The Girl Pat Steel Orchestra was most likely the first all female steel orchestra , since the steelband was formed between the years 1951 – 1952 at the home of Hazel Henley at No 79 Picton Street, Newtown, Trinidad. She was an accomplished musician who played the piano and formed the band with some of her friends, with the assistance of Ellie Mannette and and other panmen of that era.
The band was very accomplished and well respected; sufficiently so to be invited to successfully tour Guyana and Jamaica where they were much appreciated.
The following selections are in recognition and honor of band members Ellie Robertson, Hazel Henley, Norma Braithwaite and all the former members of this pioneering steelband, .
The Castilianne is a Trinidadian interpretation of the Venezuelan waltz that was popular in Trinidad, particularly in the nineteen fifties and sixties
In 1956, Emory Cook produced an album of Castilianne music called “The Castilianne Maracas Waltz”.
Included were two selections by the Girl Pat Steel Orchestra – “Castilianne” and “Juliana”.
From the 1957 Cook Album, The Champion Steelbands of Trinidad. here is another selection by arguably the first all girl steel band, “The Girl Pat Steel Orchestra”
As of this writing in March 2020, I’ve been notified that band member Norma Braithwaite is still with us at 103.
Hazel Henley was born on December 14, 1917 and passed away on August 31, 2007
Eleanor Marion Robertson, another former member of the band passed away in New York on June 5th, 2012.
May they both Rest In Peace