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Commancheros Steel Orchestra captures Grenada 2016 National Panorama Title

St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. - A slate of nine steel orchestras vied for the title of Grenada’s national Panorama champion for 2016. Commancheros Steel Orchestra turned the musical tables on Angel Harps (who beat them into second place last year) and their seven other competitors, with their winning performance which gave them the top score of 278. From their appearance position halfway into the competition, Commancheros’ musicians apparently had what it took to peak in the Panorama, as far as the three-judge panel which consisted of Lennox London, Stephanie Power and Cuthbert Matthews, was concerned. All three are from Trinidad and Tobago. 
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Video by CC6 News Night

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I saw what happened at the end of the Panorama. That was outrageous.

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Congrats to the wining band Commancheros Steel Orchestra and all the other participating bands for grenada panorama 2016... I must state that It's very disappointing distasteful and disrespectful with the treatment meeted out by us at Panorama 2016 on saturday 6th August 2016 at the Grenada National Stadium, it's the worst that I've seen in all my years been a part panorama, it's still very hard to believe what had happened and the level of disregard show for our culture....It all begun when the organizing body spicemas co-operation (smc) who runs carnival explored then option of building a stage as they'll normally do to accommodate all carnival activities, opted to use a stage which is owned by a private promoter due to financial constraint by the (smc).. Meetings was held between the (SMC) and Grenada Steelband Association (GSA) iwhere suggestions and recommendations were made in making panorama 2016 successful however it was discovered by GSA that on a private promoter was given the opportunity to do as he desire by SMC to point where permission was granted to promoter to put on a show called "Extreme White" and have been promoted extensively for the same venue where Panorama were been staged...SMC Claimed to have no knoweldge at first about the event until they admitted their direct involvement. thereafter SMC offered an alternative venue for panorama in which GSA felt it's gross disrecpect to sideline a national event for this 'extreme white' show featuring dance hall superstar Movado from Jamaica ..many of GSA suggestions and proposals went Unnoticed. An option of building a platform as a stage a mere 8 inches of the ground had been explored by SMC just days before the event and GSA categorically stated that's unacceptable and much more consideration should be given for the pannist to showcase their talents, therefore SMC gave their only other solution to GSA to start panorama earlier if they wanted to the same stage which would being used for the "extreme white show" and we as pan advocates had to bend over backwards just to make Panorama 2016 a reality. On the said night we hustled to get our pans on and off stage and even hustle out of the venue to facilitate the start of the other show. this was one of the most humiliating thing that i've ever experienced police officers willing batons at the patrons and pannist to have the area been cleared. As pan advocated we've tried our best over the years to improve the  product we showcase to the patrons on the panorama night however we've bombarded with as many as 3 competing shows on the said night in the past now to add insult to injury one of the show has gotten precedence over panorama on our national stage.. Appealing to the government to save the Panorama or pan culture seems to be a wasted effort simply because they're the one granting permission to these promoters or entities to put on events on the night that has been set aside for panorama.. these promoters makes very little contribution to culture or things that are cultural on this island. Many folks may not know however I'm exposing it for the world to see what is happening in Grenada. My question is do we need a revolution for culture to get it's true reorganization in carnival? I've also notice calypso and aspects of mas is being marginalized as well... Folks it's sad and like it's getting worst we need help!!! I'm Appealing to Pantrinbago as the world governing body for steelpan to please lend a helping hand in our quest for success... 

Mr. Britton,

Incredible that this happened, but it is a sad indictment of how Pan is dis-respected in so many instances.  I was looking at the livestream and saw them setting up music equipment stuff on stage, and wondered what would happen when results were announced. I couldn't believe when I saw one of the guys on stage putting his hands on the young people at the end of the stage and actually shoving them back physically when they tried to run on.  I thought this was a bad precedent denying the young people a chance to celebrate on stage, by the powers that be taking over the stage before results were announced to begin with.

 

But with your explanation as to what was going on behind the scenes, the guy pushing the players off was obviously just the tip (or the ending) of the iceberg.  Cops with batons wailing at the crowd and pan players to get them out early for a fete? Wow, Spicemas corporation and the Grenada government are an absolute disgrace, if this went down as you said. Pan is bastardized in many places, and in many situations, and it seems like Spicemas is on board with this type of behavior.  And the GSA - useless it seems. Teloti Hood one of Grenada's stalwarts in pan who has passed away now, was very unhappy that the GSA has only Trinidadian judges in a Grenada panorama as if Grenada had no qualified musicians of their own to take care of business.  He said that two years ago when he was a guest host during the show, and I see it was the same on Saturday, the GSA brought in the Trinidadians again. Disgraceful, and also, never a good thing when there are only three judges, so high and low scores cannot be thrown out to maintain a fairly level playing field and reduce any potential bias, as is done in the Olympics and in general with several judges, at least five.

And please don't have any faith in appealing to Pantrinbago, the organization is an absolute disgrace; ‘world governing body for pan’ self-proclaimed, they can’t even ‘govern’ their own crap in their own house. They have serious issues in paying out prize monies sometimes after competitions, and pan players from the last panorama say they have not been paid yet - months after the event. Also, this is the same organization that for their semi-finals, year after year essentially shot itself in the foot, and disregarded the very show they were putting on, by encouraging and supporting the ultra-disruptive North Stand behavior by fostering a party atmosphere sponsored by corporate business entities in Trinidad and Tobago,  running up against the bands while they were playing on stage, the 'Greens' fiasco, and the Pool party, etc. 

So don't place your eggs in the basket held by Pantrinbago.  Grenada pan players will have to find another way to deal with this. If Spicemas as the promoters, and the Grenada government treated you and other pan players the way you say they did, then consider sitting out Panorama 2017. Just boycott. And don't return until the 'real' steelband association on behalf of the pan fraternity has it in writing (legal documentation) that there are certain standards and criteria to be met, before Grenada pan players return to perform and compete at Panorama.

 

I thought for a moment that it had no panorama going on in Grenada this year saw no promotion whats so ever going on, why did Gsa stand for this also is this cuthbert Mathews the only judge they can get almost all events he seems to be the one as a judge some where in the mix. i dont think its good to have the same judges year after year. Why did the government allow a show to go on on the same location as panorama! and rush something that these people but a lot of time into and lost of sleep to practice. 

Also this show was very poorly produced they had no commentators talking during breaks to give you an idea of things about the band like they had for all other shows, i guess pan isn't important I heard the mc talking back stage while bands where on stage the sound engineer could have at least mute his mic

It's sad though GSA never agree with the treatment experienced with SMC they try to defend and say they did promote Panorama we had to get adds done on our own to help promote the event... And I'm not painting no bad image here of them it's the reality of it... All to what was getting promotions was national carnival queen show and those white shows extreme white and pure white which is on the same night of Panorama.... Now I seriously have concerns about this judge Cuthbert Matthews as well and I've heard many people talking about it. And once he judging it's the bands in town 1,2&3 getting those positions even if craft merits other positions..

i must say the GSA did not agree to any of the nonsense that was taking place . the aim of spice mas was to push us to a boycott so they can save on prize monies for pan. note that we have realized that the  years we boycotted it hurt us with membership and with patrons so it was a clear we should have panorama no matter what or we will be giving them what the wanted in regards to mr. mathew he stated this year at a workshop that he do not wish to judge again bu the has no problems helping with judges workshops to improve our local judges. this man was in grenada on his regular private trip to grenada for carnival and due to the lack of commitment to pan by spicemas  he was asked to judge. a list of thirty judges was submitted to spice mas since feburary they were told we will go with any five however the first week in august smc was just scrambling for judges in fact the friday i recieved a call saying that we only have three judges cause they could not get flights. so really they only secured two judges as mr.mathew was already here on his own and was begged to judge. please note we reminded smc about judges early in june and they assured us they were going to book the flights since then and put names after and this. we also sat in june and agreed on on a well produced show start time promotions judges . the stage  we did not agree on because they wanted to give us a two feet wooden platform which we thought was very dangerous . this we continued to press and and keep begging for info which we were told that we will meet with the logistics commitee soon this did not come until one week before jr. panorama where we met with one man who claimed he was only sent by the board he basically had  nothing except to tell us they were going to give us a platform . i later learnt that they did no preparations for this and so we were asked to if we will play on the private promoter stage if we did not come with our chasis which we agreed . they waited again until the thursday before panorama to offer the same deal only this time asking us to start at 5pm which we told them that was not an option . they then told us 6pm on the stage or 7pm on the ground infront the jr. murray stands eventually we decided we will take the stage keeping in mind that pan is always at the venue atleast 5hrs before and smc is always the ones that start late . the promoter told me on the day of panorama that smc signed an agrement with him to start panorama at 6pm and conclude at 10pm i laughed hard cause i knew there was not going to be a 6 oclock start as he was making calls at 4pm to get his sound check going . at 430 band number one and two was ready to take their positions when they were told they could not go inside.they were let in about 630 when sound check was completed. the rest quinc already stated

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