Dow hosts second summer workshop

POSTED: 06/14/12 12:58 PM

St. Maarten – The Dow Musical Foundation will, for the second time around, host its Steel Pan Summer Workshop from July 2 to July 20. It is expected to surpass last year’s attendance record of 150 participants with seasoned teachers from Trinidad and Tobago accompanying St. Maarten’s musical ambassador Isidore ‘The Mighty Dow’ York for the instruction period.

York told us that ever since he made his intention to make the workshop an annual activity, his phone has not stopped ringing as he responds to eager parents and their children.

“We have been getting calls all day. What we are realizing too is that children are very excited about us hosting the workshop. Last year we did it for the first time and it was very interesting. If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it a long time.”

The workshops will be held from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm daily at the Orange School on Front Street. All participants need walk along with is the registration fee while learning materials will be provided by the foundation. The registration fee also guarantees that each child will be insured against all eventualities. York noted that anyone who enters the foundation’s musical program is always encouraged to be consistent in their efforts.

“What we see are our young people trying different things and then stopping. While it is good to experiment we always encourage them to show consistency. We advise our students to try the steel pan for at least 2 years to determine if they are really interested in the instrument.”

Out of the total 150 workshop participants in 2011, more than 50 percent of them joined the foundation’s school program which meets three times weekly at the John Larmonie Centre from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm, York explained.

On the final day of the workshop, July 20, students will give a recital between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm showcasing all that they would have learnt during the three week period. This grand finale will represent the work of four major instructions along with advance students.

York revealed that the advanced students are currently in the recording studio to make their debut album.

“We have to ensure that the culture is maintained. Steelpan though birthed in Trinidad is a good thing for our region and it is very tourist oriented. We will continue our endeavors to really preserve this Caribbean instrument and make it attractive for young people,” York said.



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