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Renegades leads the pack into pan finals
Tobago-born arranger, Duvone Stewart, dominated the Panorama semifinal stage Sunday with bpTT Renegades and Pan Elders earning top honours in the large and medium band categories.
Stewart’s arrangement of Year for Love for bpTT Renegades earned the band first place on 282 points in the large band category while Pan Elders, with the 41-year-old arranger’s version of Limbo Break, scored 265 to remain lodged in top position among the medium-size bands.
Perennial large band favourites, Desperadoes, with a Carlton “Zanda” Alexander arrangement of Year for Love, stepped up their act from a low-key performance in the preliminaries to move from a tied fifth place to second spot at Sunday’s event.
The band was able to add 18 points to its preliminaries tally of 260 and help move second-ranked Skiffle down to fourth place— two points behind Phase II Pan Groove.
Like Stewart, Alexander will have double duty on finals night having also arranged for medium-size band Petrotrin Siparia Deltones which placed third in the semis. Alexander and this south band recently mourned the passing of South African jazz icon, Hugh Masekela, who spent time with them in 2013.
A jointly produced music album is due for release later this year.
The Skiffle demotion, meanwhile, earned sceptical cries from many in attendance, but the band was followed in the placings by 2017 champs Massy Trinidad All Stars (272), FC Supernovas (270), Nutrien Silver Stars (269), Republic Bank Exodus (268), Shell Invaders (267) and MHTL Starlift (263).
T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps (262), NLCB Fonclaire (261), RBC Redemption Sound Setters (259) and NGC La Brea Nightingales (253) did not qualify to play in the February 10 finals.
In the medium band category, Pan Elders actually dropped 14 points in maintaining its lead. They were followed, by a margin of eight points, by NLCB Buccooneers on 271 points and Petrotrin Siparia Deltones on 267.
The other bands earning qualification for the finals were Curepe Scherzando (266), Petrotrin Katzenjammers (265) tying with Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille, Sangre Grande Cordettes (261), NLCB Valley Harps (260) with the last two qualifying bands, Potential Symphony and Arima Angel Harps tied on 259 points.
Carib Dixieland (258), NGC Couva Joylanders (257), Pamberi (256) and Power Stars (253.5) trailed the pack.
Interestingly, in the case of three tunes played by more than one band, the appearances came back-to-back - in the case of Hello, played consecutively by Skiffle and Phase II; Year for Love by Renegades and Desperadoes in succession and Sweet for Days, played three times in a row by Exodus, Tropical Angel Harps and FC Supernovas to close the show.
This meant that the 14 semifinalists in the large band category played just seven songs. Inside the Festival was played twice, along with Lightning Flash.
It was more of a mixed bag with the medium size bands, with many choosing durable standards including Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor, Brigo’s Limbo Break, Government Boots by Gabby and Maestro’s Fiery.
Pan Trinbago field marshals were able to manage a relatively rapid flow of bands throughout the afternoon and evening during a 10-hour show affected by two audio “glitches” that delayed the performances of Tobago band Katzenjammers and slow-moving St Augustine-based Exodus.
But the show sharply contrasted with last year’s semi-final round which began at 9.00 a.m. and ended at 3.45 a.m. the following morning. This year, the small bands were made to compete on Saturday at Victoria Square in Port of Spain.
The Greens party, a parallel event organised by Pan Trinbago, did not bring out a large crowd and the party music was clearly audible on the Panorama stage. An energetic crowd turned out to pack the North Stand by the time the large bands hit the stage and the Grand Stand was close to 90 per cent occupancy at around the same time.
As is customary, crowd size in the Grand Stand changes in keeping with the bands on stage. The end of Renegade’s performance, which came 10th in line, saw a significant exodus. The large North Stand crowd however kept up the tempo to the end.
The finals for medium and large bands are set for February 10 at the Queen’s Park Savannah commencing at 7 pm. The draw for playing positions takes place on Thursday.
Fourteen small bands will compete for top honours in their group on February 8 from 7 pm at Skinner Park, San Fernando.
Laventille Serenaders leads the pack in this category, followed by Arima Golden Symphony and Golden Hands. Just one point separated each band from the other following a keen contest involving 30 bands last Saturda
Following is the list of finalists in this year’s National Schools’ Junior Panorama competition scheduled for February 4 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Tac. Pres. Treble Makers
St. Mary’s Government Primary School
St Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican School
Guaico Presbyterian Primary School
Malabar RC Steel Orchestra
Couva Anglican Primary School
St. Paul’s Boys’ Anglican Primary School
Bien Venue Presbyterian School
Rosary Boys’ RC School
Fifth Company Rising Stars
Caranage Boys’ Government Primary School
Point Fortin Anglican School
St.Francois Girls’ College Steel Orchestra
BATCE Steel Orchestra
St. Josephs Convent “Lil Gems”
Trinity College Steel Orchestra
Providence/QRC Steel Orchestra
South East Secondary School
Goodwood Secondary School
East Mucurapo Secondary School Steel Orchestra
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