News Releases

President Richards unveils artwork for The Rainmakers at UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - May 19, 2008

St. Augustine

President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Professor Maxwell Richards and Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat, unveiled several new paintings inspired by The Rainmakers on Tuesday 27th May, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.

The Rainmakers is a 45-minute musical production integrating dance, drama and Trinidadian Carnival characters. The full-length dramatic concert is written and directed by Franka Hills Headley, performed by UWI Percussion Ensemble in collaboration with Golden Hands Youth Orchestra, and featuring nine original compositions for the steel pan by Dr Jeannine Remy. The compositions, which comprise five steel band ensemble pieces, two solos, one quartet, and one piece that combines a large percussion ensemble with the steel band, are intended to elevate the level of performance practice of young pannists, and explore the practical and theoretical potential for the continued evolution of the steel pan in the 21st century.

The artwork, inspired by the concert and created by Mr. Nigel Parris, was unveiled by President Richards and Professor Sankat in a brief ceremony at the Office of the Campus Principal, UWI St. Augustine. Hosted by the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA), the ceremony included a brief introduction of The Rainmakers by DCFA Head, Mr. Satanand Sharma, as well as musical performances by Rainmakers soloists, Vanessa Headley and Richardé Bereaux.

Dr. Jeannine Remy and Franka Hills- Headley, musical director and writer (respectively) for The Rainmakers, also provided insight into the hidden creative processes behind Rainmakers. Headley is the director of Golden Hands Steel Orchestra, a San Fernando-based 30-member conventional steel band; Remy, who lectures in Music at the DCFA, is the Conductor of the 20-member UWI Percussion Ensemble. The Remy-Headley collaboration in Rainmakers has so far been a resounding success: in a January performance at the DCFA auditorium, the audience remained spellbound for the entire presentation and gave a standing ovation at the end of the show.

A number of significant persons also attended the unveiling, Mr. Junia Regrello, MP San Fernando West, and representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

The unveiling doubled as the official media launch of The Rainmakers’ trip to the 33rd Annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), which will take place in Austin, Texas in November 2008. After a rigorous auditioning process, The UWI Percussion Ensemble and Golden Hands Steel Orchestra was invited to perform at PASIC and the young musicians have been now actively seeking sponsorship in order to take up the opportunity to perform alongside competitively selected percussionists from all over the world. A number of corporate sponsors, such as CLICO, The Entertainment Company and TDC, have made significant contributions to the fundraising effort for the trip.



  • Department of Creative and Festival Arts

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    Faculty of Humanities & Education
    Office of the Campus Principal

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