WELCOME TO THE NZ ACADEMY OF STEEL PAN
Saturday 19th May @ 2pm 2012 was the launch event for the New Zealand Steel Pan Academy, with a focus on bringing the magic of Pan to all.
The Musical Director Marion Titmuss was overwhelmed by the number of people who came and made this initial event such a success. It was everything I could have dreamt of with people getting the chance to play on the instruments themselves.. The venue was the Tauranga Art Gallery, located near the seafront in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, Fully supported by the Creative Communities Scheme the launch saw information regarding further free workshop for schools and community groups was available.
The aim of the workshops was to offer a chance for schools and community groups the chance to see what Pan is all about without having to commit initially to anything, with individual lessons possible to, in Trinidad the students there go through all of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams just like other more traditional instruments.
WHY PANS IN NZ?
Well the first documented Pans performance was apparently in 1990 at the Commonwealth Games hosted by New Zealand, where the London Allstars flew over and played The next trailblazers were the Carribbeanz Southern Stars, an adult band based in Auckland….but strangely considering their popularity worldwide (and even over the water in Australia where there are both pro and school bands) Kiwi’s have been deprived of an opportunity to learn Pan at regular lessons in schools and as adults in community bands…this has now changed in NZ with an adult community band, Youth band (Pan Pana), junior school band and disability band now established and ready to perform at local and National events. The opportunity to found a teaching school for Pan was a dream for Marion whilst she was busy running bands in the UK (since 1987), and since the launch the fun of steel pan music has been heard all over the Bay as well as in Auckland and Wellington “It’s still early days but I’ve had such a positive response from everyone who has been part of the inauguration process for this new venture that I have absolutely no doubt that Pan will be quickly a part of the musical scene in New Zealand, the Kiwi ‘have a go’ mentality is just what is needed for success and they seem to have it in spades!”