Pan in the 21st Century
Richard Forteau of Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille
Interview Recorded: April 23, 2006
For the preliminary round of the Pan in the 21st Century 2K6 Competition, bands were judged as in previous years, in their communities. We interviewed some of the key people within the bands about the competition, their history and other activities in the steelband arena. We spoke with Mr. Richard Forteau, Manager of Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille.
TRINBAGOPAN: Mr. Forteau, can you give us a brief history of the pan side?
RICHARD: This band was founded in November, 1975. We really started off as a 'Pan Around The Neck Outfit' which we now call Single Pan Bands. We continued being a 'Pan Around The Neck Band' from 1975 until 1980. When we went to the Panorama and we came fourth as a Single Pan band, that year Pan Trinbago herald the rejuvenation of the Steelband Music Festival which was to be held in July of 1980. Sound Specialiststook the brave step of deciding to convert from Single Pan Band to Conventional. We have been a Conventional Band from July 1975. As a matter of fact we actually debuted at the Music Festival of 1980 as a Conventional Band. We have been a Conventional Band, with some ups and downs, from that time to now. We gained sponsorships from Courts in 1992. That same year, a month after we gained sponsorship, we actually made it to the Music Festival Finals. This band is the reigning pan parang champions. The only pan parang competition there was for conventional bands which was held at the Arima Velodrome, was won by this band. They never had a competition since so we are still reigning. This year for the Panorama Competition we came second with "Colours Again" by Destra Garcia. We weren't daunted by the fact we didn't come first. We came out on the road and we came fifth in the Bomb Competition. Monday night we came second down at the Adam Smith Square and on Tuesday we won Pan Trinbago's 'Best Carnival Tune' on the road for 2006 with Machel's "Scandalous".
TRINBAGOPAN: Do you have any final words to share with us?
RICHARD: Courts Sound Specialistsis always out to please both our supporters, sponsors, ourselves and our country and we feel good about it. Last year we went to the Madison Square Garden Paramount Theatre as one of the four representatives of Trinidad and Tobago and we also came fourth in the World's Steelband Musical Festival. We are aiming to go to the Musical Festival. After this Pan in the 21st Century Competition, we will start to concentrate fully on the Music Festival.
TRINBAGOPAN: Is there a slight change in the band's name or was it always the name you all are emphasizing on now?
RICHARD: The band used to be Courts Laventille Sound Specialists. If you throw your mind a little back in time, the pans used to be in red, yellow and blue. We decided to change the whole concept and do a little rebranding. We are now Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille. We were called Courts Laventille Sound Specialists before.
TRINBAGOPAN: Thank you.
Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille in Pictures
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