Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra leader and CultureMix director wins British Association of Steelbands Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.
BAS’s 19th Annual Awards was held on the 2nd December at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, London. Despite the cold winter evening the glittering event reflected the warm Caribbean culture represented by the attendance of member steel bands from all corners of the country.
The RASPO table hosted the CultureMix team and members of the Board. The evening included a lavish Caribbean buffet, music from pan soloist Leon Foster Thomas backed by The Engine Room, dancing and DJs and of course the award ceremony.
CultureMix founder director Mary Genis won the prestigious BAS Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Tabernacle director and leader of Mangrove Steel Band Matthew Phillip.
The Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award is the Association’s highest accolade presented in recognition of sustained and continuous work nationally and internationally over many years promoting steel pan, and inspiring and leading others.
Previous recipients of BAS Lifetime Achievement Award include Sterling Betancourt MBE, an original member of TASPO – Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra, the first steel band to perform live in the UK at the 1951 Festival of Britain.
Director of Ebony Steel Band, London Notting Hill Carnival Trust and BAS Pepe Francis MBE. Stardust Steel Orchestra founder Randolph Baptiste; jazz musician Russel Henderson MBE; Gerald Forsyth OBE the pioneer of steel pans in London schools; Leeds West Indian Carnival founder Arthur France MBE; champion steel band arranger Earl Rodney, Frank Rollock founder of London All Stars; international pan tuner Dudley Dickson; and many more like Alfred ‘Freddy’ Totesaut, Victor Phillip, Tony Charles, Hallim Ifill, Toussaint Clarke and Lee Woodford Chivers MBE.
Images by Robbie Joseph PanPodium