LA NUEVA EXPERIENCIA PARANG GROUP
The Celestial Beauty of Parang Music ....
In 2003, the St Augustine Girls’ High School’s (SAGHS) Parang band ‘La Nueva Experiencia’ began as a group of friends with a fervent desire to make Parang a part of SAGHS life. That desire turned into passion as SAGHS has entered the National Parang Association’s Junior Parang Competition every year since then featuring students of all ages from throughout the school population. Those who have left the school have remained loyal not only to Parang as an art form but to their extended Parang family formed right within these hallowed SAGHS halls returning at times to give of their time, talent or tutelage.
Five years later, La Nueva Experiencia had the distinction of winning the National Parang Association of Trinidad & Tobago (NPATT) Junior Parang Competition. Supporters and lovers of Parang throughout the country celebrated the transition of a Junior Parang band out of the Secondary Schools’ festival into the mainstream Parang fraternity, entering the arena occupied by many of these youngsters’ Parang mentors and icons. SAGHS can boast of being one of the first secondary schools to facilitate this transition.
2008 turned out to be also the first year that La Nueva Experiencia produced its first original composition, setting a new standard for SAGHS and Junior Parang in Trinidad & Tobago. Every year since then the band has successfully produced an original composition over the watchful eye and guiding hand of teacher and Parang enthusiast Darcelle Charles who also acts as the band’s leader. Hannah-Mae Ram, La Nueva Experienca’s musical director, presently composes many of the original pieces performed by the band.
Paying tribute to the school’s motto, “Per Ardua Ad Astra” - “Through struggles to the stars” , La Nueva Experiencia continued to persevere and reach for the stars entering the Junior Parang competition in 2012 with all fifteen performers - singers and musicians alike, coming from the school; a first for the school and a novelty for Junior Parang.
2015 presented their most significant endeavour yet. In commemorative celebration of 10 years of Parang at SAGHS and of the school’s 65th anniversary, Project 1065, was launched. A key initiative during the year-long celebration was the recording of La Nueva Experiencia's very own Parang CD. The CD features the band’s original compositions, along with some traditional Parang favourites. What better way to culminate a ten year legacy of creativity, determination and sacrifice that has brought these students to the brink of a monumental milestone in the history of St Augustine Girls’ High School!