The Steelpan was invented in Trinidad & Tobago, we gave it to the world. Top quality instruments can only be sourced in Trinidad & Tobago where the quality tuners reside.
A vast international market for the steelpan exists presently and need to be explored. The manufacture and sales of the instrument is currently done in an ad hoc manner, which limits the ability of the country to adequately command the international market. Diatonic will attempt to streamline the production, marketing and distribution of the steelpan; stands; pancases; artifacts and other accessories in such a manner that it will become a model for the industry ensuring that Trinidad & Tobago benefit in a tangible way from its invention. The objective is to create employment and be a source of valuable foreign reserves for this country thereby impacting on poverty alleviation and the country’s GDP through job creation and foreign income.
DIATONIC STEEL ORCHESTRA is a division of the Diatonic Pan Institute and was formed in 2010.
The Pan Institute focuses on youth development and run a music literacy programme for the players and members of the community. At present most players are qualified Grade 4 musicians with the junior players spanning from grades 1 – 3.
The orchestra has performed at functions throughout Trinidad and Tobago, and have toured five cities in Indiana U.S.A. in October 2011. Diatonic was instrumental in the formation of both an Indiana Community Band and an Indiana Wesleyan University Steelband Ensemble. The tour was so successful that the Governor of Indiana proclaimed the week “Pan Appreciation Week” in honour of Diatonic’s visit while the Mayor of Indianapolis gave the Mayoral Certification of Appreciation on the occasion.
In 2011 Diatonic partnered with the European Union to stage two Conferences entitled Culture and Sports a tool for Social Transformation. Representatives from secondary and primary schools; the business community; mas’ calypso and steelpan fraternity, the protective services and members of the community participated in this event.
Diatonic Pan Institute launched its first double Christmas CD entitled a Diatonic Pantastic Christmas in 2012 and it has gotten high reviews from radio DJ’s and the pan fraternity. The CD has now headlines on the Christmas playlist over the airwaves.
The members of the steel orchestra manage the popular Diatonic Steel in Motion, Single Pan Competition, which is held annually in Siparia on the occasion of the Festival of La Divina Pastora (Siparia Fete). Also on this occasion Diatonic produces its annual community magazine, which highlights persons who have contributed to the community. This magazine is distributed free of charge to the community, the Caribbean and parts of the USA.
While the orchestra does not participate in Panorama, it participated and won the Nestle Kit Kat “I Can Play Music” competition in 2012 and took part in its first competition as an orchestra in 2013 in Pan Trinbago’s Pan is Beautiful XII. It was an enriching experience for the players and not only did we make the finals, but our performance captured the audience and will be remembered for years to come.
Diatonic recently represented Trinidad and Tobago with distinction at the recent Folkmoot USA International Festival held in Waynesville North Carolina which took place July 18-27, 2014. We participated alongside the following countries; Romania, Turkey, Taiwan, Colombia, Hawaii, Russia and the USA. Our performances were so appreciated that the festival received funding that was previously denied and Diatonic was proclaimed honorary citizens of Waynesville by the Mayor.
The organisation runs an annual pan camp for children 5 – 12 years during the July – August vacation. In addition, Diatonic Pan Institute is currently running a TV Series which is aired every Sunday on the Caribbean Communications Network CCN TV6 which focuses on Community Steelbands throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
The Diatonic Pan Institute is a registered non-profit non-governmental organization, Community Based Organisation with the Ministry of Community Development and registered with the National Registry of the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. Diatonic hails from Siparia, Trinidad.