News Releases

UWI Celebrates the Rainmakers

For Release Upon Receipt - November 25, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is celebrating the achievements of The Rainmakers, who performed at the 33rd annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), under the patronage of His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Rainmakers, a 45-minute musical production integrating dance, drama and traditional Carnival characters, was performed by Golden Hands Steel Orchestra and The UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) Percussion Ensemble. The script features nine original neo-classical compositions for Steelpan and Percussion Ensemble by Dr. Jeannine Remy, Lecturer at DCFA and is written and directed by Franka Hills-Headley, founder of Golden Hands.

His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards, President of Trinidad and Tobago serves as Patron to the Rainmakers.

The Rainmakers performed for the general public on November 5th at the McCallum Fine Arts Theatre in Austin, Texas. On November 6th The Rainmakers again entertained students and children of the school. On November 8th the feature performance took place at the Austin Convention Centre for PASIC members, where approximately 2000 people attended. A contingent of seventy persons including directors, administrative and production staff attended this memorable event. The performance was met with a standing ovation by the near-capacity audience.

Professor Gary Cook, President of the Percussive Arts Society, presented a commemorative plaque to The Rainmakers and stated: “The Rainmakers has been a highlight of our convention and my personal witnessing of this amazing production was both moving and inspiring”. The Rainmakers also received praise from Jeff Hartsough, Director of Event Production and Marketing for PASIC, who noted: “Your performance was awesome; we’ve had several people say it was one of the best sessions at PASIC…”

The Rainmakers committee is continuing its fund-raising drive to meet the budget of TT$1.8 million for the trip. The UWI was one of many corporate contributions which included Colonial Life Insurance Company Limited (CLICO), Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC), National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), Sanch Electronix Limited, Trinidad and Tobago Entertainment Company Limited and many other corporations. Additionally, the remainder is being raised by selling T-shirts, polo shirts, prints of artwork by Nigel Parris and a commemorative magazine which generated sales of approximately $30,000. Other items include The Rainmakers double CD with audio recordings and digital files, as well as the Golden Hands CD-“Under the Sapodilla Tree”. The ongoing fundraising drive will assist the Committee in covering the expenses of the trip.

The Rainmakers wish to extend thanks to all those who have contributed so generously to ensure the success of their undertakings. Next year, The Rainmakers will host two concerts for local audiences on March 8th and 22nd 2009 at Naparima Bowl and Queen’s Hall respectively. Tickets for these shows will be available from mid-December.

For further information on The Rainmakers, please call (868) 663 2222 or (868) 662-2002 Ext. 3791or 3792.


The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.