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.