It's sad but most "players" just bang on their instruments. They do not play the pans with the love and sweetness that result in a more pleasing tone. I cringe every time I hear someone flogging a pan. Play the pans with your heart like you love it and the sweetness will come through in your music.
The real deal of NY panorama is to hear "sweet pan" on the streets surrounding the back entrance of the museum where all the bands are warming up their tunes before the competition and without the invasive amplified sound system on the panorama stage.
Maybe that amplified sound system problem for the first two bands explains CASYM and Ad Libs plummet from the top bands last year.
The sound system this year was horrible so I might not go into the panorama again and will stay outside to listen to all the warm ups with out the disturbing sound system from the stage.
Couldn't agree with you more because last year I heard D'Radoes practicing on President St. prior to going in the museum and it was so clean, clear and invigorating without any electronic enhancements and it couldn't of sounded better. As a matter of fact, I predict D'Radoes to win last year and also this year after going by the panyard last Friday.
Thanks for all the technical observations and other considerations that came in response to this posting. It was all very enlightening; and the civility with which everyone responded on what could be a touchy subject was much appreciated. The underlying issue with me on this topic is (and has been for years before I came on this forum) the long-held-belief that our PANORAMAS could be packaged and marketed to the WORLD (mostly AS IS). Clearly, the PRODUCT will need a whole lot of technical polishing before it gets to THAT STAGE.
I concur with most of the comments/observations regarding the sound reproduction of the panorama and the marginal playing skills of the (mostly young) pannists. These concerns are not specific to this year. But there are other issues with NY Panorama in general and specifically with this year's panorama that should be discussed, such as remarks in the programg booklet. More about that later.
WIACDA should listen to some of the comments on this site and make the necessary adjustments to their sound systems when staging the Panorama finals and prelims. I am totally impress with the most, if not all, the comments pertaining to sound quality and logistics in locating certain instruments to garner full effect and sound amplifications.
I agree with the author. There is too much ramajay and not enough melody. I have not bought a CD some years now. Today the bands does play dance music or good listening music. I think is the reason steel band does not get enough work. The group that get most of the jobs are mixed pan horns and bass guitar.