Global - Given I am now based in Angola, and unfortunately missing all the Panorama action, I anxiously look forward to find the latest news and music coming out of the mecca of Pan, Trinidad and Tobago.
One event in particular if I was in Trinidad, that I would be sure to attend, would have been the Junior Panorama Finals event. The hard work amongst our young pan players, in the primary and secondary schools, as well as non-schools which are faced with many challenges with pans, teachers, facilities, etc., culminates in this event. Most of all it is the opportunity to really demonstrate our attitude towards our youth and how important Trinidad and Tobago chooses to highlight a positive channel of energy used to make music as a unified community or group.
We see more youth performing in the Panorama and the light in their faces when participating in such events, while at the same time we observe the sacrosanct boundaries of the panyard in the community disappearing and pan players being shot at while practicing and the tragedy that follows.
Several studies suggest that children playing music increases memory and reasoning capacity, time management skills, improves concentration, self expression, helps under-performing students to improve, “instill positive attitude, positive self image, desire to achieve excellence, co-operation, group cohesiveness; and ability to set goals, and are also those involved are less inclined to indulge in delinquent activities.” I am sure many school teachers, principals, band leaders, panists, parents, social workers et al have observed this and will testify to the above.
We had a great opportunity on February 27, 2011 to shine the light on the National Junior Panorama, an event which has demonstrated amazing skills and creativity by the young players and upcoming arrangers. We had an opportunity, leading up to such a date, to profile the players, schools involved, arrangers, and some of the challenges involved along the way. It was a way for the Ministry, Pan Trinbago, and T&T as a nation to show the world that we take our youth seriously and signal that they will become the next cadre of arrangers, performers, pan musicians, etc.
Instead my spirit was very saddened to see very little or no news in the local papers on line, and therefore on the internet as well. One could not hear or see anything on line as well. It is not that I am saddened because I could not hear or see anything as an avid pan enthusiast. It was more knowing that after all the hard work of bringing together our youth for such an event, with many challenges, surrounded and bombarded by crime or news about it, that they then receive a message that what they are doing does not deserve attention, when we all know it does.
I do not know if there was anything aired or viewed locally, but even if that was so, I hope this can be also transmitted to the rest of the world, who also look to Trinidad and Tobago at this time, to know what is going on, and who are also acutely aware of the crime situation and positive alternative avenues that music in pan, and pan in music and education represents.
The Junior Panorama is not merely an event. It is our foundation for
the future, and perhaps a viable positive alternative to channel
creative energies and talents that our youth clearly possesses. I hope
we can learn from this year. I raised the whole issue of giving the
Junior Panorama the attention it deserves on February 22, 2011 on the
popular website, When Steel Talks (WST), one of the very few avenues for
the pan community to air their views, but that was only a mere 5 days
before the Panorama finals. I am therefore hoping that the pan
community, schools, the relevant Ministries, Pan Trinbago, radio
stations, media can work towards keeping our young panists/musicians,
teachers, arrangers in focus throughout the year and certainly for 2012
and beyond. I also fully endorse and thank WST for keeping a focus on
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