Pannist Marcus Prince will be returning to the Berklee College of Music to continue his five year degree in Music Education and will be holding a fundraising concert to assist with expenses.
Prince said he’s been playing the tenor pan since primary school at Diego Martin Boys RC School and continued through high school at East Mucurapo and Woodbrook Secondary School.
After doing music in CXC, he pursued his artist’s diploma in Music Performance at UTT and then applied to Berklee in May 2015. He was accepted in September 2015 and began attended classes in January 2016.
Prince’s fundraising concert, titled Stories: He Made Away takes place on August 13 at the Central Bank Auditorium. It will feature performances by Prince, Nathaniel Hamilton, Mya Scott, Jerelle Forbes, Joshua Salcedo, Eric Fells, Dean Clarke, Andre Jack and others. A wide variety of musical genres will be on offer, including calypso, R&B, jazz fusion, hip-hop and gospel. He said he needs to raise TT$100,000.
Prince said being at Berklee has been a mind-blowing experience and a blessing, as he has gotten to meet and play with people who he had previously admired from afar. These include saxophonist Tia Fuller, Beyonce’s original all female band, John Legend’s musical director, jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, gospel singer Kim Burrell, and a former Circus LA performer Andre Boyd. He’s also performed in shows in Philadelphia, Nashville and Boston. This semester, he’s looking forward to performing at a major show at the Berklee Performance Cenre with his jazz fusion band, 7th Degree, as well as at some shows in New York. “The environment is one that really pushes you a lot to remain putting in the hard work, practise and remain focused and it’s really a good atmosphere for musicians to be in. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great musicians in the schools who are students so it really motivates me to keep pushing hard.”
He said he would encourage young people who want to get into the creative field to surround themselves with people who would support them. “There are a lot of people who think you can’t make a living off music or creative work, but I would say the art industry is really taking over, because everyone is looking for a musician or someone to design a poster or something, so once you have strong people around you, they will encourage you enough to keep going at it.”
Prince said when he finishes his degree, he wants to establish a music school in T&T, as well as having workshops throughout the country, as he said music has saved some of his friends. “I know some people who were criminals or involved in criminal activities, and music and pan saved them. Being occupied in music changed their way of looking at life and took their mind away from the negative and the negative activities they were involved in, so I believe youths should definitely be involved in music.”
Tickets cost $250. For more information, call 322-1835 or 716 1663 or find Stories: He Made a Way on Facebook. The concert begins at 6pm at the Central Bank Auditorium.