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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The frontline of bpTT Renegades works some sweet tenors at the National Panorama semifinal. Photos: Kristian de Silva

 

Unable to vibes on my pans this year, nursing an injured ankle compels me to sit back and take in the scenes in small doses, and to ponder on 11 months ago—2011 Panorama season—comparing it to this year’s.
 
A history lesson called Panorama 2011
At this time last year, after Panorama semifinals, Renegades' fate was struck a heavy blow following the sound of the judge’s final gavel on the eve of Panorama finals. It was all gone. We were no more than a faded memory to many. Provoking thoughts of if I-could’ve-would’ve-should’ve haunted for a while but we got up, dusted off, and sprung into action some weeks after Carnival. A wake-up call and educational experience—a history lesson!
 
Upward mobility
Bruised and nursing our wounds, the time had come for restoring strength, raising self-esteem and rebuilding healthy team spirit. A post-mortem and follow-up meetings gave birth to identifying problems; sorting issues; venting; succession and strategic planning; introspection and reflection, and revisiting and/or laying down new systems and procedures for upward mobility.
 
Panorama 2012 good vibes
Not having secured a win for more than a decade, and more disturbing, actually not being in the final line up last year for the first time in 35-odd years, a new mindset would give credence to redeeming our self and putting our best foot forward to regain the spirit of winning vibes. And so, this year, our offering, Vibes sung by Destra Garcia, seems to be laying rejuvenated ground and hope as if to say: “good vibes are being felt!” After all, during our 11-month rock-bottom collapse state, our fans and well-wishers have been begging: “gih we something”. Every Renegades’ member, player and supporter can attest that is a “long time we knocking” and so, during our semifinals performance, spirits rose, pan jammed, “the crowd listened to we,” cheered approvingly and lustily, claiming that they feel a good vibes in the atmosphere. Even the most libelous and bitter-hearted person towards Renegades wagged their tongue to a sweet tune— “like Renegades get back on track;” “dah is de Renegades ah know!” Obviously, vibes evoking and tormenting spirits a Black Berry message stated: “…heard u’l r a clear and present danger in the competition…”
 
A better disciplined Team Renegades
Having observed the competition-performing team during their practice sessions, in stark contrast to last year, I concluded the band is much better disciplined. Evidently, they internalised and prioritised all what was imparted following the demise last year from good Samaritans, and focused on what the new arranger imparted this year. Newly installed and young musical director, Duvonne Stewart—a favourite with the band—inherited what one might have described as a disturbed and worried bunch of players, intimidated from last year’s feat, not initially realising that members knew what was expected of them to move up. Stewart was on the ball! He managed his practice with superb dexterity and control, ensuring there is no disrespect from either stage or road-side members. For both preliminaries and semifinals performances, the brightly coloured t-shirt uniforms further illuminated the comfortable and light-spirited team as they were calmly settled behind their instruments before each performance, demonstrating professional and world-class stage behaviour.
 
Team Renegades strategises for success—branding and reputation
Among others, there were 15 integral aspects to gaining and/or re-gaining success as mentioned during after-Carnival meetings, last year, to restore good brand and reputation. Thus, during the healing period, team Renegades attempted to adopt new practices, despite lots more to be done.
 
Core values/watch words
With watch words being Pride, Passion, Respect, Focus and Discipline, Renegades worked upon enhancing performance and personal development with existing personnel in leadership positions, while installing new ones after careful consideration, these, to extend to the community. 
 
Flagship personnel to steer the team to safer grounds
With a Board of directors and team operations—lead by president, Michael Marcano and captain, Candice Andrews, respectively—Renegades’ flagship and support personnel strive to steer the organisation to safer grounds. But the challenges are to keep it there, maintain upward mobility and propel higher, after a fall.
These individuals and/or committees (worldwide) are expected to increase and maximise the organisation’s potential. Renegades seems to be navigating accordingly as demonstrative from the competition’s results.
 
Section leaders—performance gear versus friend gear
Section leading is crucial to the success of the competition, therefore, it is incumbent on all section leaders (worldwide) to function without fear or favour; ensure the music taught is well-learned and accurately transmitted; ensure the laid down rules, regulations, order and discipline are at the helm; ensure tonal quality of instruments are in optimum condition; and sticks (mallets) are appropriate. 
In that light, Renegades has made some appropriate adjustments that guarantee the best-suited person, practicing, is the one considered to perform for the competition. The performance gear is to be used, not the friend gear.
 
Maintaining composure
As the euphoria of the preliminary performance and favourable comments wore through to semifinals, Renegades maintained composure. “…consider the preliminary performance history and a stepping stone for the semifinals. Move towards maintaining any improvement and build upon it.”………DS. As such, those profound words ring through until finals. Did Renegades capitalise on the last 11 months in a meaningful way? Only time will tell.
 
Carnival 2012
Renegades’ much sort-after bomb competition, usually held in the vicinity of the panyard on J’Ouvert morning, is on the drawing board while, the 2012 Carnival presentation is Peasants of the Orient, depicting sections representing ten costumed peasants who come together in harmony from different villages. Registration takes place nightly at the pan yard. Call (868) 625-1743.

 

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Good luck Renegades.

Looks like #10 is in the Air just waiting to cause a massive tornado come this Saturday . I can just anticipate the enormous power it already has as it begins that movement to the Savannah Stage . As you all know the Motto is BP ie Be Prepared and of this I have no doubt that you guys are . So Best of Luck for the Stage is now yours . Thanks .

I agree it could be 10 this year so long as it does not go WEST...because as it seems if given the chance everything for carnival would be on the other side of savannah.you vould see that they setting up Sharpe for it just like how Machel is for Soca Monarch.A DESPERADO I  am........ play mas in All Stars every carnival monday and knows Duvonne has it in him to GIVE THEM JUDGES IT GOOD.......GOOD LUCK DUVONNE AND RENEGADES....CHARLOTTE STREET BAND NO LONGER BEHIND THE BRIDGE BUT IN FRONT OF IT NOW......GOOD LUCK......GOOD MUSIC.

"Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation.

Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.

Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.........."

 

I read this quote somewhere years ago; meant and continues to mean a lot.

As a witness to Renegades' continued journey, it certainly rings true.

In confidence I say "here's to no. 10!"

 

I observe in the daily newspapers that out of the top 5 positions coming out of Panorama semis, it's only (our) Renegades sponsor, bp, that did not extend any form of support to it's pan partner congratulating us on having returned to, at least, the 'creme de la creme' of pan...giving us some extra energy to fuel us up for tonight. 

At the date of penning this (Feb 18th, the day of wreckoning, Panorama final), I also have not observed a good-luck wish either.

We did not scrape in the finals, we actually came 4th (by points) but 5th (by amount of bands), and I firmly believe, given our accomplishment thus far for the season, a measure of corporate responsiblity at this time goes beyond the external (financial support) but internal (motivational support).

Sufficing to say, as the article stated, "restoring strength, raising self-esteem and rebuilding healthy team spirit" were some areas considered and worked upon leading up to and during this Panorama 2012 season, thus, a major factor, against all odds, was to dig deep and re-establish who we are and what we can be...and we found our self and are creating a better brand - an elite brand - a brand that speaks to being BIG, truly big.

Not the damaging big but the eduated, maturing and responsible big.

A brand that encourages self-motivation, action and growth - expand perimetre of potential and strengths.

In that regard, having not cited the beautiful green and yellow, flower-like trade mark representing bp, neither congratulating, nor wishing us well for tonight, once again, springing into action became necessary.

In the attempts to ensure professional and personal discipline are encouraged and maintained, in the absence of president, Michael Marcano and under the watch of captain, Candice Andrews, this new and rejuved mindset, lead to an in-house gesture. Through a series of discretely proposed and laid-down criteria, a short, spontaneous, very orderly, casual recognition affair last night in the yard saw certain members being awarded with cash and a recognition certificate while sections, with cash.

Not to be left out, a surprise was also in store for our captain. Being the first female captain to grace the Renegades stage - voted in in 2011 - her orientation was nothing short of heart-breaking, devastating yet strengthening, following her first big undertaking in that of Panorama 2011 that to many, seemed a failed attempt.

Nonetheless, she did her homework and from all appearances, proving well, thus far. Her surprise recognition award was a lofty fruit hamper. 

Bearing in mind muchwork still has to be done on many pannists aimed at a smooth transition of paradigm, to create an environment conducive to affording such is necessary, this, to be followed-up on during this year.

In wishing all competitors well for tonight's showing, being off my pans, I will lay my injured self in front of my television and soak in the competition.

A special good luck to Renegades.

Go give them VIBES! 

 

I love Renegades, and this year I felt the band seemed rejuvenated in a big way. Duvone had fantastic arrangement with great moments for the whole orchestra, and I thought really captured the sound of Renegades' glory days while still being original and new. The pans sounded better than any other band in my opinion, the engine room is arguably the tightest on the island, and all together I felt like the band was really alive this year. I hope Renegades breaks a leg tonight and gets the top results they deserve! Sandra, I looked for you in the yard this year but was sad to find out you couldn't play! I hope all is well and will see you and the band next year!

Sandra, I believe you owe BpTT an apology. Check page 18 of Saturday's Express 18th February, there is a full page add that reads:

GOOD LUCK BP RENEGADES 9TIMES PANORAMA CHAMPIONS - BPTT IS PROUD TO SUPPORT OUR BAND ASTHEY TAKE THEIR MUSICAL ENERGY TO THE TOP - LET'S MAKE IT 10 IN 2012

Correction to piece dated Saturday: Renegades female captain was installed in 2010 and not 2011.

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