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Oct 30, 2012

Pantempters sweet sounds reverberates all the way to Taiwan

The Pantempters Steel Orchestra is no doubt a singular musical entity that shares the common roots of the British Caribbean. The steel pans origins may have started with Africans forging new identities in the region after drums were banned in colonies, but the Pantempters recently took the Caribbean flavor across the planet. Taiwan recently invited the twenty five member group to participate in a cultural event from which they have just returned. Duane Moody reports on the cultural mission.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The delegation from the Pantempters Steel Orchestra that represented Belize in the 2012 Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Exhibition in Taiwan, returned to the Jewel today. They were welcomed at the Chateau Caribbean by representatives from the Taiwanese Government, other invited guests and the media.


David Wu

H.E. David Wu, Taiwanese Ambassador

“Today we are so honored and privilege to host this lunch; welcome the members of the Pantempters to come back from Taiwan. My colleagues and I can hardly wait to listen to your adventure in Taiwan though we saw the newspaper, from the internet and also we watched the satellite television that saw that your performance in Taiwan was welcomed by my fellow countrymen. For me, I think Pantempters is the best in our… I think we really have to thank His Excellency Sir Colville Young because without him it is not possible for you to visit Taiwan.”


The Pantempters participation in the cultural exhibition came on the heels of an invitation by Taiwanese Ambassador, David Wu, at the Pan Yaad concert on September fourteenth. The Pantempters Steel Orchestra became cultural ambassadors as they were among several groups from Guatemala, St. Lucia and other Caribbean countries.


Therese Martinez

Therese Martinez, Leader, Pantempters Steel Orchestra

“There was a press conference held for us; for all the participating countries; for the exhibition. Along with Belize, there were other delegation—St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Guatemala—and so we performed at the press conference. That was our first performance. Our next performance was in Toyan; which was like an hour away from Taipei going south. We did two performance there and we actually rocked the place. So we did two performances there and then we went further south to Taijung—which is like the center of Taiwan—and we did one performance there. And we went further down two days later to Gaijung which is the south of Taiwan and we did one performance there. So in total we did five performances in Taiwan. And in my personally opinion we did very well.”


From October seventeenth to the twenty-eighth, in addition to entertaining, they also got to see Taiwan.


Therese Martinez

“We visited the museum of natural science. We visited their amusement parks. And if we had those clips, you would see us having some fun time; some of us did things we never did before. We also visited their cake and pastry museum where we had hands on experience of making pastry. We went to Taipei 101 the second highest building in the world and it had the fastest elevator in the world.”


While Governor General, Sir Colville Young congratulated the group for their cultural representation at the Exhibition; he took the time to give a history lesson on the origin of steel pan.


Colville Young

Sir Colville Young, Governor General

“It only remains for me to say how proud I am of the Pantempters Steel band. They have been good ambassadors of Belize. A little bit of history, steel pan grew out of carnival and you know carnival was a celebration of the beginning of lent. Part of the celebrations was bamboo parades in the street; beating on bamboo drums—they called it tamboo bamboo; that was the Trinidadian name. but you had rival gangs in these parades and they used the tamboo bamboo as weapons to hit one another with. And the British who were ruling Trinidad at that time said no more tamboo bamboo; so they had to find something else to march with. So somebody thought to use cooking pans from the kitchen. And then some genius noticed that if the pans had an irregularity in it, the irregularity gave a different sound from the rest of the pan. So they experimented making deliberate irregularities; beating up or beating down and up to now they are called pans because of the origins as cooking pans from the kitchen.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Pantempters sweet sounds reverberates all the way to Taiwan”

  1. M says:

    I must say its about time there is some good news coming our way. Congratst steel band I am sure you all enjoyed Taiwan very much and I just hope you get more opportunities like these and the youths continue to grow and get inspired by you all. Keep it up!

  2. Storm says:

    Steel drums — sweetest music ever!

  3. Iniate says:

    Listen to these guys on youtube

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