Earl La Pierre SR.
Formerly of St Clair, Port-of-Spain Trinidad, Earl La Pierre is one of many Trinidadians who have
made their mark in their various spheres of the world. While living in Canada he taught steel pan
music at the University of Toronto, North York Board of Education and the Toronto Board of
Education. Earl was instrumental in getting the Steel pan offered as a credit course in the North
Schools. Earl has won ALL Kiwanis Music Festivals in the Steel band category in Secondary, Junior
and Primary School from 1979 - 1986. During that time the bands under Earl’s tutelage (most
notably those from West View) received 29 wins at Secondary level (with 1 second place in 1983)
and 6 wins at the Primary level. In the Jazz and Pan category the West View Steel band received 3
wins from 1984 thru 1986. At West View Earl was instrumental in getting no less than 8 steel bands
started; at the Secondary level there was Pangroove, Pantario, the Senior Band, the Junior Band
and the Open Band, and at the Primary Level there was Topcliffe, Day Strome, and Firgrove.
It was in 1986 when Earl headed to Cayman Islands for the Pirates week Festival, an opportunity to teach pan there arose. He ended up spending 18 years there and loved every moment of it. While there he opened a school called Cayman School for Pan, has a Carnival Steel band named Panoramers and teaches pan at the primary, middle and high schools, as well as Catholic Schools, in Grand Cayman. At this time, as a result of Earl's contributions,all the schools offer steel band as part of their educational program. Earl has won every School
Music Festival and every Carnival Pan Competition in Cayman Islands from 1988 - 2006.
As steel band teacher, and a performer, La Pierre performs at all the major hotels in the Cayman Islands, but mainly at Treasure Island Resort. He is credited with introducing Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument to this island to the extentwhere it has become an indelible part of that country's culture.
Unfortunately, in 2004 Hurricane Ivan touched down on the island and took away all Earl's possessions and since then he has been residing once again in Toronto.
La Pierre has always been active in the Trinidad pan scene. He is a former member of Metronomes where he place 3rd as a soloist in the Trinidad Music Festival. He arranged for Invaders where he placed 2nd in the bomb competition: placed 5th in Panorama Final, he was also a member of Starlift Steel Orchestra and for the past 26 years has played as a member of Phase II Pan Groove.
In 1999, he arranged the panorama tune for Southern Marines and for the past several years he has been arranging for Harmonites where Earl has also garnered several accolades. In 2002 he placed 1st in the East and 4th in the finals of the Pan in the 21st Century competition.
In the Panaorama competition with Earl as their arranger, Harmonites were the People’s Choice in 2006, and received 7th place in 2007 and 10th place in 2008.
In the ‘Bomb’ competition, Earl and the Harmonites have also garnered several notable awards. In 2006 they received 2 first, 3 second, and 1 third place. In 2009, they placed 12th, Panorama. Pan In The 21st Century: In 2007, Harmonites garnered 3rd place; In 2008, 5th place; In 2009, 6th place. In 2007 they received 1 first, 2 second, and 2 third place; and in 2008 they received 2 first and 1 second place. Earl has distinguished himself as Canada's Top arranger, by being judged the winning of Best Playing Steel band at Toronto's annual Caribana celebrations for the unprecedented 30th time.
To put this in perspective, it must be mentioned here that this feat was accomplished during a 44-year span from 1969 to 2013; Toronto Symphony Steel band - 1, Impacts - 3, Harriet Tubman Survivors - 2, Trinidad Average Steel band - 2 and Afropan – 28
In the year 2013, the AFROPAN STEEL BAND celebrated its 40th Anniversary, as recognized by the CITY OF TORONTO which also allocated an official landmark name to the panyard, known today as 'AFROPARK'. The park is located at the southern end of Jefferson Ave. off of King St.,
just east of Dufferin St. bordering the Allan A. Lamport Stadium.
(VIEW THE CHRONOLOGICAL TIME-LINE OF WINNING TITLES DOWN BELOW)
Within the years of Toronto-based competitions that started in 1971 respectively,
Earl La Pierre Sr. and his steel bands have garnered 32 first place titles out of ALL competitions
in total, having also won 10 second place titles and 2 third place titles.
This is even more remarkable when one considers the time, effort and energy required to maintain
the quality of musicianship required to win one award.
For this reason, in 2002 at the annual Snowflakes of Steel show, the Pan Arts Network
recognized Earl La Pierre as their first ambassador of the Pioneer In Pan Award.
In 2008, Earl La Pierre was presented with
THE TRINIDAD & TOBAGO CONSUL GENERAL'S DIASPORA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
IN CULTURE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF
THE STEEL PAN.
In 2010, he was given the GOLD CARIBANA TRIBUTE AWARD
and the CAYMAN ISLANDS GOLD CROSS AWARD.
In Cayman Islands, Earl La Pierre continues to arrange for several steel bands including his own.
During the 2010 Pirates Week Steel Band Competition, Panoramers placed first
and Pandemix placed second.
At the 2011 Cayman Islands Music Festival, his multiple arrangements proved successful, yet again,
with Prep Pantastic claiming first place, Panoramers claiming second place and Pandemix claiming
third place in the Open Category.
The Junior Category exhibited more victorious wins by his steel bands including
Prep' claiming first place and Grace All Star in second place.
In the Senior Category, amazing outcomes were achieved by his steel bands; Panoramers having
earned the first place title and Pandemix rightfully beholding second place.
The Pirates Week Steel Band Competition of that same year proved to be another success
for Earl La Pierre, given his role as the Arranger, which paved the way for more wins
in the Junior Category, by Prep Pantastic embracing first place, Grace All Star in second place,
and Tripple C Steel Breeze in third place. The Senior Category results included
Panoramers in first place and Pandemix in second place.
Upon several opportunities to work in Trinidad, his arrangement lead Solo Harmonites Steel Band
to two of their first place victories in addition to their second place title during
the Bomb Competition (J'ouvert Morning), 2011.
At the 2012 Cayman Islands Music Festival, the E.L.P winning track record displays as follows:
Cayman Prep. Juniors: 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER
Women of Steel: 2 SILVER
Cayman School For Pan: 3 GOLD
Grace Christian: 3 GOLD
Cayman Prep: 2 GOLD, 1 SILVER,
Triple C: 3 GOLD
U.C.C.I. College: 3 GOLD
Cayman School For Pan (Solo Competition):
Prep: 2 SILVER, 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER
Cayman School For Pan: AZIZA LA PIERRE: 1 GOLD
U.C.C.I. College: 17 GOLD, 7 SILVER
2014 Steel Pan Solos:
CAYMAN SCHOOL FOR PAN: 2 GOLD / CAYMAN PREP Juniors: 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER
GRACE ACADEMY Junior High: 2 GOLD / CAYMAN PREP: 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER
TRIPLE C: 1 GOLD / U C C I Senior High: 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER.
TOTAL OVERALL STANDING: 8 GOLD, 3 SILVER
2014 MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS (Cayman Islands):
Students instructed by Earl La Pierre; each WON 1st and 2nd place respectively;
for this prestigious AWARD,
having surpassed ALL OTHER MUSICIANS who played ALL OTHER TYPES of INSTRUMENTS
for their own repertoire presentations in front of judges during the competition.
This recognition was the FIRST EVER to have been given - to the "STEEL PAN" itself,
thanks to these wonderful young Players (Pannists),
(their names can be referenced in the Cayman News),
both of whom have also created HISTORY in the MAKING !
Earl La Pierre was chosen to fulfill his role as a JUDGE
on the panel for "PINOY IDOL 2011"
hosted in Cayman Islands, a competition at which Nationals of the Philippines
express their vocal talents (similar to the globally televised "American Idol" concept).