It gives me great pleasure to publish this message, marking the achievements of the New World Steel Orchestra (NWSO) in Chapeltown Leeds in 2012.
Among those achievements were the massive contribution they made to the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Leeds West Indian Carnival and the memorial for the late Dr Geraldine Connor, musicologist and choreographer for NWSO, who for many years inspired the growth of the Carnival and the development of the steel orchestra. In her last publication before her untimely death, Pan! The Steelband Movement in Britain, Geraldine Connor (2011) wrote:
The steelband is not only the greatest acoustic musical invention of the 20th Century, it is also an exceptional reflection of the resourcefulness, inventiveness and sheer survivalist mentality that we as a Caribbean people possess. Within Caribbean communities abroad, the intersection between history, identity and cultural expression significantly informs our interpretation of our heritage. Arthur France MBE and New World Symphony Orchestra are a living embodiment of this phenomenon’.
Each year, December seems to come along more speedily than ever, calling on us to reflect upon successes and defeats and renew our hope for success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead. Continue reading