Mickiel Linton GabrielPosted on December 16, 2011 by Sean Nero in Features
At age 19, Mickiel Linton Gabriel, already holds two winning arrangments, and he has only just began studying music. The graduate of Success Laventille Secondary School in 2008, is currently one of the Music teachers at the school. Originally from Rio Claro, he moved to Success Laventille with his family in 2001.
His father, Randy Gabriel, (being a musician himself, having spent a few years playing on cruise ships) was the one who initially exposed Mickiel to music. Wayne Pinder in 2004 however, introduced Mickiel to the Steelpan in Highlanders panyard on the Eastern main road, not far from where Mickiel now lives. It was also in this panyard where Mickiel met the famous Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, and confirmed that it was then he fell in love with music and began thinking about arranging. Impressed by Mickiel’s playing on the Double Tenor pan, Boogsie invited him to play with Phase 2 Pan Groove, and with the ok from his parents, he played with the band, “Sharing Licks” in the 2007 Panorama Competition.
Friends and family members at this point, noticed the “obsession” Mickiel had for the national instrument. At any moment in a day you can find Mickiel playing in the air on an invisible double tenor pan, or humming arrangements to songs on the radio. For 3 weeks in July 2008 he participated in the Republic Bank Pan Minors program, where he learnt Music Theory from Miss Nobbee and how to read and play music from Mr Camps. He later wrote the Grade 3 Music Theory exam in 2008.
Back at school, even though he spent most of his time in the Music room, Mickiel did not do Music for CXC. Nevertheless he joined the school’s band in 2006 where he played the Bass pan, and in 2007 into 2008 he was the bands Captain. Mickiel’s talent does not only show on the steel pan. He is also known as a vocalist and in 2008 he entered the Jr. Soca Monarch competition where he placed 6th with “Fusion”, a composition he wrote alongside one of his teachers Miss Hunt. Miss Hunt, who is actually the Art teacher at Success, led the schools Choir, which Mickiel was also a part of. Ben Jackson, a past teacher of success, also supported and helped Mickiel in school when it came to him and Music.
Mickiel is now furthering his study in Music at the University of the West Indies. He is in his first year in the Music Cert. Program and definitely plan on achieving his Degree in the same field. Though he is still a part time music teacher at his old secondary school, he is the official arranger for the Success Stars Pan Sound. The band, now with new students, have already won 2 competitions with his arrangements; “Be Mine Tonight” at the 2010 Sanfest Pan Ensemble Competition and the 2011 Jr. Panorama Competition (non-schools category) with “Ragin’ Storm”. Not only are eyes set on the SSPS, but a lot is expected from Mickiel Gabriel in the future as a Musician and an arranger.