The Central Bank of Barbados announces plans to invest further in the development of the arts. The Bank is sponsoring a steelpan project as one of the public events for the 30th Anniversary Celebrations.
The project is in two phases: The first phase - "Pan in the Plaza" – will feature five schools on stage in the Cathedral Plaza during the month of May. On May 8, St. Mary's Primary and the Christ Church All Girls' Steel Orchestra, which comprises students from the Christ Church Girls' Primary and Vauxhall Primary Schools, will perform. On Saturday, May 25 three others - St. George Secondary, Coleridge and Parry and the Garrison Secondary - will be showcased.
In July and August, the Bank, in collaboration with the Barbados Association of Steelpan Teachers and their music consultant, Kentley Gill, will sponsor four one–week steelpan workshops at schools across the island.
Project coordinator, the Bank's Human Resources Director, Mr. Hensley Sobers, noted that the summer workshops would climax with weekly free public presentations in the Plaza.
Mr. Sobers explained that the Bank was particularly proud of the resurgence in interest in the steelpan among professional and amateur musicians and school children in particular. "Moreover, this investment reflects the Bank's recognition of the importance of the arts to a country's social, intellectual and economic development," Mr. Sobers elaborated.
Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Wendy Griffith-Watson, has endorsed the project. According to her, the Bank's involvement in promoting steelpan music in schools will most definitely contribute to the development and further acceptance of the art form at the national level.