Friday, February 23, 2018

Pannists pay tribute to Pouchet at funeral


grand send-off: Members of the PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra form a guard of honour during the final commendation for arranger Edwin Pouchet, during his funeral service at the Church of the Assumption, Long Circular Road, Maraval, yesterday. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

Mark Fraser

The young pannists of PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars showed true grit and maturity yesterday morning as they played a repertoire of music for their dear arranger, Ed­win Pouchet.

For about 45 minutes, the players went through the songs, some with tears running down their cheeks. The fact that Pouchet’s body lay in a casket in front of the band did not make it any easier on the players.

The session began after the funeral service at the Church of the Assumption in Maraval. 

The players walked out of the church behind the white casket bearing Pouchet’s remains. They tried to collect themselves as they went behind their instruments.

The session brought smiles to the faces of many who stood around, enjoying the music arranged by Pouchet.

According to drillmaster Bravo (Donell Thomas), “We are all very sad and shaken but we have to do this; it was his wish that we play for him. He also told us that the band has to go on.

“Pouchet was our mentor, our teacher and our father; he was a prophet in the pan world and we will miss him.”

Pouchet was eulogised by his two daughters, who showed how much of a great father he was. He loved his family, his music and his band members. He was a father to them all.

In his homily, Fr John The­­odore was a bit harsh on the congregation, in making his point that a life or relationship with Jesus is the only way.

“Look at Edwin lying in this casket; he does not have anything with him but his relationship with God. We are stupid, running down riches and in­­­fluential friends, not thinking about the other world. We can’t live a secular life.

Theodore emphasised the notion it was “stupid” to do so. His point of living in this world as sinners was well received but took some people by surprise.

The Church of the Assumption was filled and overflowing with people from the sphere of culture and, specifically, the pan world. 

The Silver Stars steelband was founded in the 1950s by Pouchet’s older brother Edgar “Junior” Pouchet, along with a nucleus of other players. Edgar died in 2012 in Orlando, Florida, USA. 

Within recent years, the popular Tragarete Road, Newtown, Port of Spain, steelband won the Panorama competition in 2009 and 2010 under Edwin’s leadership.

Members of Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, including arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe; BP Renegades; CAL Invaders; Petrotrin Katzenjammers from Tobago; and Carib Woodbrook Playboys, inclu­ding deputy Mayor of Port of Spain Keron Valentine, attended.

Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz and members of his executive were also in the congregation. Entertainer Denyse Plummer, who had a very good relationship with Pouchet, looked lost.

Edwin Pouchet, arranger, composer, mentor and father, was laid to rest at the Lapeyrouse Cemetery in Port of Spain, leaving memories of great pan music like “Phantom of the Opera”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “First in the Line” and “Battle Zone”.