Like mother like son: Peter Letang becomes Band Master of Dominica government band

Peter Letang. Photo by Cecil Clarke

Peter Letang has been appointed Band Master of the Music Lovers Government Band.

He received his instrument of appointment in February and takes over from his mom, Valena Letang, who retired at the end of December 2019. She assumed the position of Band Master from Hesketh Casimir who retired in 2004.

The Music Lovers Government Band is established by an Act of the Dominica Parliament and is under the Ministry of National Security. The band consists of 29 paid bandsmen.

Peter Letang has been a member of the Dominica Music Lovers Government Band now for 32 years having joined in 1988. He is an accomplished musician, a member of the Swinging Stars Band and says that he has done the required course to be Band Master. He took over as band corporal from his father Norman, who retired in 2010.

For Peter Letang, taking over as band Master of this 69-year-old band is an honour – a post which he accepts with “humility.”

“I accept this post with humility. I must tell you that Bingsworth (Bing) Casimir who is the band Sergeant is the most senior person and was the obvious choice as Band Master but as in 2004 when he gave up the opportunity to be Band Master and supported my mom, he has done this again and fully supports me,” Letang said. “I can also tell you that everybody in the band supported me. Taking over from my mom as Band Master is a huge task but an honour and privilege.”

The Letang family is no stranger to the Music Lovers with Peter’s dad, Norman Letang, retiring in 2010 as band corporal with his son, Peter taking over that position.

Valena Letang joined the band in 1985 and said she has seen it grow “from strength to strength”. She said that taking over from Casimir, who was at the helm for many years, was not an easy task although she had the full support of all the band members.

“I am happy [about] where we have reached and what we have attained, just before my retirement in December 2019. All in all, I am satisfied; I have departed and left the band in competent and capable hands,” she said

Peter Letang said he has seen the Music Lovers Government Band grow from strength to strength and hopes to see that trend continue. He would also like to see the band perform at more government functions, increase in membership and eventually become a full-time band.

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11 Comments

  1. Irvin Maximea
    March 13, 2020

    Congratulations Peter. You have been well groomed for this prestigious position. I wish you and the Band well and pray for continued success and growth.

    Irvin S. Maximea
    Former Drum Major.

  2. Next level
    March 13, 2020

    Congrats pal. Hopefully within a few years you help them hit their notes with integrity like modern matching bands, and not sound like everyone is just starting to learn to play. Seriously.

  3. March 12, 2020

    Zandoli even if he joined when he was 10 years old, 32 would make 42 years old today; it is either that Life has been good to him, or that 32 is a typo. Whatever, the prize id good for him!

  4. gench
    March 12, 2020

    Congratulation Peter Letang. But some peep in the Band Step…..a good mix. Stay focused, and be a good team leader. Yes you joined young remember you changing your little check at the bank with your SMA uniform. :lol:

  5. Frank N Stein
    March 12, 2020

    I thought he as 32 years old lol Peter you joined in diapers man or you refuse to age. Congratulations, well deserved. Try to encourage more young people to join so this band does not die out. I agree they should be playing at more govt and other functions. Keep the vibes going and thanks for all your hard work in containing our culture. It must take all the strength and talent in you to play for our beloved comedian calypsonians especially newcomer THUNDER. Blessings bro.

  6. Peter Bellot
    March 11, 2020

    Congratulations Peter,
    My father Cecil Bellot, first bandmaster, must surely be looking down with great pride at your whole family’s musical achievements; and now the circle is complete. I hope the love of music stays with you always.
    Well done

    Dr. Peter Bellot
    Eggleston

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  7. Cornell Phillip
    March 11, 2020

    Congratulations fella

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  8. Paula Letang
    March 11, 2020

    Congratulations Peter!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  9. 72nationsshallallbowuntoHIM
    March 11, 2020

    you mean like FATHER like son.

  10. Kwashiokor
    March 11, 2020

    Congrates to you my boy, you have earned it!!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  11. zandoli
    March 11, 2020

    Congratulations Peter. I thought his 32 year membership was a typo. He must have joined at a very young age. He looks like someone how is still in his 30’s.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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