WRITTEN BY SHAQUILA GRISZELL
Trinidad Carnival presented an evening of history and steelpan music at St. Francis College on March 21.
Known for its explosion of color, music, revelry and creativity, Trinidad Carnival has generated similar celebrations around the world and is described as the “greatest show on earth.” It is an annual celebration of life and the event was open to the public.
Guest speaker Leslie-Ann Bolden spoke on the religious and cultural roots of Carnival in Trinidad, including when Carnival was introduced to Trinidad, how it has influenced the Trinidadian culture, the true meaning of Trinidad Carnival, and how Trinidad Carnival has changed from the past to present.
After Bolden finished speaking, the sounds of the steelpan filled the room with Caribbean music played by pannists. Most of the audience started dancing; even the people who were not familiar with the music were dancing. Steelpan, which was brought to America in the 20th century, are instruments made from used oil drums that have been cut off from one end and then shaped, pounded and tuned. Every carnival season, steel bands, composed of one to two hundred pan players, practice for months on end. Ready with their tunes, these steel bands take to the stadiums and the streets, to create some of the most beautiful music in the world.
Shacqeem Robinson, one of the steel pan players, has being playing steelpan since he was 7 years old. Robinson said, “I feel it’s a great way for me to express myself.”
Senior Cameron Morali said, “I love this Carnival course because it really teaches us about the many different cultures and how the celebrate life.”