The Steel Pan is widely regarded as the only musical instrument invented in the 20th Century. Emerging in the 1930s, the steel pan has become a symbol not only of Trinidad’s rich musical heritage but is now synonymous with the life and music of the Caribbean.
Jennifer Moore is doing her part to protect this musical legacy through protecting these hand crafted instruments with her company, Sarah’s Professional Pan Case Centre. Sarah was the name her grandfather called her and as the man who inspired her to always dream big, she wanted to honour him by using the name.
Now operating for 20 years, Jennifer says the increasing popularity and demand for steel pans worldwide and the need for carrying cases provided the business opportunity she’d been looking for.
Trinidad and Tobago’s steel pan industry is a multimillion dollar business and the need to keep the pans well-tuned is important, especially when they are being shipped all over the world.
“Over 70% of our sales come from the US and we also export to Japan, England, Canada and other Caribbean nations,” the proprietor revealed. “The main goal of the case is to protect the steel pan and preserve the tuning. For musicians who play at different venues and travel often, every time the pan is moved it can be damaged. Even though the pan is made from steel, the notes on the pan are very fragile. If the pan is dropped or gets knocked around, it will require retuning. Our pan cases offer full protection to the pans. It is really what we sell, Protection for the longevity of your pan.”
The company makes cases for Tenor, Second, Cello, Guitar, Tenor Bass and carrying sets for the Bass pans ranging in price from US$125 to US$160 per case.
Although they serve a useful purpose, that doesn’t mean the pan cases must look utilitarian. Most customers are looking for a unique case, personalized to tell their story. Weighing between 6-9kgs, the cases can be customized in terms of colour, material, screen prints, names, logo and other designs.
“We use leatherette or high grade cadoura, which is used to make suitcases, and for special others we do work with leather to create personalized cases,” Moore explained.
To learn more about the pan case on offer, visit the Sarah’s Professional Pan Case Centre showroom at: 208 Eastern Main Road, Petit Bourg,Trinidad or contact them via telephone on: 1-868-638-0830.