LEAF Elite Steel Orchestra wraps up successful youth training programme
Participants of the four-week LEAF Elite Steel Orchestra training programme.
August 25, 2023

LEAF Elite Steel Orchestra wraps up successful youth training programme

The four-week steel pan training programme organised by the LEAF Elite Steel Orchestra ended on August 16.

The programme, which targetted first time pan enthusiasts, was free of charge and had an intake of 25 children ranging in age from eight to 17 years.

During the programme, which began on July 17, students were taught the basics of the steelpan and by the end of the programme, they able to play six songs with competence and confidence.

The training programme, which was held at the Elite Steel Orchestra’s panyard at the CW Prescod Primary School was supervised by musical director of the LEAF Elite Steel Orchestra, Kesslon “Taffa” Wilson with assistance from secretary of the band Roshaun Peters.

Much to the surprise of participants, they were allowed to perform at the inaugural World Steelpan Day Concert on Friday August 11 at Bay Street. That event turned out to be their “graduation” as the planned ceremony, set for August 16, was rained out.

Assessing this year’s programme, Wilson expressed his pleasure and satisfaction at the interest and performance displayed by the participants.

“They were all enthused, likewise their parents, who would come along to the sessions and remain there and learning six songs in that space of time is highly commendable,” Wilson said.

He advised that even though the programme had ended the students pan playing experiences should not be discontinued and encouraged parents to enroll their children in follow-up classes on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. at the C.W. Prescod Primary School commencing September 16.

Wilson, an advocate for pan to get a higher status in the Vincentian society, extolled some of the virtues of the instrument to students’ educational development.

“Because of the nature of how the steelpan is taught and learnt – through rote memorization, it aids children retention skills which is of critical importance to timetabled subjects,” Wilson said with a passion.