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Saturday 15 August, 2020

MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra lightens mood with patriotic song

The MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra has arranged a special musical production to bring hope to Trinidad and Tobago as the nation continues to manage the challenges associated with the novel coronavirus.

The piece inspires a renewed sense of national pride and hope, as the country looks ahead to new possibilities.

Arranged by Roisha Edwards, the five-minute melodic visual compilation features one of the country’s national songs entitled, 'God, Bless Our Nation' - composed by Marjorie Padmore.

Under the direction of the band’s captain, Marius Caballero, the project was produced by a diverse 35-member team which comprised representatives from the Junior and Retro Orchestras, members of the present Stage Side as well as players who performed in preparation for the 2020 Panorama.

When the Government implemented significant measures to manage the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the band reportedly recognised that the virus presented some unprecedented challenges to citizens and their musicians alike.

In this regard, they decided to use the National Song as a clarion call to remind citizens that ‘we are all in this together.’

Speaking on the success of the recent video, Marius Caballero said: “The band members are proud to share this project, as it demonstrates our strength in the face of difficulties. As a nation, we have shown undeniable resilience as we move into a ‘new normal’, continuing to operate within the national guidelines established, finding innovative and creative ways to move forward cautiously.”

The production showcased a wide array of musical instruments including the steel pan, acoustic guitar and the piano. Also blended into the piece are the featured vocals of members from across the full spectrum of the band.

Caballero stressed that the country is built on comradery evident by Trinidad and Tobago’s motto, ‘Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve’.

He said: “MHTL Starlift knows we all have a role to play to achieve this. As our motto, We Not I, implies, it is not just about what’s best for one, but what’s best for everyone. Despite the existing challenges, we have to be our brother’s keeper and work together to chart a brighter future for all citizens of our great nation.”

Jerome Dookie, Managing Director of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited, a member of the Proman family of companies, reaffirmed the company’s support for the band.

He stated: “This special project is timely and reaffirms the band’s dedication to our country, the art form and our people. It is a call for us to gain a greater appreciation for the unique attributes that are a unifying force for us all and make Trinidad and Tobago a special place, with vast potential for further innovation.”

“We are proud of our support for the MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra, as they inspire development of our indigenous arts and cultural expressions.”

In April, during COVID-19 lockdown, the band also performed and recorded the popular 1991 song ‘Heal the World’ by Michael Jackson.

The video quilted together separate recordings of 15 different members of the band performing in their own homes and spaces of inspiration.

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