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.
All I can do is hope that it is a misunderstanding due to language, or a misprint in the list of bands.
PAN TRINBAGO was trying to get 35 million for the production and they ended up getting about 12 million. That might be the reason right there.
I would of like to see that band from Japan led by Yoshihiro Harada's taking part it would have made the competition stiff, but right now the General Public does not know much about the ICP (lack of Advertisement) How much is the Admission, where and when it's taking place, how many players are the minimum per band, etc, we know more than the locals, I still wish Pan Trinbago success, this could be a stepping stone to something Big in the future, just Iron out the mishaps and learn from our mistakes.
Kristian Paradis, if I am not mistaken someone told me that a Band from Japan supposed to be taking part and I told that person that I did not see a band from Japan on the list of the 12 Foreign Bands so I don't know what happened, maybe somebody drop the ball (as usual)
The list of the 12 Foreign Bands according to the Daily Express, quoted, "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". unquote.
I'll be there with them... I got to play with them when I was stationed in Japan for the US Navy, and I'm excited to play with them again. Yoshihiro Harada is a panman to be reckoned with!
Not too late to buy your ticket Bede!
Claude Gonzales, the Power will not be there, it will be like listening to Panorama of the Small bands 35-55 this one here is 40-60
These last few weeks I have heard that Pan Trinbago been stretching their hands out to some of the Foreign Bands that needed help Financially, that's a big Clap for PT.
Ah tell allyuh Diaz is ah POLITICAL GENIUS and allyuh doubt meh!
Let us not be fooled here, anyone could be a genius using other peoples money.
We are not the only ones not being informed about the ICP, this is what a friend of mine who live in T'dad said, "You have bands coming from all over the world to compete and the public is unaware of the comprehensive DETAILS as to understand the logistics, since there are no accommodations when bands come from Tobago" not enough info, the Public not feeling it,
The average pan person in T&T know that NO band for any where on earth could beat a Trini band, so you might find that few will be interested in seeing foreign bands try. I would have liked seeing Leroy Clarke and Real Steel from London in this competition.