Prof Liam Teague, a Trinidadian, is perhaps the most versatile and accomplished pan musician in the world today. At the age of 40, he is a Professor of Music at the Northern Illinois University, and performs throughout the world, including Trinidad & Tobago, where he returns to arrange for Panorama.
From an early age, Prof Teague was recognized as a prodigy, and won several pan competitions in Trinidad. He was a scholarship student at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he was awarded a BM and a MM in performance, and where he was a research scholar from 2001-2004. Today, he holds the rank of Associate Professor at NIU and is head of its Steelband Studies department.
Prof Teague’s advocacy of the steelpan is one of the hallmarks of his career. He tirelessly promotes the instrument to international audiences, and has collaborated with several internationally renowned composers whom he has encouraged to compose music for the pan. He maintains a demanding performance schedule worldwide and a close relationship with the University of the West Indies and University of Trinidad and Tobago.
As a performer, Prof Teague has performed in the Far East, Australia, Latin America and the US. Some of the venues and hosts have included the Taiwan National Symphony; the Panama National Symphony; Birch Creek Music and Performance Centre (USA); Buntrock Hall Symphony Centre, Chicago; and the Prague National Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic. He also performs in Trinidad. His most recent performance was in January 2013, at Queens Hall and Naparima Bowl.
Outside of academia, Prof Teague has also recorded eight CDs, and has composed several pieces of original music for the pan. He has encouraged highly accomplished composers like Jan Bach, Ben Wahlund, Grammy-Award-Winner, Libby Larsen, and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Michael Colgrass to compose original pieces for the pan, thereby increasing its appeal and scope.
His association with Trinidad & Tobago is also an important part of his musical life, as he returns often to arrange for Panorama. He has arranged for Silver Stars, Starlift and Skiffle Bunch, and has served as an adjudicator for the Junior Panorama. Prof Teague also conducts master classes at the UWI and, over the last eight years, has recruited students from there to NIU’s graduate music programmes. He was able (with the assistance of the Ministry of Arts & Multiculturalism and the Trinidad Music Foundation) to assist two talented Tobagonian musicians to attend the Birch Creek Music and Performance Centre summer camp in the US, in 2013.
Prof Teague has received many awards for his work, including the Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal (Silver). He was a co-winner of the soloist championship at the 1992 National Steelband Music Festival, and champion steelpan soloist at the Trinidad & Tobago Music Festival.