First * First in Pan

The late great Pat Bishop was the first known female to sing with a steelband (Esso Tripoli) live in 1967 as the result of a bet that a steelband could play softly enough to accompany an unamplified female voice. | see more |


In 1972 Merle Albino-de Coteau arranges for Chase Manhattan Savoy - first woman to arrange a Panorama piece | see more |


In 1983 Geraldine Connor arranges for Ebony Steelband and delivers their first Panorama victory - first woman to arrange for a UK Panorama piece. The first woman to play bass in the then Trintoc Invaders 1977 - 1983 and in 1984 was the first woman to arrange a panorama tune for them.  |  see more |


She began playing in 1944 - She is one of the first women to have played Pan in a band as a member of Casablanca, and then City Syncopators. Daisy McClean is also the first female panist to have accompanied a Calypsonian—Brother Mudada—for a Dimanche Gras performance. | see more |


1974 Joseph "Franklin" Gerald first person to play nine-bass invented by Rudolph Charles of Desperadoes Steel Orchestra |  see more |


1999 - Glenda Gamory, as president of New York’s Pantonic Steel Orchestra becomes the first woman to lead a major orchestra to victory  | see more |


2000 - Under the direction of Dr. Batson, the Florida Memorial Steel Ensemble by 1998 was invited to perform at the 2000 World Steelband Festival earned the honor of being the first ensemble outside of Trinidad & Tobago to win or tie for first place in a competition in the land of its birth. The Florida Memorial Steel Ensemble earned this honor performing Dr. Batson’s original work “Black Holes Do Exist”. Dr. Batson was also later appointed Chair of the Board of the Trinidad Tobago National Steel Orchestra by the President of Trinidad and Tobago providing additional recognition of her position as one of the world’s leading authorities on the steel pan. | see more |

1978 - In the UK the first Panorama took place in 1978 as a pre-curser to Notting Hill Carnival. Paddington Youth Steelband won that panorama competition. Up to twelve steel bands from towns and cities across the UK rehearse daily for many weeks to learn a performance piece. For many years the event took place at Emslie Horniman's Pleasance Park in West London's Kensal Road. In 2007 the competition moved to Hyde Park for three years before returning to Kensal Road. | see more |

2011 - Having been knocking on the door of victory for the past few years with Michelle-Huggins Watts as arranger, Valley Harps finally won the Medium Band title in 2011 and Michelle became the first female arranger to win a Panorama competition. | see more |

1952 -Antigua's first all female steelband formed - “The Pastel Intruders” was formed. The group of young, exciting and energetic ladies, exhibiting skills on pan on par with their male counterparts, won the hearts of Antiguans/Barbudans and others when they played at their first official function in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. | see more |

1967 - It was British band The Hollies which first used steel pans in pop music in its 1967 single ‘Carrie-Anne’. Since the use of steel pans in ‘Carrie-Anne,’ the instrument has been used in numerous genres including Hip Hop, R&B, Rock, Dance, Country, and Jazz.  | see more |

2018 -- Vanessa Headley became the first woman arranger to win the National Trinidad and Tobago Panorama in the Small Conventional Steel Orchestra category with the tune ‘Trouble.’  | see more |

2017 -- Zahra Lake became the first woman arranger in the history of the National Antigua and Barbuda Panorama with the band Panache Steel Orchestra. The tune of choice was ‘Jumbie.’  | see more |

1949Rudy King introduces Pan to America. Rudy King, aka 'Rock' and 'Rudolph Carter' - (to those who knew him as a young boy/man in his native Trinidad) came to America, bringing with him the knowledge of manufacturing and playing the instrument now known worldwide as the Steelpan;  | click for more |

1972 - In the Brooklyn, New York the first Panorama took place in 1972. Sometime in the 1960s, Rudy's steel orchestra consisted of twenty-something players, now known as the Tropicans. The arranger was Denzel "Belt" Botus. They won both the first 'Panoramas behind the museum' (the Brooklyn Museum) - soundly trouncing the six or seven other challenging steelbands which were a bit larger. The Tropicans later evolved into New York's Moods Pan Groove. --- Rudy Kingsee more |

1949 - Antigua - The first Steel band competition was held in 1949. The venue was the St. John’s Girl’s School, then located on the site of the present Economic Development Building, at the corner of Independence Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Highway. Governor Earl Baldwin of Bewdley sponsored this inaugural competition. The test tune was ‘Peanut Vendor,’ and Hells Gate emerged winner. | see more |

1964 - Aruba - The first Carnival steel band competition ever was organized in 1964. Eight steel bands competed in a legendary competition. The Merrymakers, the Devils, the Curacao Heroes, the Long Gun Boys, the Paradera Steelband, The Silver Stars, The Allstars, and the Aruba Invaders were all talented groups which produced the most amazing sounds. Finally the Aruba Invaders won with their variant of the theme from Exodus, making them the first Aruban steel band competition winners. | see more |

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  • Another first was that of Mr Kenrick Thomas, former Education Secretary then Treasurer of NATTS 1962 - 1970.

    His band Midlanders Metronomes from Tacarigua was the very first to appear on stage with the pans on stands. This was there at a Roxy Theatre festival in 1956. 

    Another was that of Mrs Rufina Thomas Thompson .the first woman to play the pan when she appeared on stage in 1946

    at a concert at the Rex Cinema in Arouca and played "Symphony of Love"  


  • Pat Bishop Tribute playlist...

  • Has any steelband ever accompany ice skaters.

  • Thanks for the info but psst, psst, can't hear anything. Talk about "playing softly".

  • What song?

This reply was deleted.