From music schools to CARIFESTA XIV Caribbean Youth Orchestra

Hundreds of budding musicians from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts’ Music Schools in the Community Programme, are currently honing their skills in an intensive 12 week programme for the ultimate prize; to perform as part of the Caribbean Youth Orchestra at CARIFESTA XIV. The Art and Culture of the Caribbean will take centre-stage at this premier Festival of the Arts in Trinidad and Tobago from August 16-25 and will bring rich, thought-provoking, vibrant, and exhilarating expressions of talent and skill together.

Since 2013, The Music Schools in the Community Programme has had tremendous success across various communities with over 2, 000 students trained in the steelpan and other instruments.  Several participants of the programme have also successfully completed the internationally recognized Royal School of Music (ABRSM) Graded Examination. Some of the past mentors were trumpeter extraordinaire Errol Ince; composer, steel band arranger and producer Pelham Goddard; Anthony Woodroffe Snr; Joey Rivers; Dr. Roy Cape and Leston Paul.

The programme, which runs from June 3 to August 24, is focused on teaching, developing and enhancing instrument performance skills, music theory knowledge and character development training for at risk youth; while providing opportunities for the development of a commercially viable talent. Participants are exposed to a variety of instruments that reflect our cultural diversity. These include the steelpan, trombone, saxophone, harmonium, trumpet, tabla, clarinet, guitar, the bansuri, santoor and violin.

In 2019, this initiative, will be taken to new heights with promising musicians from five Music Schools: Pan Jammers, Desperadoes Youth Steel Orchestra, Siparia Deltones, SWAHA Hindu College and T&T Steel and Brass Youth Orchestra, forming the Trinidad and Tobago contingent for the Caribbean Youth Orchestra for CARIFESTA XIV 2019.

For more information on the Music Schools in the Community Programme visit and to get updates on this groups’ preparation for CARIFESTA XIV follow us on IG or the Ministry’s Facebook page.

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