Sonatas Candlelight Vigil and Musical Tribute
In memory of 9-11-01



Just outside of the Sterling Place, Brooklyn home of Sonatas Steel Orchestra, some of the core players came together for a Candlelight Vigil and Musical tribute for the one year anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001 in New York.  Starting just over one hour later than the scheduled 7:30 PM beginning, the pan side began their musical tribute with "How Great Thou Art", followed by "Yesterday" and continued with other like selections.

Candles that were lit along the sidewalk lost the battle to the brisk wind that extinguished the flickering lights as quickly as their faithful and determined guardian angels made repeated but vain attempts in vain to keep them lit.  In the end - it was Pan music which lit the fire in the hearts of the small crowd that gathered to be part of the occasion.

Especially essential and meaningful was this tribute to Sonatas' Administrative Manager Frederica "Maurina" Lester, one of the main organizational forces at work behind and in front of Sonatas for many years.  One year ago - Maurina experienced first hand the terror of being at 'Ground Zero' working in a building adjacent to the  subsequently practically destroyed Century 21 department store.  She knew first hand what it was to run and trip in terrified haste down 29 flights of stairs from the 29th floor of her office building after seeing the first plane hit the WTC with her other colleagues, then to experience the second plane flying into the other tower when she finally got outside.  How she found her way home - literally on foot across the Brooklyn Bridge remained a blur for a while - and she was on her way across the bridge from 'Ground Zero' when the first, then the second tower, fell.

Sonatas may have had a much more sombre reason to hold a candlelight vigil (and unfortunately probably the entire force of what would have turned out to be probably 100 plus past and present Sonatas pan players with all their pans would have found a way to be present at the musical tribute) - if it were not were for the hand of fate, and the Creator...

Looking at the twenty or so players who contributed their talents and time on two racks of basses, tenor bass, guitar and a sprinkling of tenors and double seconds pans - onlookers who were not familiar with the Pan world or Panorama phenomenon would find it impossible to believe that Sonatas Steel Orchestra less than two weeks earlier - was a huge steel musical conglomeration of about seventy odd pan players.  And also that if one were to count each pan individually - the casual onlooker would not believe that easily three hundred or more individual pan instruments had to be transported via cargo containers and the like to the competition point where Sonatas received third place honors.

However - regrettably that is about the only time the awesome and mammoth musical force of Sonatas, (and most other New York Steel Orchestras)  would ever be experienced.  For all other times of any given year - most of the pans are stored, and the contingent known as the "Stage Side", such as performed for the Candlelight Vigil  - is what the public sees and hears.  One could but imagine the awesome and overwhelming musical tribute that would have honored the 9-11 Anniversary if conditions in the Pan World would allow for such outside of 'the Panorama event'.

September 11, 2002  turned out also to be another 'vigil' for one of the legends in the Pan World, Mikey Enoch - who passed away on Monday 9 September, and after their own musical tribute, some of the Sonatas Steel Orchestra players put away their pans, and made their way to the venue for that gathering...


By CP - Basement Press Release Writer


Sonatas Candlelight Vigil in Tribute of 9-11





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Date: 9.11.02