Starlift showcases future talent at graduation ceremony
A section of the graduates performing at last Saturday’s Graduation
Press Release
September 8, 2023

Starlift showcases future talent at graduation ceremony

Persons who attended the Graduation Ceremony of the 2023 Starlift Steel Orchestra’s Training Programme last Saturday, September 2 were given a taste of the future of the band.

This, as the 58 graduates of the programme exuded confidence, dexterity and skill, as they rendered local folksong ‘Moonlight’ (‘Poor Man’s Lantern’ ) and ‘Never on a Sunday’.

Nia Simmons (left) accepts her tokens from Ms Mikalla Knights

Lighting the hearts of those present at the orchestra’s pan yard, the graduates’ tutor, Kingsley ‘Hero’ Roberts said he was pleased with the interest and commitment shown by this year’s cohort.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Roberts said much effort is exerted in the annual training programme, as it is pivotal to the band’s recruitment.

“I look around and I see they are not applying themselves, they would not go forward… They will not get pick,” Roberts disclosed.

He noted that they are trying to get “best” set of players to fill the Junior Band.

Roberts who initiated the programme back in 1981, indicated that often times, those who do not make it, “have to come back”.

Saturday’s graduation ceremony featured the formalities of speeches from the regular speakers, who includeed Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock, President of the Youlou Pan Movement Rodney Small, Captain of Starlift Roddy Dowers and long-standing supporter of the band Rene Baptiste.

The feature address was delivered by Rayshard Ambris, a young member of the Starlift Steel Orchestra.

Starlift won both the Junior and Senior Panorama titles at this year’s Vincy Mas celebrations.