Patrons dance to sweet music on steel as performed by the Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Ensemble at Cherry Street car park before sailing of the Xpats Cruise.                                                                                                                                                                                                    STEELPANPANAUTHORITY.COM NEWS                                                                                                                                                             The Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble (TTCSE) did its country proud during a two-week cultural exchange to the Canadian city of Toronto last month.

Information reaching the news desk indicated the band created a musical storm as witnessed by quality performances delivered, while spreading the steelpan gospel in the North American city.

The visit by the Ensemble to Toronto was on the invitation of Earl La Pierre Jr, manager of Afropan Steel Band. The Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Steel Ensemble left home on June 29, to begin its two week long tour.

This small ethnic group, led by Susie Young, received rave reviews from all those in attendance, many of whom were well known in the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, many had an opportunity to rekindle old friendships.

The band’s performances included a sold-out banquet and repeat performances at the ever popular Summit Garden Chinese Restaurant, the annual pre-boarding party at the XPats Carnival Cruise, the Toronto Hakka Festival at the Chinese Cultural Center of Greater Toronto and a Senior Citizens Fair which saw the residents dancing during the band’s performance.

One of the highlights of the band’s tour was a visit to the Afro Pan Steelband pan yard where some of their players joined La Pierre who was preparing the band for the upcoming Toronto’s famous Caribbean Carnival Street Party in August.

In note of thanksgiving for such a successful cultural exchange, a performance was offered to the parish priest, Fr Thomas Hingston and parishioners of St Thomas the Apostle Church in Waterdown. The band played inside the beautifully designed church built in 2004 with its stained glass and high ceilings. The acoustics were perfect and on hearing the “Ave Maria”, the audience responded to the rendition with lusty applause. Believe it or not parishioners were seen dancing in the aisles.

The tour gave some of the younger band members the opportunity, not only to perform outside local shores, but also allow them to enjoy international cuisine, visits cultural centres and the experience of traveling and bonding with their peers.

Citing the success of the trip the TTCSE lauded the role of its supporters, family and friends in Toronto who willingly assisted by providing transport, meals and entertainment to the band.

“Their generosity knew no bounds and was sincerely appreciated” said Ken Chang On, president of the band.