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Musician awarded for contribution to development of pan

Musician awarded for contribution to  development of pan


Pan arranger and musician Marla Nanton was last weekend recognized for her contribution to the development of pan, during the hosting of the Scotiabank South East Steel Orchestra’s annual presentation.

Nanton, who has been a staple of the steel pan music scene since she got her feet wet with the Potential Steel Orchestra in 1988, was presented a plaque of appreciation by former minister of culture René Baptiste,{{more}} during an interval at the steel orchestra’s third edition of “Hearts of Steel: Colours of Youth,” at the St Vincent Community College auditorium on Saturday night.

Baptiste made the presentation to Nanton, on behalf of the Vincentian Association of Artists, Writers and Producers, on the first night of the two-day production.

She commended and congratulated Nanton for her input into the orchestra, of which she is music director, and wished her success in future endeavours.

In accepting the award, Nanton thanked persons who were instrumental in her development, starting with when she became a member of the Girls’ High School Steel Orchestra. Upon graduation from the all-girl institution, Nanton received the Lois Williams award for music. Those receiving honourable mention were past teachers and colleagues of the South East Development Inc.

Nanton, however, dedicated the award to her mother Anita Nanton.

Over the years, Marla has made a number of major contributions to the steel pan music scene. In 2001, she co-founded and was first president of Rhythmix Steel Orchestra; in 2006, she received the Dean’s Award for outstanding performance in Music from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

Nanton conceptualized and produced the inaugural ‘Hearts of Steel’ show with SESO, establishing it as the orchestra’s signature event.

This year’s production, ‘Colours of Youth,’ featured a number of performances on pan, and other musical instruments, as well as vocals, dancing and skits.

The production was divided into five sections: Jubilee, Splash, She’s Royal, The Love Portion, and South East Burning and showcased from ‘the kiddies’, to the senior members of the organization, displaying their talent, most of which was nurtured by Nanton.