The country’s oldest steel orchestra, and the world for that matter, has been recommended for national honours.
Hellsgate Steel Orchestra, which was founded in 1945, according to government spokesperson Lionel “Max” Hurst, is celebrating 75 years of existence.
The proposal, according to Hurst, was made by Festivals Minister Daryl Matthew and was forwarded to the National Honours Committee which will decide on the appropriate honour for the steel orchestra
Hurst, in giving a brief history of the emergence of pan and the competition in Antigua and Barbuda, says the longevity of the band is proof that the country can sustain a particular art form.
The steel band has won the National Panorama Competition on 21 occasions – the last being in 2019 with a rendition of “Fire Under Me Foot” by King Onyan of Burning Flames fame.
It also walked away in 2016 as the winner of the Gemonites’ Moods of Pan 25-A-Side Competition.