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St. Croix’s Young Musical Talents On Display In Steel Pan Exposition At Doc James Racetrack

SHOW TIME: Deputy Education Superintendent Faith Dane George Boone introduces the students on stage.

FREDERIKSTED — Steel bands from public and parochial schools on St. Croix showcased their musical talents at the Department of Education Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education’s annual Steel Pan Exposition held April 22 at the Randall “Doc” James Racetrack.

Director of Cultural Education and event coordinator Valrica Bryson welcomed parents, students and supporters to the event and thanked the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation for allowing the event to be housed on the racetrack. The Steel Pan Expo has been traditionally held at the St. Croix Educational Complex.

St. Croix District Deputy Superintendent Faith Dane George-Boone served as mistress of ceremony and warmed the students up with a drumroll while introducing each school. The St. Mary’s Catholic School steel band, directed by Jessy Joseph, kicked opened the high-energy show, followed by the Lew Muckle Steel Orchestra, led by Noel Wynter.

Throughout the evening, the John H. Woodson, Alfredo Andrews, Alexander Henderson, Claude O. Markoe and Elena Christian schools serenaded the audience with hit songs, such as “Virgin Islands Nice,” “Fete You,” and “Bacchanalist.” The youngest musicians came from the Alexander Henderson Elementary School, which performed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from the Disney classic, The Lion King.

Education Assistant Commissioner Chermaine Hobson also attended the event and praised the students and parents for engaging in extracurricular cultural activities. She noted that some students go on to play in larger bands much like the Superior Court’s Rising Stars and even become instructors.

The University of the Virgin Islands steel band closed out the evening’s concert with a soca medley.






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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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