CASYM CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS
By ALICIA ZAPATA - Basement Press
It takes one idea and the right people to keep a musical organization operating successfully. Unfortunately, there are many who have lost sight of their goals. Yet in CASYM, we see the prime example of an organization whose name automatically stands for success. CASYM, also known as the Caribbean American Sports and Cultural Youth Movement, recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.
Founded in 1983 by William Jones, this organization does not only educate the youth but is also a main force bringing the steel drums out of the dark and into the light forcing people to recognize them as instruments.
Anthony Lewis, first captain of the steel orchestra, has been there for eight years. And though he might not have been there for all those 20 years he still feels proud to be a member of this organization. ďIím proud of management and people in charge because they keep this program afloat, especially with all of the problems in New York lately; we are still here while other organizations havenít lasted this long.Ē
On June 20, 2003, CASYM celebrated their anniversary at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It wasnít like the other shows they performed. On that Friday, CASYM hosted a dinner and awards gala. Though this event was not focused primarily on performances, it was still just as time consuming and important as the others.
Lewis says, ďIn the other shows we are perform for people, this event was us performing for ourselves, interacting with other people who were members in the past and show them where we are now. Itís the past mixed with the present.
It was held in the Brooklyn Museum of Art because of the size of its hall, with the capacity to fit 500 people. There was quite a good turnout. This event has been planned since November 2002 and though they did not rehearse for a performance, they put on a spectacular band perform at the event.
Lewis says the main purpose of CASYM as an organization is to be able to say, ďHere is a new instrument. People see it on television but there is more to it than what is shown. Itís just like other instruments because we can play any type of music with them. We show a diversity of our capabilities. It's entertaining and thatís the major thing.Ē