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Local steel pan band needs a new home

One local band has been forced to push the pause button on its after school programme to look for a new home. Pan ‘n’ Riddim provides free training for young students, but now band management says they are searching for a place to call their own.

The band said at the start of the new year they were forced to find a new home. Band Manager Michael Lemay said, ” The band is on a halt. We stilling do stuff, but the actual big band, we cant rehears we can do nothing.” He says his band Pan ‘n’ Riddim had a home in George town for 3 1/2 years but the property owner told them they had to move. He said, As Mr. Alan more needed the place now to do electrical classes so we got a two weeks notice that we had to move.” He said this shift had a major impact on students and the band. It forced them to stop their school programme. Mr. Lemay said the free training he provided for students allowed them to learn a skill as well as earn some pocket change. He said, “Well its been basically where the kids come after school and its getting them prepared for events we are trying to expand it where instead of them rehearsing towards pirates week or Batabano or ac competition we are getting them ready for where they can go and do performance they can go to the hotels.”

But Mr. Lemay said he’s found a spot for the band’s new home and he is hoping to getting an agreement with the government. He said, ” They have this thing called peppercorn lease, and we are asking the government to grant us that we are preferring to be very central somewhere in town because it’s easier where the kids get off of school and it’s on the bus route.”

Mr. Lemay is hoping he can get a peppercorn lease from the government to use a piece of open land just behind the basketball court adjacent to Cox Lumber on Eastern Avenue to put his plan into operation.

Mr. Lemay said the Cayman National Cultural Foundation has been allowing them to rehearse some nights on the Harqauil grounds, but he hopes they can find a permanent home soon.

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