National Steel Symphony at Opening of International Conference on Pan and Panorama

The National Steel Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago (NSSO) will be performing at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Pan and Panorama on August 4 in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The International Conference on Pan and Panorama, is being hosted by Pan Trinbago, the governing body for steelpan in Trinidad & Tobago.

The NSSO exclusively utilizes the Genesis Pans (“G” pans) which is the latest development in the steelpan family. These instruments were developed here at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus by a team lead by national award winner Professor Brian Copeland, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.  Unlike traditional pans, the G Pans are made from durable high-grade steel sheets and not metal drums, it has a wider range, improved sound quality and fewer pans are needed to produce a powerful sound. As international pannists gather for this major international event, some will be introduced to the G Pan for the first time. The emergence of the G Pan continues to place Trinidad and Tobago as the mecca for the continued innovation of the steelpan industry.

Professor Copeland will also be presenting a paper on the G-Pan at the conference.

The NSSO, which was formed in December 2007 and is administered by the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism,is made up of auditioned players.  Many of them are University trained, and represent the best combination of technique and literacy among steelband players in Trinidad and Tobago. The NSSO is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Jessel Murray, a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and the Head of the Department of Creative Arts (DCFA).

In its short history the NSSO has built a vast and diverse repertoire that includes original works (including arrangements) for steel ensembles and a body of transcriptions of existing repertoire. The NSSO has toured both regionally and internationally, to places such as Suriname, Costa Rica, Martinique and China, proudly showcasing the work of Trinidad and Tobago’s composers and arrangers.