Formed in January 2016 at the college by chemistry lab assistant and past pupil, Duvano Garnes, the Fatima College Junior Steelband allows forms 1 and 2 students to learn the basics of pan culture in a 25-piece steelband. With little-to-no prior pan experience, students are encouraged to attend rehearsals regularly at break time and lunch time, playing calypso, classical, religious, pop and soca music genres. Little music literacy is emphasized as steelband serves as a co-curricular to their music classes. Band membership undergoes yearly rotation for form 1 students to represent the band while form 2 students graduate to the SeniorSteelband, led by Roy Edwards since 2013.
Major Events Calendar
• Carnival Show Form 1 Panorama
• Mayfair Fundraiser
• Marian Devotions Ceremony
• Form 1 Social Responsibility Concert
• Form 1 Orientation Day
• Junior Steelband Awards and Pizza Day
• Fatima Old Boys Association Food Fest
• Prize Giving Ceremony
• Gifts of Blue and Gold Concert
Providing steelband music at school functions and public performances boosted visibility of the steelband and enriched maturity of the young men as citizens. From 2016 to 2019, the band performed midday pan concerts at NALIS Public Library Port of Spain and Central Bank.
Other entertainment occasions were at the Archbishop’s House, “Sisters Who Can Cook” Food Fest, Trinity TV Praise-A-Thon, Church of the Assumption Family Day and Mission Congress Schools’ Rally at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Notably, the Junior Steelband performed
with the legendary Dr Len “Boogsie” Sharpe on his 65th birthday at Phase II panyard and were interviewed on TTT’s The Now Morning Show in 2018. His Worship, The Mayor of Port of Spain, Joel Martinez, whose son attends the college, invited the band for MusicTT’s Live Music District 2018 and 2019 initiatives. During the 2016 and 2017 Carnival seasons, students were treated on a lunch time guided tour of Phase II panyard, sponsored by HADCO and hosted by pannist and past pupil, Yohann Chuckaree.
The Junior Steelband was the recipient of the Fatima College Performing Arts Cup at the 2016 and 2017 Prize Giving Ceremonies.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, before the steelband presence at Fatima, past pupils like Keith Simpson, Gerard Clarke and many others were in community steelbands. In 1974, teacher Ray Holman, now retired, started a successful steelband at the college with productive impact on pan acceptance for future decades. Following an inactive period, teacher Clive John revived the steelband in 1989 and after some dormancy, Rosalind Garnes revived the steelband from 1996 to 1999. Later, in 2009, Dr Gwen Lue Chee Lip revived the steelband which has remained active to date as resource and expertise contributions added to its sustained growth. Pan tuners Gerard Clarke and Junior Peters serviced the pan instruments in more recent years.
The Fatima College Junior Steelband aims to encourage a disciplined approach toward learning the National Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, with constructive participation in the art of steelband performance to promote a positive atmosphere of local culture at Fatima College and beyond.