SJCK Pan Stars receive new instruments
June 7, 2013

SJCK Pan Stars receive new instruments

The St Joseph’s Convent Pan Stars are shining a little brighter now, after having received five new steel pans from the Pan Against Crime (PAC) organization.{{more}}

The steel orchestra received the tenor, double tenor, guitar, triple guitar and tenor bass pans on Monday.

Dionne John, representative of PAC and the executive director of the National Commission of Crime Prevention, said at the handing over ceremony that the pans were acquired with the assistance of Petro Caribe, who contributed EC$280,000 for the expansion of the PAC programme in communities.

“This Pan Against Crime programme from the onset has sought and continues to provide positive avenues for young people to learn the art of playing the pan as an alternative to being on the blocks and getting involved in gangs and other illicit and illegal activities,” John stated.

She added that through the expansion programme, the organization was able to acquire additional pans for three top secondary schools with outstanding music programmes.

John, who is a past student of St Joseph’s Convent, noted that with Panorama just around the corner, the instruments are a timely addition to the school’s pan orchestra.

The PAC representative urged students to take care of the pans, given that they were a costly acquisition.

Additionally, she asked that teachers encourage their students to sign up to play pan in their communities, especially in Sandy Bay, South Rivers and Mesopotamia, where new pan sites have been established.

“We continue to see children in this programme excel academically and otherwise,” John said. “We know this programme has immense potential and we will continue to give it the support it deserves”.

Principal of St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown Calma Balcombe expressed her gratitude to the organization for their generous donation.

Balcombe, who pointed out the school’s wealth of talent in the creative arts, noted that the pans are a welcomed addition.

“The new pans will now allow more students to access this extra-curricular activity, as well as enable our steel orchestra to be better equipped to take part in the upcoming junior pan fest,” the principal said.

Describing her pan players as very skilled and committed to excellence, she assured the PAC unit that utmost care will be taken of the instruments to ensure the sustainability of the investment.

Like John, Balcombe urged her students to take care of their new instruments and to be generous to one another, allowing each person the opportunity to play the pans.

Following the short ceremony, the SJCK Pan Stars showcased their versatility and serenaded onlookers with a medley of songs from various genres, starting with gospel hit “Never Let Go” by Positive and extending to Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” and Vincentian soca “Down Dey” by Hance John.

Students of the school cheered with pride as the orchestra performed song after song. Dancers joined in on the action, performing a dance to David Rudder’s “Give Praise”, played with precision on pan.

Now in its fifth year of existence, the PAC organization has trained over 2,500 persons, through various summer and community-based programmes. PAC seeks to sharpen and improve participants’ leadership skills, as well as other important life skills.(BK)