Pan professor appeals for chance to serve Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello presents the Key to the City to professor Liam Teague at City Hall in San Fernando on Wednesday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Pan virtuoso, composer, arranger, lecturer and university professor Liam Teague received the keys to the city of San Fernando at Wednesday’s statutory meeting of the city corporation.

The presentation of the key and a citation award brought to an end the month-long celebration of the 34 years since city status was conferred on San Fernando.

The ceremony took place in the newly refurbished City Hall chamber, which has been under repairs for over a year.

Prof Liam Teague speaks at City Hall in San Fernando on Wednesday morning after he received the key to the city and citation award from mayor Junia Regrello. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Teague, a professor of music and director of steelpan studies at Northern Illinois University, was born in San Fernando.

In receiving the award, presented by mayor Junia Regrello, he expressed gratitude and a greater desire to serve his country. Speaking of his passion to serve Trinidad and Tobago in any capacity, Teague, a recipient of the Humming Bird Medal (silver), said he was saddened that he was rarely invited to do so. Often when he came back home, he said, it was to arrange for a steelband for Panorama

“I would like to be here more, to be able to serve in whatever capacity. Any time I come to TT, people are not really familiar with what I do.”

He called for the decision-makers “to indulge me.”

Council members with Professor Liam Teague. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Teague said while he has received many accolades and awards, especially in the US, this award from SFCC was truly an honour.

“There is something so special, coming back to the place of my birth and being recognised. In life we see the results, but not often the process.

“I remember as a young man, so many people did so much to assist me. I did not understand the magnitude of their generosity, but I am grateful.”

He entertained the audience with a performance on the tenor pan.

Venezuelan Jose Henriques, 23, who is currently doing a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in the performing arts and music from UTT, also entertained the audience with a piece composed by Teague, on the vibraphone.

Mayor Junia Regrello speaks after presenting the key to the city to Prof Liam Teague at City Hall in San Fernando on Wednesday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

At the statutory meeting Regrello expressed gratitude to all who assisted in making the month-long celebration a success. He commended the city engineer for getting the chamber in shape for Wednesday’s statutory meeting.

He said he was extremely grateful to those on whose shoulders he stood and who helped to shape and develop the landscape of San Fernando.

He told councillors and aldermen it was their duty to take the city into the future and leave it in a much better place for future generations.