On Saturday 31st August , 2019, fifty- three persons graduated from the Starlift Steel Orchestra’s Summer Programme.
The Progrmme, spanning six weeks and conducted by ace pannist and arranger Kingsley ‘Hero’ Roberts, exposed the participants to the basic techniques of playing the various pans.
And the graduates were more than willing to give a taste of their newly unearthed talent and skills, and displayed their dexterity, with rendition of a number of pieces at last Saturday’s Graduation.
The graduates were also given first-hand insights from Saeed Bowman, who himself graduated from the Starlift Steel Orchestra’s Summer Programme in 2008.
Bowman, who was last Saturday’s Feature Speaker, extolled the personal virtues of music and more so, the steel pan. 
According to Bowman, “Music literally changed my life… It opened avenues and doors for me. …  I love playing pan so much that it’s never a task, and that’s how it should be.  It really helped me evolve, not just in pan but as a person, in school and discipline.” 
Bowman, who recently completed studies at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, continued, “It was my pan that soothed me during my panics, and calmed me when I got stressed… Couldn’t solve that Mathematical Induction? Pan break! Had a problem measuring Magnetic Flux Density or remembering Kirchoff’s laws? Pan break! As much as my note books helped me in school, the pan also played a part in making sure I didn’t lose my mind.”
In encouraging the gradates, Bowman related, “For you it may be as well, or maybe some other instrument or passion, but whatever it is, in order to excel at it, you must put in the time, but also keep focussed on other things that are priorities in your life”. 
Other persons addressing the ceremony: Captain of the Starlift Steel Orchestra – Roddy Dowers; President of the Youlou Pan Movement- Ms Oneka Morgan; Parliamentary Representative of Central Kingstown- Hon. St Clair Leacock, and Rene Baptiste, former Minister of Culture.
The Starlift Steel Orchestra won both the Junior and Senior Panorama at the 2019 Vincy Mas in June, July

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