In what is shaping up to be as fiery a battle as any post-war steelband clash, 12 foreign steelbands will challenge the world’s best when they come against 12 local steel orchestras for the title of International Panorama Champions. This competition, which offers a lucrative prize of US$250,000 takes place at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on August 9.
And while Trinbagonians may look at the foreign bands as easy to beat, be prepared to see them make things tough for the homegrown pannists who have pride at stake. None of the local bands want to end up being among those placing 13th and lower, so all stops have been pulled out and the pannists are all in warrior mode, ready to give their all and then some to seal victory.
The first ever International Conference, which precedes the International Panorama comes off in Trinidad from August 4-9, will see pan aficionados from across the globe coming together to participate in several seminars and workshops on various aspects the pan and the steelband movement.
As for the Panorama, there are three steel orchestras coming in from the US, two from Canada, two from the UK and one each from Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, St Martin, Guyana and Jamaica.
It is mandatory that each steelband participating in the competition has a representative attend the conference that will be held at the Hyatt Regency.
To qualify for the International Panorama steelbands must be a registered member of a Pan Trinbago recognised organisation, except in a situation where no organisation exists, then the respective Cultural Authority must sanction the steelband.
All participating steelbands must comprise a minimum of 75 per cent of citizens of their registered country and each steelband will be permitted to perform with a maximum of 60 and minimum 40 players.
Each participating steelband may select and perform a calypso or soca piece of their choice while arrangers will be allowed to arrange for one steelband in the competition.
According to Pan Trinbago president, Keith Diaz, “In an effort to generate some activities in the communities for both locals and foreigners all foreign bands will be twinned with Trinidad and Tobago steelbands that are not competing in the International Panorama. This is to facilitate the use of instruments that are similar to theirs so they will be able to practise in preparation for the competition.”
Two bands from the Tobago are in the local contingent and all the bands have been practising for this competition for some time now and are not taking any of the foreign bands lightly.
Bands appearing in the competition are: Arima Golden Symphony, bp Renegades, Curepe Scherzando, Massy Trinidad All Stars, NGC Steel Xplosion, Pan Elders, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove, Republic Bank Exodus, Supernovas, T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps and Buccooneers Steel Orchestra.
The line-up of foreign bands is as follows: US — Pan Coalition, Brooklyn Steel Orchestra and Mosaic Steel Orchestra; Canada — Pan Fantasy of Ontario and Salah’s Steelband Academy of Quebec; UK — Ebony Steelband of England and Calypsociation Steel of France.
Although I see this International Conference and Panorama as just a way for the present administration of Pan Trinbago to "grand stand' I am hopeful that something come out of it that benefit the Steelband. I will just like to remind the powers that be of the importance of standardizing the instruments and carnival without the steelband is not acceptable.
this should not be a championship, it would be better if it was a a show, it could be an embarrassment to Trinidad and Tobago steelbands
True, it should be a steelband festival, like the jazz or blues festivals.
Here is one of the rules," All participating steelbands must comprise a minimum of 75 per cent of citizens of their registered country" and each steelband will be permitted to perform with a maximum of 60 and minimum 40 players.
Of the Foreign Bands in the USA, I am sure 75% of the Players are not Citizens of the USA so I can't see how that will play out, I guess if one of the Foreign Bands win, the losers going to ask to check the Players Citizenship ID.
Anybody know who will judge this competition? With that kind of money at stake, there should be an international panel, imo
I also have some concerns, what’s the status of the US bands, are they committed to attend based on the requirements specified by PT?
Have PT started selling tickets for the event, if so what’s the cost, where can I purchase the tickets?
What are their tunes of choice of the bands in the competition?
Are foreign bands fully funded to attend the competition, what about their accommodations?
Maines Atlantic Clarion Steel Band - Pan Coalition
When one thinks of the state of Maine in the USA one thinks of shipbuilding, fishing and the sea. The steelpan instrument or a major steelband is not what one would normally associate with the USAs northernmost state. And yet inexplicably this is exactly what we have in the Atlantic Clarion Steel Band.
During the recent Montreal International Steelpan Music Festival, When Steel Talks got to see and hear Atlantic Clarion Steel Band in action as part of the Pan Coalition performing side, of which Atlantic Clarion is a significant portion. The additional members hail from a couple smaller bands also located in Maine.
The Atlantic Clarion Steel Band is indeed a serious music outfit. No straw-hatted men in banana shirts playing Yellowbird and Matilda on the cruise ship dock - as their website give fair warning. No accommodating steelband here...
Will the World Panorama have the same 'rules' and judges as the regular Panorama?
Will the same Panorama like music be expected?
Don't think the foreign bands will be able to compete except for maybe one or two of the,
Calypsociation will probably have Andy Narell doing one of his slow tempo tunes and the others will play one of their past pieces.
Local bands will bring pieces they have not performed before, although the rules probably do not prevent this.
Let's hope that PT has allowed themselves enough time to do it properly, especially with regard to the symposia.
We don't want this to be a wasted opportunity.
Unfortunately, PT (and much of the T&T steel band community) rigorously maintain this competition format. Pan Coalition (USA) is party to an annual steel band Festival that has been going on 20+ years, and has NEVER been a competition. Bands of all skill levels perform on equal turf. The better bands inspire others, dance up and enjoy the music. It has created a genuine sense of camaraderie among the different bands in the Northeast. Perhaps International Panorama would do better, as Dunstan Lawrence says, for this to be a noncompetitive festival.
Hmmmm!! Lemme see if I could come up with something negative, trini style. However, I back Pan Fantasy of Ontario.
Allyuh help me on this one, all my friends are asking me if there is an elimination round or if it's a one day Affair. Somebody got to know?
http://www.icptt.com/icp-panorama/icp-rules/ It is a one day competition, I just pulled up the IPC rules and regulations