“Pan on the Wall” which features concerts simultaneously occurring at two spots, on the seawall is one of the many activities that have been planned to include steel band music into the jubilee celebration, according to Music Development Officer and Administrator of National Music School, Andrew Tyndall.
Tyndall said the two locations are the bandstand and the 1863 monument, and the concerts will be held from May 19-21. He explained that the first major steel pan music event was held on April 23, a signal steel band concert at the National Cultural Centre.
“Of course when you go to the National Cultural Centre it is exclusive, and some people feel that they are excluded from that activity,” Tyndall explained, hence the idea for the Pan on de Wall to bring the music to the people, he said.
According to Tyndall, Pan on de Wall provides the opportunity for the public to attend the music session with no restriction, no dress code. “You can come out and have your food right here, things which you would not be able to do at the National Cultural Centre,” he pointed out.
The event features six of the top steel pans in Guyana; the Buxton Pride Steel Orchestra, North Ruimveldt Multilateral School band, the Guyana Police Force Steel band, the Guyana Defence Force Steel Band, the Parkside Steel Orchestra and the National Steel Orchestra.
According to Tyndall, the groups will be presenting a diverse repertoire of music, including classical, reggae, calypso, jazz, chutney, and fusion, and at both locations on the seawall.
He explained that the use of two locations is to ensure that there will be two different audiences. “We did not just want to have one area and have people crowding to see what is happening. So it will be spread out, so that everyone has an opportunity to come out and listen to the bands,” he said.
Other activities planned in commemoration of the country’s 50th Independence anniversary and with steel pan music in mind, include in the month of June, a series of regional and community concerts. Tyndall noted that the concerts are part of the celebratory aspects of the 50th celebration.
There are also several educational aspects. Tyndall explained that a magazine is being developed, which will focus on the history of steel pan music, as well as examine steel pan music, in its present state, and how to move the art form forward.
During the month of August, there is also a planned Steel Band symposium. For this event, a tent or booth will be set up, during the hosting of the Youth Village in August.
Tyndall explained that during the exercise, persons will be taught how to play the pan, “those persons who are there and are interested in learning,” he said. There will also be a video demonstration on how the steel band is made.
Other activities planned for the 50th celebration include a number of workshops that deal with composing and arranging music, and how to produce better music and better instruments in the future.
The activities will end in November, with a Steel Band Music Festival and Award Ceremony at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Tyndall explained that persons, who have made major contributions to the art form, over the past 50 years, will receive awards.