The National Cultural Foundation
St. James, Barbados
The National Cultural Foundation has assisted the music departments of three secondary schools across the island with access to steel pans for their students.
Singing and the playing of certain wind instruments in groups was restricted in schools across the world in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This also affected students in Barbados, leaving them without the means of completing their music practicals during this time. However, the NCF made a conscious decision to assist the Alleyne School, St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and the Christ Church Foundation School with the use of the NCF’s steel pans to assist their music students with their practicals. A total of forty-two pans have been gifted to the schools with each school receiving six Tenor Pans, two Double Tenor pans, two Double Second pans, two Double Guitar pans and two 4-Cello pans.
Cultural Officer, Music Education Kevin Moore said “This project allows for the continued growth and expansion of the notable music programs in these schools. Adding the element of pans in the classroom will also benefit the entire student population. Within a few years, the entire student body of these schools would have had access to a real-world instrument in the classroom, improving their musical literacy and creating viable vocational opportunities for those who take it seriously. It augurs well for the revival of the steelpan within the Barbadian community, as it will work hand in hand with the recently re-launched Barbados National Steel Orchestra, in ensuring that there are opportunities on hand for these students to excel.”
Steelpan sessions will occur during the allotted class music session with their music teachers where students will learn about the design of the pan and the basics of creating a good sound on the steelpan. An extracurricular school component will also be included for those students passionate about the instrument and interested in furthering their craft. During these sessions, students will focus on creating and developing sound as a group. Regionally renowned pan ace Mr. Mark Forde has been selected to spearhead the in-school aspect of this project through his duties as Assistant Musical Director of the Barbados National Steel Orchestra. Students who excel in the steel pan will also have the opportunity to become a member of the Barbados National Steel Orchestra spearheaded by the National Cultural Foundation.
Written by: ncf_boss