ADJUDICATOR - Dr. Mia Gormandy Benjamin
Mia Gormandy-Benjamin is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin received a Bachelor of Music degree (2009) and a Master of Music degree (2011) in steelpan performance from Northern Illinois University (NIU). She then received a second Master of Music degree (2013) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (2017) in ethnomusicology from Florida State University (FSU).
Her doctoral research focused on the history and performance practices of steelpan musicians in Japan. She is also the Chief Executive Officer for PanNotation Limited, an online platform that facilitates the sale of steelpan scores in addition to the acquisition of educational materials. Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin has performed in several different countries around the world including Austria, Australia, England, Japan, the United States, Canada, and countries of the Caribbean. She has also performed with many world-renowned artists such as the 14-time Grammy award winner Paquito D’Rivera.
She is the recipient of several awards and grants including the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship presented by the American Musicological Society. She is the co-founder of the global steelpan project called the Virtual Steelband where 22 countries with over 300 pannists are registered with the organization. She later worked on the “Pan in Unity” project as a response to the 2020 pandemic, which
featured 691 musicians from 23 countries. Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin is a long-time member of the renowned Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra, where she serves as a performer, transcriber, conductor, educator, and was recently appointed musical director for the Classical Jewels concert series. She also serves as a television commentator for Panorama, the largest steelband competition in the world. Most recently, she serves as the conductor for the Orquesta Nacional de Parang de Trinidad y Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago’s first parang orchestra.