Meet the PanNotation Team
PanNotation has had a number of individuals who have contributed to the creation of this steelpan store and library. Listed below are the core team members who work hard everyday to ensure the success of PanNotation.
Mark Loquan (Chairman)
Mark has produced several popular songs for Panorama, which have been performed in Trinidad, and by steelbands across the globe in main pan events as well as in schools and universities. Some of these include songs like “Fire and Steel,” “Colours Again,” “Hooked,” “Surrender,” “Calling Meh,” “Vibes,” “Outta De Box,” “Bass on Fire,” and “Breakthrough.”
He has also collaborated musically with Amrit Samaroo, Edwin Pouchet, Ken “Professor” Philmore, and Seion Gomez and has enjoyed long term collaborations with Denyse Plummer and Destra Garcia over his musical journey. His music has won awards in several categories, including COTT Pan Song of the Year and International Soca Awards. He celebrated 20 years of composing music for pan in October 2019 with a music literacy conference and a concert at the National Academy of Performing Arts (First Half and Second Half).
Mark is also the Honorary Founding Director of the Music Literacy Trust, a not-for-profit organisation which has supported pannists and communities since 2004, and is a strong proponent for having music preserved, scored and used in education. He has performed as a tenor player with Skiffle Bunch in the World Steelband Festival in the year 2000, and was the Musical Director of the first steelband in Western Australia from 2013 to 2016. In 2021, Mark has collaborated with Etienne Charles to produce a cross border project in a virtual world, with his song “My Home” (You Tube) performed by steelband and big band, and other musicians.
Mia Gormandy-Benjamin (Chief Executive Officer)
Mia Gormandy-Benjamin is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin received a Bachelor of Music degree (2009) and a Master of Music degree (2011) in steelpan performance from Northern Illinois University (NIU). She then received a second Master of Music degree (2013) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (2017) in ethnomusicology from Florida State University (FSU). Her doctoral research focused on the history and performance practices of steelpan musicians in Japan.
Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin has performed in several different countries around the world including Austria, Australia, England, Japan, the United States, Canada, and countries of the Caribbean. Several committees awarded her over the years including the Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation and the Port-of-Spain City Corporation. Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin has been the recipient of several grants including the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship presented by the American Musicological Society and the Carol Krebs Research Fellow Award granted by Florida State University.
She is the co-founder of the global steelpan project called the Virtual Steelband where 22 countries with over 300 pannists are registered with the organization. She later worked on the “Pan in Unity” project as a response to the 2020 pandemic, which featured 691 musicians from 23 countries. Dr. Gormandy-Benjamin is a long-time member of the renowned Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra, where she serves as a performer, transcriber, conductor, and educator. She also serves as a television commentator for Panorama, the largest steelband competition in the world.
Patricia Loquan (Director)
A born and bred Trinbagonian, Patricia grew up in north Trinidad – Belmont, St James, and Diego Martin. On her father’s side, she was family to a famous ‘mas’ man which meant early exposure to the culture including the steelpan and carnival. Professionally she has been an HR Consultant for the last twenty years and prior to that, she worked for a multinational company in the consumer goods business with stints leading the local manufacturing facility and heading the corporate services during the 1980s and 1990s. She has enjoyed traveling extensively all over the globe for both work and pleasure and has also lived overseas for significant periods in Europe, South Africa, and Australia.
This has shaped her worldview and the development of broad perspectives about other peoples and cultures and a greater sense of appreciation of what is ours. While not musically inclined herself, she enjoys listening to many genres of music and living with two musicians (her husband Mark and son Evan), who have left her in awe of musical talent and creativity. Her contribution to the music field tends to be on the organisational, planning, and financial fronts. However, as a member and double guitar player of the Perth Pandemix Steel Pan Orchestra (formed while she was based in Western Australia), she has truly understood the lure of the steelband, the joy of playing sweet music, and being part of a band fraternity.
Jamila Reid (Administrative Assistant)
Jamila Reid has involved herself in the performance field from quite a young age and today, continues to excel in the musical arena. As an infant she adored singing, but was instead drawn to her country’s national instrument, the steelpan. In 2015, Ms. Reid received an Artist Diploma in Music performance from the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s (UTT) National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), where she enrolled as a steelpan student and was mentored by Mr. Leon ‘Smooth’ Edwards. She then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UTT in 2019, and was mentored by Mr. Seion Gomez. Approaching her conclusion at UTT, she was exposed to stage management and audio engineering for live performances, a path she presently seeks to pursue.
Born and grown in Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Reid travelled to Cuba, France and England, and performed with a vast number of steelbands both internationally and locally. Granted an occasion, she previously performed with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO), and has conducted multiple stage, photography and audio duties at home based productions such as the Small, Medium and Large Band National Panorama Competitions, Big 5, and a number of smaller events. Though Ms. Reid has several objectives, this upcoming artist is presently an Administrative Assistant at PanNotation Limited.
Mark-anthony Baptiste (Administrative Assistant)
Mark-anthony is an eager, aspiring scholar that aims to be one of the most renowned ethnomusicologists in the region. He aims to further his experience and knowledge in the realms of psychology, anthropology, musicology, philosophy, theology and sociology to provide a more balanced perspective or account when researching or writing. Although particularly new to the musical and performance driven field, Mark-anthony Baptiste is no stranger to history or culture. At a tender age, he displayed a thirst for knowledge through his passion for reading and comprehension, through his story books and questioning their origins. Mark-anthony’s musical journey began at the early age of 8 years old but wasn’t nurtured until the age of 16/17 for the NESC examinations. Thereafter, he earned a grade II in the CSEC Music Examinations, which resulted in his enrolment to the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Academy for the Performing Arts campus.
In 2019, he achieved one of his first milestones in the form of a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from UTT along with a grand aim, to become an ethnomusicologist. His years at the university consisted of, what he would refer to as personal hardships, that resulted in a redefinition of himself, as well as experience that will forever impact his view on the world. He was initially mentored by figures like Mrs. Michelle Huggins-Watts and Mr. Seion Gomez but as he grew and developed his skills, his journey brought him to icons such as Dr. Leah Brown, Dr. Roger Henry and Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin.