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Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
Winning Groove: Len 'Boogise' Sharpe skips along to Phase II Pan Groove's winning performance of 'Jump High' at the Panorama (large band) finals, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on Saturday night.

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - After the semi-finals of the 2014 National Panorama competition two weeks ago, arranger for then top placed band Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, Leon “Smooth” Edwards, proclaimed there were four former champions within striking distance, boldly declaring, “Bring it on!”

And indeed, that’s what one of the “big guns” did at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on Saturday night, when ace arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe led Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove to a second consecutive victory, and its sixth national title, beating All Stars into the runner-up spot by one point.

....nod of approval.
 
Greenidge, who left Trinidad yesterday for a two-week Australian tour with the Jimmy Buffet band, said, “The results are final and whatever they decide, that is it. I am moving on to another page because I don’t know what we did wrong.”

 
Similarly Goddard stated, “Anything I try it’s not working. After placing second in the semi-final, we did all that work, tried different rhythms, chords, scales. They didn’t hear that? Everything was good and to be placed fifth? That’s not encouraging. Pan is town.”  

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One of the things I love about Panorama is it happens once a year and every Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Jane, musician and non-musician has an opinion to express freely, most of which is noteworthy.  Most agree that the standard of musicthis year was very high. The judges ruled only one 1st place - Phase II with Boogsie's arrangement.. Other arrangers stated they did their very best. So keep doing your best and pan jumbies like me the world over can continue to love and appreciate your best efforts as you move the steelpan art form forward.  Pan makes the sweetest music on Earth!

The sad truth is that when a group of outstanding bands compete, there is only one winner even though the quality of all the performances is superb. The supporters of each band are passionate in their own way about their band. When the performances are so outstanding, each group will find reasons to see their band as the winner. Finding objective reasons why their band did not win is difficult.

Most will blame the judges. I find the system of judging to be extremely difficult. How does a judge sit through so many hours of evaluation and have the same focus at the beginning and end of competition? How does the judge discount intangibles such as the "name" of the arranger, the "name" of the band, the "name" of the sponsor. And how does mental fatigue influence scoring that is largely subjective?  I applaud their effort given the foregoing.

Notwithstanding the sadness of those who gave so much in the preparation for this competition and did not win, there is reason to celebrate the successful production of such a spectacular event in which fierce competition highlighted innovative arrangements, outstanding stage performance, incredible panmanship and beautiful music.

Congratulations to Boogsie and Phase II. Congratulations to All Stars, Despers, Renegades, Exodus and all the bands for such exciting entertainment.

Long live Panorama.   

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