McNamara hits Melodic Crescendos in Music Career

Edited by Elizabeth Romero Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Ray McNamaraRay McNamara, music director for the Department of Dance, creates, arranges, records, and produces music for the Dance department and occasionally played percussion on Fridays around campus. McNamara is widely known for the culture diversity and collaboration through the use of native instruments that he brings to the Department of Dance. He performs and teaches alongside musicians and dancers from India, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Through his expertise as a steel drum (pan) musician, (a pitched percussion instrument created in Trinidad), McNamara won the. Pan Solo Competition held at the Caribbean Treehouse in Los Angeles in 2006. His rendition of "Summertime" on the double seconds ( pair of drums) and "The Hammer" on the tenor pan (single drum) was given a superior rating by a panel of Trinidadians and an audience of nearly 400 native islanders.

Vernon Punch, president of the contest sponsor and Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Ambassadors, stated that McNamara's dramatic movements paired with his technical skill, contributed to his win. McNamara competed twice with top band WITCO Desperadoes, at the invitation of the legendary Trinidadian composer/ arranger Robert Greenidge.  McNamara also played in the band Phase II, which placed second in the competition, with Lennox Boogsie" Sharpe from Woodbrook Trinidad.



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