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Tasting Trinidad

Participants in the Taste of Trinidad event share their thoughts on the preparation and execution of this cultural event

Annika Kintzel

Staff Writer

March 8, 2022

On Thursday, February 10, the Steel Pan and Culinary Arts programs presented the fifth annual Taste of Trinidad event, consisting of a brief performance by each of the Steel Pan classes and a demo by the evening’s special guest, Chris Tanner, Chair of the Department of Music at Miami University and director of the MU Steel Band. Following the concert, attendees were invited to enjoy Trini cuisine prepared by the Baking and Pastry culinary students.

This event was a prime moment for the different classes to show off all of the things they’d learned over the course of the trimester.

“I’m all about reaching out to the other students here at Westfield High School,” Mark Sands, teacher for the introductory Steel Pan classes said. “We’ve got 300 kids or so in the bands and choirs, that means there’s 2,400 students that can be involved in…the general music classes.”

Not only are the classes a source of education, but the students often find them to be a source of fun as well.

“I heard a lot of whispers about how amazing the [Steel Pan] class is and how much people enjoy it,” senior Maddie Kilgore said when asked why she took the class. “And I’ve been a musical person for my whole life…so trying a different instrument and experimenting with it is just something I was really excited about.”

Kilgore wasn’t the only one with praise for the class, however.

“I definitely understand more about different ways music can come into play,” sophomore Noah Flynn said, a member of the advanced Steel Pan class. “Like the creation of different types of music, it’s not all just a bunch of rich people making a bunch of instruments. It can also just be common people doing their own thing.”

Overall, the event was a success, with an enthusiastic crowd and a wonderful event, showcasing the talents of so many students and displaying the culture of Trinidad and Tobago for a wide audience.

“It’s a cool way to bring students together who have a lot of different types of backgrounds,” advanced steel pan teacher Jeff McLaughlin said, “and to learn about a new culture…and that’s the part I love about it…bringing all different students together.”

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