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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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Please give me a break!  I was just kidding with Salah and the guys.  I mentinoed specific people because these are people I know.  Me and Salah are buds, OK!  This is a person that I do have the utmost respect for.  So my friend you can now crawl back under your rock.  If you would attack the troubles of PAN with the gusto you just attacked me it would be energy well spent.

My Brothers and Sisters, it is obvious that we are fully aware of what the problems are. Additionally, we have collectively indicated a number of  commendable solutions which clearly show that the Steelpan Fraternity constitutes qualified, reputable and respectable individuals who are able to, and should make a concerted effort to come together for the main purpose of propelling the Steelpan forward and upward. It is undoubtedly clear, that  the Steelpan must be seen as business and moreso, be transformed into an economical and viable entity, in order for the Steelband Movement to support its 'Social Goals'.

While we must at all times be pluralistic in our patterns of thought, we cannot and must not allow our Brothers and Sisters who are not prepared for positive changes within the Steelpan Movement to deter us from saving the artform, and to a greater extent the Steelband Movement. We must be mindful that, "social reform must begin within the individual". Are we going to wait on those who choose not to value themselves or the atrform ? Or those who are only concerned about achieving personal gains from the artform ? I think not.

It is my hope that the Steelpan Bodies within the Caribbean Region and North America ,will be afforded the opportunity to make a collective input into our efforts to determine the way forward and upward for our Steelband Movement. 

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step"

 Pan for Life  

Thanks a lot. negative energy is only a temporary and hasty solution to issues. I rather stick with the long haul and stay positive, its the only way to achieve success. It is hard I admit, because sometimes the Elders and Leaders don't always leave much to look up to, so it sometimes trash your hopes of what can be. But I have a few good hearts and solid Educators who is helping me along my journey to becoming a wonderful musician. 


"Holding fast to the culture of my land with Hope and Pride." xoxo

Hi wmlpab,
How are you doing today? I hope all is well in your world.
Do you have any ideas to help in this dilemma? We would like
To change the status of the ENTERNAINERS in the steelband
Community and your input would most certainly be appreciated.
Have a wonderful evening and weekend. Thank you ever so
Much. ***Cindy***

Hi All,

Greetings  ..nice discussion, I have read all the wonderful inputs to get up to date and may have my two cents to add.

. This is one of the great things with a Forum like this ... Ideas are generated and everyone can contribute. Thanks to WST..I know that we can all get emotional on this forum and sometimes we might say things and then it could be interpreted in another way...nevertheless this forum is also here to clear up amongst other things any misunderstandings. ( good to see Foy and Cindy on the same page working for the same progress in Pan ) Pan people are a rare breed of people... we all care about the Pan and this WST forum is one vehicle  that can take us to all places.


My brother Foy, I was not on a Sabbatical but rather very busy for the last two weeks  doing  of course some Pan  Business. I am going to say what it is  so that maybe it might help and inspire especially the younger generation and maybe some older heads like us.


I was busy writing out some music scores but more importantly preparing some admission papers ... I AM GOING BACK TO SCHOOL....My intentions are to complete a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology and continue for another three years aiming for a Doctorate...Yes brothers and sisters. To solve some of the problems as discussed in this Forum on this topic we need to have apart from the love and devotions to this Pan and this movement. We need educated people in all areas.... in Business, Law, Literacy, Marketing, Promotions  etc....


So I am saying especially to the younger generations like Kris Kris ..It is never too late to upgrade. We need educated people to lead us not just people who love Pan or people who have the passion for Pan ..we need these dedicated people but we also need them Educated. As some one mentioned before,.... we changed the leadership of Pan Trinbago but what did we put in place.


Listen, every community and organizations have their problems but the successful ones are the ones who put their best  to lead them....best in terms of Education, competence, sincerity, honesty  and dedication... unfortunately we put our friends to lead us in return for favours whether the friends are competent or not. This is the formula for stagnation. I encourage the Pan people ( especially the younger ones) to upgrade and further their education  to achieve doctorates, in all aspects. We will need these types of expertise to produce the suggestions mentioned in this Forum.


Foy,  I also want to suggest that all of us may not be able to gather in one place at a certain time...but in today's technological world.We can still communicate by the available means of audio/video transmissions etc...

There is always more to say but for now the contribution is Education ...go and get it.












Wow you're really going back to school, that's inspiring. I'm currently doing my Bachelor's so I am getting that education which you speak of and hoping God spares me enough Life to make it all the way to PHD one day. A lot of hard work yup.... I wish you the best of health, strength, time and Patience to finish pursue that Doctorate. p.s. it's so true what you mentioned about putting your friends in positions of leadership (it's just all for personal gain) rather than uplifting an organization. 


"Common sense can only get you so far."

Kris xoxo

Bing ! Bing! Bing! Salah, thank you soooo much, for pointing to the importance of education. That is why I decided to go for my bachelors. I also plan on going on for my masters, and (God's willing) my Ph D. I support you 100%, and look forward to the day that we can address you as "Doc". Kris, I also applaud you, and, as a graduate of a school of "higher learning", I can testify that the experience will benefit you tremendously! Keep your head to the sky, while your heart remains grounded (humble). 

As to the "union" debate, I am not sure if everyone understands the importance of unions, their benefits or functions. There are full philharmonic orchestras that are members of the AFM (American Federation Of Musicians), as well as almost every famous and successful musician in the US, including Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. In the NBA, you have millionaires like Kobe Bryant and Labron James, who are represented members of their players' union. All these rich and famous people can afford the most expensive legal representation, accountant. or any other business professional. Why, then, are they members of unions? Incidentally, one of the ideas proposed by George "Sonny" Goddard, was affiliation of the steelband union (the Steelband Association, then NATTS) with the AFM. The issue with many of the ideas that are being presented, is that they fail to understand that a for-profit business answers to shareholders, whereas, unions represent and protect workers. The answer does not lie in Pan Trinbago running as a for-profit business; rather running as a bonafide non-profit union. Surely, the answers to an NBA player's concerns, are not going to be addressed by their players union running like the NBA. The NBA, to the unionised player, is, for all intent and purposes, is the enemy or opposing side. The NBA answers to its profit-seeking shareholder. The union represents these millionaires, again, all of whom can afford their own professionals.

In reality, Pan Trinbago would be a redundant service to me, as I am also a member of the AFM. Professionally, because I have a degree, I have options outside of music. Personally, however, I will continue to defend the efforts of the pioneers of the "steelband movement"; efforts omitted, forgotten, unappreciated, and disrespected by many today, who fail to see how they (themselves) are the very beneficiaries of those efforts of yore. In keeping with that effort, I encourage EVERYONE to do their research before jumping to conclusions and criticisms of our (panists') unions, based on propaganda, that was, essentially, deliberate and politically-motivated.


Yours In Pan,


George D. Goddard, B.A. Cum Laude.

PANT'UM - THE GHOST WHO TALKS! Honoring the Legacy of George "Sonny" Goddard.


It is never too late to educate or go back to school ...but it is of course better to get the education while you are young so that you can use it through out your life and thereby make a substantial contribution to society...so go for it


Thanks!! The vote of confidence even from a distance is comforting esp since it's more than I can say for others in and around. I hope I'll be an inspiration to others coming after me just as you were and still are. ;-)


xoxo Kris

Unions are good in a small band situation where you can charge a fee for a five or seven piece steel band for a minimum of three hours per session. There the band will have a price depends how large or small the band  may be. The the band leader should about $50 or $100. above the band member for organizing and  the control of get paid on behalf of the members.

Depends of what the market could afford just as an example at $50 per hour the minimum wage should be $150 for three hours or less.Therefore a five piece band should be paid $750.00 plus $50 for the band leader. There the full price for the should be $800.00 for a three hours session. I do not not know what is the going price now in Trinidad but this is just an example of payment. The big band could charge something different according the market will pay for a big band. Travelling expense should be included if a band is playing out of Town


This is just a guidance of how a  band should operate. Just an idea from Tripoli  Scratcher man that now lives in Australia Courtney Leiba

I would like a second comment of the steel band union. You the members of Pan Trinibago do not have to wait on Pan Trinbago to create a standard of of payment for your band. You the band Leaders can do it yourself. Prepare a standard fee for your band. You can divided your band in small groups for a fee where a band member can get a reasonable salary for a THREE HOUR GIG,. Rotate the band so every one can get a decent salary for the night As I said in may comment before a commission will go for administration cost for the band on the whole. but the players for that event should get a minimum salary for that performance.plus an extra fee for the leader in charge for that night. Today, I have a seven piece band I I get a decent salary for group and so any band can set up cost for there own organization. Think carefully and work it out yourselves. From Courtney ( Tripoli Scratcherman) Leiba.

Well Mr. Pant'um-The Ghost who Talks,

Thank you for your acknowledging of Education as a major part of the equation and we do need people like you who will also have the mantle of "Doc" -..... 'head in the sky but feet firmly planted on the ground'. Education opens the doors to everything, sadly the majority of the  Pan people of the early generation suffered from lack of education and were discriminated against. Yet they still persevered, this shows the strength and verve in Pan people. In today's world however we need to pursue the higher education because that is when the true change will come about when we put the same Pan people with verve but now educated to lead us. I call on the younger generation to go for it ...but for us older guys it still is never too late to upgrade.

Mr. Pant'um-The Ghost who Talks, I also share your views on the Union issue and do believe Pan Trinbago should remain a  non-profit organization for the same reasons outlined in your post. However there are certain models around the world that can be emulated with success.. For instance the renowned  "Montreal International Jazz Festival" is for all practical purposes a Non- Profit Organization ( It makes a profit of over 400 million Canadain dollars annually ...maybe more) However it still receives funding from the different levels of government , Federal, Provincial, and Municipal, but more importantly it receives corporate funding which is much more than the government funding. It can only receive this funding because it is a Non-Profit  Organization..however it has established a "For profit organization" as part of its business endeavors. This is what actually runs the business entrepreneurship of promotions, marketing, sales ..etc....

So this is one concept of operation that I would love to see Pan Trinbago adopt. As  a Non -Profit Organization , Pan Trinbago is entitled to the T&T governments annual bursary, but they have not developed the mechanism to attract other corporate sponsors, nor have they developed the means to become more productive from a 'For-profit  business' point of view,,,so when Pan men are calling for business people to get involve in Pan Trinbago they are rightly calling for this type of action. It all comes back to EDUCATION. Hopefully in the near future we will have Doctors, Lawyers successful business people who are  also die heart Pan people.

Here in Montreal our organization the "Montreal International Steelpan Festival" is  trying to emulate the Montreal International Jazz Festival ...something that works. unfortunately we have a lot of the cards stacked against us . especially a language barrier, but we do have the verve of Pan people and we will also persevere ...so stay tuned for us as we embark upon our own development. I strongly believe that some Pan business somewhere in the world has to work and become successful so that it too can be a model for the rest.

Keep up the discussion WST.




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