Dec. 13, 2003 — Saturday night the 8th Annual Pan Fest drew thunderous applause from a packed house of family, friends and lovers of steel pan music. The event was part of this year's Crucian Christmas Festival.
Sponsored by the Road Side Pan Yard and directed by Stedroy Williams and Eslie Williams, this year's event featured 11 steel bands hailing from local churches and public schools. Saturday evening's program included a little something for everyone, with musical selections ranging from gospel and holiday classics to calypso and rhythm and blues.
The night began with "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the "Virgin Islands March" played on a steel pan by Michael Belgrave, a well-known and accomplished steel pan player. Belgrave has been playing steel pan for more than 20 years and has taught the art in the V.I. public schools. Each year he continues to teach hundreds of elementary school students about steel pan playing.
Senator Ronald Russell, chair of the Education and Youth Committee, praised the organizers of the Pan Fest and their commitment to pass on this cultural art form to future generations.
The participating bands were: Arthur Richards School, Ebenezer Holiness Church, Ebenezer Methodist, Church of God Holiness, Ricardo Richards School, St. Croix Christian Academy, Bethel Methodist Church, Lew Muckle School, Claude O. Markoe School, St. Mary's Catholic School and Friedensthal Moravian Church.
All bands received trophies, while the band directors were presented with plaques.
For a complete listing of Crucian Christmas Festival events, see our 2004 festival events guide.
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