Ray in Seattle

Trinidad Guardian – July 19, 2002

Fans of pannist/arranger Ray Holman have been wondering what this gifted son of Woodbrook has been up to since Carnival 2002. Well Ray has been living well in Seattle, and winning acclaim for himself in the process.

Got word from Ray recently and he was commissioned to compose the finale for the Steelband Jamboree, organised by Davidson Middle School of San Rafael, California, under musical director Char Lusk.
A total of 275 pannists from high schools all over the state of California participated.

Ray disclosed that most of them played instruments blended by Ancil Joseph, a Trinidadian who is resident in phoenix, Arizona, and who played with Ray in Invaders during the late 50s.

For the Finale, the 275 pannists played Ray’s work simultaneously, perhaps qualifying them as the world’s largest steel ensemble. Ray, who has blown away by both the visual and musical aspects of the performance, said: “It was an incredible sight what an experience”.

He added: “I look forward to the day when we in Trinidad place greater emphasis on steelband education in the schools, we, as educators, must have full support to carry out this goal thereby preparing our young people to take their place in the global music scene of which pan is playing an increasingly more visible and vibrant role.