SATURDAY, MAY 9 2015: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – It has been 28 years since the prestigious Carnegie Hall has been filled with the sweet sound of our national instrument, the steel pan. Now, thanks to the St. Margaret’s Boys Steel Orchestra, which qualified to participate in the 2015 New York Sounds of Summer International Music Festival, Trinidad and Tobago will once again be present at this ‘Mecca’ of musical venues on June 17th 2015.

Understanding the importance of not only promoting education in art, literature and music but also encouraging the youth to be fully involved in the art’s progress, Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL) has generously donated US$100,000 to fulfil the dream of these youngsters to go from Belmont to Carnegie Hall, New York.

MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb and C.E.O, Mr. Dennis Patrick, presented a cheque to the orchestra’s Manager, Mr. Kurt Abraham, at the official handover, which took place on Thursday May 7 at the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican Primary School, Belmont in the presence of the school’s Principal, Colette Perez, and other committed friends of the orchestra.

The Orchestra has been a product of the successful Pan Programme that was initiated by the Belmont school. It was first created to get children ages 10 to 18 from the Belmont community off the streets and away from negative elements and has grown into an orchestra that has been the recipient of many prestigious awards throughout the years.

As a result of the astounding efforts and the high quality of craftsmanship demonstrated by the Belmont youngsters, Trinidad and Tobago has been awarded the opportunity to make musical history at Carnegie Hall for the second time since the performance by the Desperados Steel Band in 1987.

At the handover ceremony, Daniel Cudjoe a Standard 4 student who has been playing the steel pan for over 5 years expressed how grateful he was to MHTL for this opportunity. He added, “I love playing pan because it takes you to beautiful adventures all over the world. I can’t wait to perform at Carnegie Hall, it’s my first time leaving Trinidad. I am really looking forward to meeting other people who love pan just as much as I do!”

After observing the youngsters orchestra during their rehearsals, Chairman of MHTL Dr. Bobb could not contain how impressed he was, “It’s truly remarkable to see such dedication and professionalism from such young musicians. Their enthusiasm is refreshing! I am positive they will take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Rosemarie Abraham, who has been the coordinator of the Pan Program since its inception in 2002 also shared the tremendous progress the orchestra has made, she commented, “It was humbling to see the family that has been formed by these children over the years. They’ve worked so hard and I am truly happy to be able to witness their efforts pay off.”

The manager of the orchestra, Mr. Kurt Abraham, also pointed out that the discipline that these youths developed via the program has trained them to be very upstanding individuals. He added, “The moment I started seeing the older boys act like father figures to the younger students, that’s when I realized how impactful this program was on these kids. They are now role models that even I would like to follow. I have watched these students become teachers in their own way and now I get to see them be rewarded for it at Carnegie Hall.”



These talents from St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra, together with the Orchestra’s Manager, Kurt Abraham (left) and St. Margaret’s Boys Anglican Primary School’s Principal, Colette Perez (2nd from right), are all smiles as they receive a US$100,000 cheque donated by MHTL. Presenting the cheque are MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb (2nd from left) and MHTL’s CEO, Dennis Patrick (right).

Newly appointed MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb, receives his first steel pan lesson from young talent Kerneil Scipio

Members of the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra pause for a memorable pose after receiving a US$100,000 cheque from MHTL for their performance at Carnegie Hall, New York City

MHTL’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dennis Patrick, tries his hand at the steel pan during the MHTL handover on May 7 at the
St. Margaret’s Boys Anglican School.

Members of the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra rehearsing for their upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City