difficult, and may be counterproductive.

It just may be that the rank and file members of Pan Trinbago are not sufficiently involved in charting the course of their organization, and, if that is the case, then that inertia would negatively affect any other group or union, regardless of the best wishes of the group's founders.

Change is not always for the better.



"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

(Shakespeare's Julius Caesar)



Point taken ,the other question is,,,what has Pan Trinbago been doing for the Bands and it,s players in a positve sense, has there been any upliftment , those that are affiliated to Pan Trinbago i think should be in a better position to answer this question,,

After reading and re-reading all the positive comments, my question now is: Where or who do I and or others Turn to? Because many bands in and around this country in my opinion don't produce progression as a MUSICIAN. The support is not there fully as a Band and rather than help promote equally among the Pannist and Musicians in TNT as Foy rightly said Everybody TALKS a Good Game, but nobody seems to EVER follow through. But when someone succeeds in their Goals here comes all the "Bandwagonists" ready to cling on and try riding their way to the top without working hard for it. Why do most persons have to end up leaving a band and or the Country and go elsewhere in order to get that Solid Education and Appreciation and Support needed as a pannist? I do not think that's the way it should work. And I know this is probably a problem that goes way way way way back but I would like things to change not necessarily Just for me but for Future pannists/musicians that come generations and generations after me.
"When would WE as a people (not only music enthusiasts) but as citizens etc.. stand up for what we believe is right and be INDEPENDENT THINKERS".
"For every End there was a BEGINNING". 

OK, Sid, then I have another question.

If its political as you suggest, then panists need political clout.

Groups have political clout because of numbers and organisation.

The steelbands have numbers, and they have organization.

What is preventing them from having political clout?

Our brother Salah Wilson's petition was a political act, it should have been a way for panists to "flex their muscles", and show their strength.

I wonder,though, how much support did that petition get from the rank and file panist in T&T?

I have a feeling that the powers that be would be scared sh..tless of pan people organised as a political entity.

Glen, I beg to differ.  The Pan Community has numbers but we are grossly lacking in organization.  This has been our Archilles heel all along.  As to political clout, this is not something you go to the store and buy.  This is something that you work to acheive.  It involves earning the rerspect of people, acting in ways that people want to follow you and support you.  We have to show that we stand for something bigger than our individual selves.  Right now globally the buzz-word is SOCIALLY RESPONSIBILITY.  The pan community basically could not care less.  THIS DOES NOT HELP US.  When there is stuff going on in the world Pan People has to have a presence.  There are so many bands out there, it is a simple matter for us to throw a concert here and there and donate the money to some cause.  We have to start jumping on international band-wagons be it famines, hurricanes or what have you.  These are the acts that are going to help us in the long run.  The Pan Community really needs to develope a social conscience.  Peace!
Well said,,,logical reasoning...

I guess we are saying the same thing , Foy.

By organization I mean that the bands are entities that have members.

Therefore, the structures for contacting, educating and informing the members and supporters are in place.

The is no reason why the bands could should be modilized for political and social action, with or without the support of Pan Trinbago.


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