(PRWEB) – The month of March every year is Woman’s Month in the
United States. As we pay homage to women I want to take special notice of the steelband woman of the 1960s. But, the pan women played an important role in the
steelbands. On carnival days they would be pan pushers, at times pushing their
husbands’ or boyfriends’ pans. I have had many quarrels with my friend’s women
when we fought to push his pan.Sometimes they would cool off their husbands or boyfriends from fighting and
saving others from harm or injury. One of my memorable sightings was to witness
the beautiful young girls standing outside the panyards during practice dressed
in their best clothes. They would stay the whole night until the practice was
over. Those who had boyfriends in the steelband would stand close to the pans
keeping a eye on their men from other women. In the 60s when steelbands played
in the Hollows at the Queen’s Park Savannah on a Sunday afternoon many young
girls would attend those concerts to support the steelbands. The middle class
women would support the steelbands at the bi-annual Musical festivals that were
held at Queen’s Hall in the St. Ann’s district, Port of Spain. But, they would
never attend the panyards.
Today, there are women panists who play in all of the steelbands throughout
Trinbago. It is no longer a bad thing to see a woman playing the national
instrument in the land of its birth. Now, if we could only have women leading
steelbands and/or becoming the President of PanTrinbago, the future of the
steelpan will be safe and secure.
[Dr. Dawn Batson, associate professor of music, holds degrees from renowned
institutes of higher education. Her Ph.D in music and international affairs from
the University of Miami, an M.M. is but one. She was most recently associate
professor and director of the steel band music program at Florida Memorial
College. Over the years Dr. Batson has fulfilled a number of roles in many
countries – including performer, arranger, conductor, teacher, judge, composer,
musical director, lecturer, grant writer and producer].
[Photo courtesy of when Steel Talks].