Trinidad and Tobago's first all-women steel band, girl pat orchestra, spotlighted by National Archives
Trinidad and Tobago's first all-women steel band, girl pat orchestra, spotlighted by National Archives || Picture Courtesy: National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (Facebook)
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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago introduced the Girl Pat Steel Orchestra to the world.

According to the update, it is the first all-women steel band in Trinidad and Tobago.

According to the update, it was established during a time when women participating in the pan were heavily stigmatised; the Girl Pat Steel Orchestra pushed against these boundaries to emerge as one of the leading all-women steel bands of their day.

In 1951, music teacher Hazel Henly decided to add the steelpan to her repertoire of musical skills. Gathering her friends, many of whom were school teachers, civil servants, and store clerks, she soon had a twelve-member all-women steel band group. The band was supported by Ellie Mannette, who encouraged their interest in learning the steelpan and supplied them with oil drums and lessons.

As per the report, during the 1950s, they enjoyed public appearances at charity shows and on radio programmes and were invited to tour British Guiana (Guyana), where they received a tremendous reception at the Government House and at the Botanical Gardens.

The Little Carib Theatre then invited the Girl Pat Steel Orchestra on their tour of Jamaica, where they impressed audiences abroad.

Even though there were no other all-women steel bands, from the 1970s onwards, women have become more actively involved in the steelband movement, where they make up approximately 15% of the adult bands and have made significant contributions as steelpan players, conductors, arrangers, and leaders.