It’s the realization of a dream beyond their wildest expectations for UCCI’s steel pan players with the announcement of a $25,000 donation to purchase two brand new steel pan sets, one for each campus.
Now being fabricated in Trinidad, the pans are the culmination of a student-driven campaign to solidify pan music education at the post-secondary level.
‘Since the inception of the music department as part of UCCI’s Arts and Humanities offerings, students have flocked to the classes,’ said UCCI Music programme head Glen Inanga.
Estimates have 50 or so students involved in the pan classes, and interest is growing every day.
But the instruments the students have been using were on loan through the generosity of local band the Panoramers.
Realizing they needed their own instruments for the continued success of the programmeme, Mr. Inanga and some intrepid UCCI students petitioned local businesses for sponsorship.
Citing Mr. Inanga’s infectious enthusiasm for helping to sway his decision, Cayman National Bank President Ormond Williams said the cause couldn’t be more fitting.
‘Supporting the arts augurs well not only for UCCI, but whole country as the steel band also adds to local culture,’ said Mr. Williams.
‘Having this programmeme also offers young people opportunities to develop self-confidence and networking skills.’
He remarked that as Cayman’s only community bank, Cayman National is a good fit with UCCI in showing how local organizations can collaborate.
Acting UCCI President Brian Chapell noted that the students gave a performance at recent conference attended by delegates from across the Caribbean. While the students had been together only four weeks, the band gained rave reviews.
‘Their ability speaks volumes, I’m sure we will be hearing great things from them in the future,’ he said.
Student Chantal Rivers said she was looking forward to getting the pans, as it will open up some new possibilities.
‘It will allow me to immerse myself in Cayman culture and provide opportunities for travel around the Caribbean,’ she said.
Mr. Chapell observed that until the arrival of Mr. Inanga, a classical piano performer, the arts were underserved at UCCI, and he was looking forward to the chance of adding local Caribbean flavor into the school’s cultural options.
Mr. Williams did not discount the possibility of an ongoing relationship with UCCI’s arts programmes.
‘When we saw this chance, we didn’t want to be just a sponsor, we wanted to be THE sponsor, with our names on the instruments,’ he said.