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Why is it when UWI awards honorary Doctorate to people in the entertainment industry Pan Tuners are not given consideration. This skill is a specialized science what do you think?

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The tuning is not done on a stage before a large audience. It is a BACKROOM/OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT function. So the tuners do not have high name recognition or entertainment profiles. I heard a Trinidad scientist living in Europe complain one day that calypso singers sing two songs and they get a hundred stories written about them in the newspapers whereas you have Trinidad scientists and scholars making significant contributions around the world but there is seldom any mention of their accomplishments in the local newspapers.

yeah what is your point

I'm not quite sure what your point is.

I do agree that tuning  is a skill. I'm a pianotuner myself. 

Did you ever hear about the tuner who tunes for great piano musicians?

The only thing you can hope for, is that the word spreads, that you are a great tuner, just like technicians who make it possible to have a great recording and so on.

Maybe I don't understand your point. Please explain.

Its a bit different with pan. Tuners actually fashion the instrument from scratch. Tuning is last in the process. 

what is it going to take for UWI or other universities to award to these tuners a Doctorate degree. They spent their life mastering the technique, maybe they are waiting for a foreign education establishment to award these talented/gifted tuners a degree, then they will follow suit, and say they the university to award the degree.

Good topic ODW, but I believe it is a matter of proportion. In Trinidad, there are 5 names that are considered the top Pan Tuners, but other artistes are in the hundreds. There will be a lot of tuners who will also hold PHD's soon. (lol)

In 2000 I believe it was, Clem Imbert and I nominated three tuners for honorary degrees - Ellie Mannette, Tony Williams and Bertie Marshall.   UWI gives no reason for rejecting a nomination. However, Ellie was an easy pick ... after all he won a Presidential Award during the year of deliberation. Documentation was another challenge - Ellie had a well prepared dossier. However, Tony and Bertie's information was not readily available. With the help of people like the late Teddy Belgrave and Terry Joseph we were able to improve that situation for the many years after that we resubmitted the nominations but they were all unsuccessful.

UWI has its own politics but I get the impression that major factor in the rejection of all those nominations over the years (we are talking here of several repeated nominations filed since 2000 ) was the fact that the technical and scientific capabilities of our tuners are simply still not acknowledged. 


I've heard Teddy Belgrave say Rudolph Charles was responsible for raising the bar in Steelband sponsorship for having Pan Tuners being treated as Technicians and receive Specialist fees..https://youtu.be/h8Op5UpfQnE

I find it very difficult for an institution of higher learning (UWI)  not willing to acknowledge as you describe "the technical and scientific capabilities of our tuners".  If as you describe the political dynamics at play at UWI, what will it take to begin acknowledging their achievements and who should take the lead in bringing about change in this environment, would an online petition for their nomination change the political culture at UWI?

Does having a dossier like Ellie the only way to be accepted?  For starters Anthony Williams and Neville Jules what do they have to prove to be considered?

 The process is pretty much a cloistered one. Nominees are requested from UWI admin down to the level of Deans and Heads. Nominees are not to be informed. A committee is formed to review submitted bios and the results are not publicized until a month or so prior to graduation ceremonies. 

A lot of noise has to be made, I think, to improve the chances of success. 

Ellie Mannette - Pan Builder/Tuner

Picture taken July 2001

ODW. We Can Safely Say. Ellie Manette is the Grand Master of Tuning. Thanks for the Video.


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