Playing Pan With Samantha “Rissa Pan” Williams

JM – How did you become involved in playing the Steelpan?

“My Steelpan journey started in my second year at UWI Mona. I was casually walking pass Student’s Union and I heard Bob Marley’s “Natural Mystic” being played in the panyard, which is where the UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra rehearses. I stopped and listened for almost an hour and all I could think to myself was that this is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard and that I had to learn to play the instrument. I joined the band afterwards and my love for the instrument blossomed into unwavering passion that lead me to pursue tertiary studies in Music at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA).”

Are there any role models you look up to?

“I have a long list of role models but the individuals who were key figures that led to my pursuit of a Bachelors in Music are: Gay Magnus, Raisha King and Kadeem Knight. During my time at EMCVPA I had the privilege of gaining mentors such as: David Aarons, Derrick Stewart, Michael Sean Harris, Kyran O’ Connor and Ruth Browne to name a few. All these individuals equipped me with knowledge and expertise that has made me the musician and performer I am today and I am truly grateful for them and the entire EMCVPA family.”

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