Pan Man Par Excellence Inducted
ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. 11 July 2017: “We now have a ‘Pan Man’ par excellence to add to our team as we percuss the region’s needs. Principal Copeland, without doubt we know that under your leadership there will be sweet music coming out of St. Augustine Campus.” These sentiments were expressed by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth at the induction ceremony for Professor Brian Copeland.
On Saturday 8 July, 2017, Professor Copeland was formally inducted as 8th Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Professor Copeland officially assumed duties as Campus Principal in July 2016.
The ceremony, held at the St Augustine Campus’ Daaga Auditorium, chronicled Professor Copeland’s career and highlighted his contribution to Trinidad and Tobago culture. These achievements include his work on the Genesis Pan (G-Pan) and Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.). For his work in the development of the G-Pan, Professor Copeland was awarded the nation’s highest award in 2008: the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The P.H.I. gained popularity locally and internationally, having been used in international music videos and is a staple in many Carnival bands in Trinidad and Tobago.
His work in developing steelpan technology is credited to his parents, particularly his father who nurtured in him a love for the arts and Caribbean culture. “My father was also a carnival bandleader of no small acclaim, having won Band of the Year in San Fernando for five consecutive years…. As a child, I saw vignettes of the early civilizations of Central and South America, native North Americans, the Vikings, the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, the tribes of Africa, creatures and characters from Greek mythology and the Assyrian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar come to life before my fascinated eyes.”
The newly inducted Principal also expressed his hope to see the vision of a federation realised and that “despite increasing separation, Caribbean nations will unite under a common flag”. He sees The UWI playing a fundamental role in making this a reality. Through the active collaboration of governments, non-governmental organisations, industries and tertiary level institutions, this unification is possible, according to Professor Copeland.
In addition to Dr. Longsworth, bringing greetings at the ceremony were Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Principals of The UWI Mona and Cave Hill campuses, President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Dyer Narinesingh, President of The UWI St. Augustine Guild of Students, Mr. Jonathan St. Louis-Nahous, President of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC), Mr. Gerry Brooks, President of The UWI Alumni Association (T&T Chapter) Mr. Jerry Medford and President of the West Indies Group of University Teachers, Dr Bishnu Ragoonath.
For more on the induction ceremony, visit www.sta.uwi.edu/induction.
Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles robes Professor Brian Copeland at Saturday’s Induction Ceremony.