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PanoGrama steelpan workshops in the Bahamas

Nevin Roach with teachers at the Lyford Cays International School in the Bahamas
Nevin Roach with teachers at the Lyford Cays International School in the Bahamas

Despite the curtains falling on the immensely popular PanoGrama virtual steelpan competition in June this year, the rapidly growing organisation has remained active since then. PanoGrama Entertainment (PE) continued to expand its youth development campaign under the stewardship of CEO and Founder, Nevin Roach, conducting workshops with students and educators in the Bahamas earlier this month.

When asked about the opportunity, Roach said “Just to think that I started PanoGrama in 2020 on Instagram and ideas that I jot down on paper are now unfolding, it’s an amazing feeling. I am grateful for the chance to inspire and educate through PanoGrama. Thanks to the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture (MOYSC) – Bahamas for believing in PanoGrama and giving me the opportunity to share my country’s culture.”

PanoGrama 2022 winner Mathieu Borgne was slated to join Roach in the Bahamas as part of his grand prize but was unable to do so due to circumstances beyond his control.

The workshops were hosted by the MOYSC Bahamas and were designed to help revitalize steelpan in the country. Roach shared information on the benefits of PanoGrama to aspiring soloists, the history of steelpan and arranging techniques, among other topics.

Anja Bowe, Administrative Associate within the MOYC Bahamas, indicated that people immediately thought about the Caribbean when they heard of steelpan.

“We wanted to breathe a little life back into the development of this artform,” said Ms. Bowe. “Some people may think that it’s an artform that has died down, but we wanted to ensure that we can revive this and take it to the Bahamian children and show them how much fun there is in playing the instrument and what melodies can be created from the steelpan.

Lyford Cays International School music teacher, Elizabeth Taylor noted that “For me, this was more than just an eye-opening experience. I was sitting there thinking that I know exactly what I want to do with my students next week, next month. I can take the information that was shared and apply it in my classes.”

PE has also been active in Trinidad and Tobago, participating in the 2022 Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Chair Fair, exciting youth about opportunities in steelpan. The Barbados-based Tobagonian, Roach, looks forward to engaging more youth in the future.


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