News

Couva Anglican Makes Junior Panorama Debut

This young lady shows off her skills
This young lady shows off her skills
Couva Anglican Makes Junior Panorama Debut Port of Spain, Trinidad, February 21st, 2014 
 
Newcomers to Junior Panorama, the Couva Anglican Steel Orchestra, make their debut at the Junior Panorama finals on Sunday. 
 
Standing out in their purple t-shirts sponsored, by blink | bmobile, the excited 18-member ensemble from Couva Anglican Primary School have high hopes of running away with the trophy. 
 
They placed 4th out of 29 schools in the preliminaries, which saw the judges visiting schools to determine who would qualify for the finals to be held at Queen’s Park Savannah. 
 
School Principal Peter Padmore said even before they learnt the results he knew the group would qualify just based on how they sounded, so he sought the help of corporate T&T to ensure that the students were given a fair chance. 
 
“It was heartening to receive such a positive response from blink | bmobile,” he said. “Their timely support was a real inspiration for the students and shows their commitment to our young people and our culture.” 
 
According to Senior Teacher Thelca Huggins-Spanler, “The Pan in the Schools Programme has changed the attitude of children. They have become excited.” 
 
As a co-curricular activity in the school, all 367 pupils, from infants all the way up, are learning to play the national instrument. “They are not just pounding the pan, they are learning music. They are correcting one another when they hear a mistake. It is structured and there is a written test,” she added. 
 
“We have the total support of teachers and parents and you should see how the faces of the students light up when they are playing the pan,” Padmore said. 
 
Couva Anglican introduced the pan programme in 2008. They placed 4th in Pan Fest in San Fernando last year. Through the Ministry of Education, Pan Tutor Carlene Elcock visits the school twice a week to teach the pupils. They also benefit from the services of pan arranger David Sylvester, a past student who is now grandfather of a current student attending the school, and who arranged the Orchestra’s piece for the finals: Symphony in G by Lord Kitchener. 
 
Head of Public Relations and External Affairs (Ag.) Graeme Suite – said the blink | bmobile Foundation was happy to support the school’s request for assistance. “Education and Culture are two of the four focus areas of the blink | bmobile Foundation so we were pleased to contribute to the school and show support for the excellent work being done with these students. It’s wonderful to see how enthusiastically the students and the school have embraced the Pan in Schools Programme.” 
 
He added: “Through this programme, each student will take the love of pan music with them through their entire life and in turn encourage a new generation to go to the pan yards and pan competitions – that’s how the national instrument will continue to live on. I look forward to seeing them perform in the Junior Panorama finals this year and in the future.” 
 
As the school continues to nurture love of the national instrument and produce citizens who can skillfully play it, the school principal hopes, in the future, to be able to buy two additional tenor pans and establish a more comprehensive pan programme, with more regular tutoring, that would provide greater exposure and training for the entire student body. 
 
Captions: 
 
Arranger for Couva Anglican Primary School Pan Group David Syvlester gives his group their last minute guidance before Junior Panorama 
 
Some members of the Couva Anglican Primary School Pan Group give Graeme Suite, Head of Public Relations and External Affairs (Ag.) and Principal Peter Padmore a first-hand lesson of 
what they have learnt on pan 
 
Graeme Suite, Head of Public Relations and External Affairs (Ag.) gets a pan tutorial from Couva Anglican Primary School Pan group member Ricardo De Silva