built on history, fueled by tradition
THE HISTORY OF NPATT
The National Parang Association was formed in 1971 with a mandate to preserve and promote the art form and its inherent culture as well as to seek the interest of all stakeholders: Instrument makers, musicians and their children, those involved in the culinary arts and more importantly, the fans. In 2011, this organization achieves its 40th Anniversary, a milestone in our artistic history when one considers the enormous strides this organization accomplished through some of the most difficult circumstances.
Over those years, there have been numerous competitions governed essentially by the spirit of camaraderie and the pursuit of excellence. NPATT has grown from an original membership of seven bands in 1971 to an overall membership of forty-five senior bands and a Junior Parang Festival Competition that attracts more than forty school band competitors. Some of our members have received National Awards in honour of their contributions to the development of culture and the national identity that is essentially Trinidad & Tobago.
In our recent past, we have achieved tremendous strides in changing the perception that the Parrandero is a raucous inebriate who knows little or no music, nor Spanish. As a matter of fact, the average Parrandero has emerged from this milieu to a well educated, articulate musician who plays a pivotal role in the thrust for Spanish as our second language. The mere requirement in our competitions that the songs must be original compositions lead to this linguistic development and has encouraged many to return to classes to ensure that their Spanish is up to an elevated standard.
Since its inception by Errol Mohammed and the seven founding bands in 1971, it has grown into an institution of National Pride and looks towards the future with a clear vision: To make Parang music a serious instrument for social transformation and development.; to elevate the art form to internationally recognised standards while preserving the original concept of the unity of musical art and poetry in the incarnation of a uniquely magnificent music; to achieve sustainability and growth by implementing rigorous and innovative management structures and methodologies.; to develop and keep Parang a viable and attractive outlet for the creative abilities of the next generation.
Workshops have always been the key element in the development of the art form. We have collaborated on numerous occasions with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the University of the West Indies, the UTT and many other esteemed organizations in the desire to teach the music, the history, language, the making of instruments, the cuisine and the contribution made by the Parrandero to the development of this country and the national community.
Today the organization is alive and working arduously to preserve the authentic traditions and develop our members for our beloved art form, 'Parang'. Together, governed essentially by the spirit of camaraderie and the pursuit of excellence, they persevere to seek the interest of all stakeholders.