A new organization, structured around the steel pan art form, has been launched here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. XS Steel Incorporated was officially presented at a media briefing on the evening of Tuesday, November 27, at the Murray Heights Hotel.
According to Cecil Ryan, Chairman of the organization, the group will act as a vehicle and framework to mobilize and organize resources for personal and community development. Ryan said: “The idea is to create a platform for merging the energies of children and young people with the experience and wisdom of older citizens, in an ongoing project for positive development at the individual and community levels.”
XS Steel Orchestra will be the nucleus around which the organization operates and Music Director, Marla Nanton, used the opportunity to present the group’s vision for its orchestra. Embedded in this vision is an emphasis on holistic musicianship, which includes professional dimensions like reading music scores and creating music notation. Nanton emphasized that “XS Steel will stand on the pillar of excellence, we will strive to provide fruitful opportunities for our members and to bring a fresh attitude to the steel pan arena.”
Also speaking at the event was President of the Youlou Pan Movement, Oneka Morgan, who indicated that this year has been a significant one for steel pan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a milestone celebration of 40 years. In her congratulatory remarks, Morgan said: “Earlier this year, the movement saw two new member bands entering the Panorama competition and we are now looking forward to seeing XS on the big stage”.
Also conveying the regards, support, and interest of the Ministry of Culture was Cultural Officer, Anthony Theobalds, who spoke on behalf of Minister Cecil McKie who is overseas. Other endorsements came from Cultural Ambassador – Ken Isles, XS player – Reon Moore, captain of Starlift Steel Orchestra – Roddy Dowers and founding member of Sion Hill Euphonium, Earl “Caba” Bennett. Local Calypsonian, Shena Collis, performed “Come Guide Me”, a piece from her 2018 collection which fits in snuggly with the organization’s concept of mentoring.
Seven persons comprise the management committee of XS Steel Inc, they are:
Cecil Ryan (Chairman)
Marla Nanton (Music Director)
Arlene Regisford-Sam (Treasurer)
Jennifer Browne (Secretary)
Jennifer Richardson (PRO)
Kent Cain (Logistics Officer)
Kevon Guy (Players’ Representative)
The organisation was legally registered in September 2018.