Performing Arts Entities

Updated 26th May 2022.

Performing Arts Entities


The National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO), the National Theatre Arts Company (NTAC) and the National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) are the three performing arts organizations functioning under the auspices and administration of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. These three performing arts entities are part of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s strategy for professionalizing the cultural arts sector.

The directors, musicians, conductors, composers, and performers of the national performing arts entities are among the best of Trinidad and Tobago’s talent pool. Using their expertise, they independently and collaboratively create and reproduce traditional and contemporary material to appeal, nurture, and develop new audiences for our nation’s growing cultural and creative industry. These entities have also performed for regional and international audiences, building Trinidad and Tobago’s reputation in the arts.




Creative Director

National Steel Symphony Orchestra


Creative Director

National Theatre Arts Company


Creative Director

National Philharmonic Orchestra



Founded in November 2007, the National Steel Symphony Orchestra is the premier steel orchestra of the world. The NSSO as the standard-bearer of symphonic steel orchestras is comprised of university trained, experienced players who audition to be part of this elite ensemble. NSSO steelpan and percussion musicians demonstrate excellence in technique and literacy. The Orchestra has exclusive rights to use one of the latest innovations in steelpan technology, the Genesis pans (G pans) which were developed at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

The current Creative Director of the NSSO is Mr. Akua Leith who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Arts from the University of the West Indies (UWI). He is a Fulbright Fellow and graduate of Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a Masters of Music in Conducting with emphasis on Steelpan Performance. He is a part-time Lecturer at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), has taught at many community music schools and led several ensembles successfully into local competitions in Trinidad and Tobago.


The National Theatre Arts Company (NTAC) was established in 2014 with the expressed purpose of developing the theatrical arts and cultural heritage through the performance of local and socio-cultural works. The Company includes Resident Players – a core group of multi-disciplined performing artists and Apprentice Players – auditioned performers selected annually by an adjudication panel of industry professionals.

The current Artistic Director of the NTAC is Ms. Belinda Barnes who is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.  She also holds a Diploma in Drama in Education from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and her Masters of Arts in Theatre from Nebraska University.  She has been acting, teaching and directing in the Caribbean and the USA for over thirty years.  At present, she is an Assistant Professor in Acting at the Academy for the Performing Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.


The National Philharmonic Orchestra began as a pilot project in 2013 and has grown significantly, such that for the first time in the country’s history, Trinidad and Tobago can boast of a professional and skilled ensemble. NPO’s mission is to promote quality symphonic music in Trinidad and Tobago, exposing diverse orchestral styles while providing an avenue for trained and dedicated musicians to hone their craft at the highest possible level.

Dr Roger J. Henry is the current Creative Director and conductor of the NPO. He holds a Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting with minors in Voice and Music History & Literature from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Henry is currently serving as Associate Professor of Music at the Academy for the Performing Arts at The University of Trinidad and Tobago.