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.
I know we Trinis are obsessed with the idea of competition , and do not believe a show will succeed without a competitive aspect.
But for logistical and other reasons , the panorama format seems to almost guarantee a win for a Trinidad band , since the odds would obviously be in their favor.
This is not a sporting event where all things are equal and its purely a matter of talent.
There is more to a panorama presentation than the musical arrangement and the talent of the players.
That being the case , would it not make more sense, and be fairer, to have an international pan festival , featuring the foreign bands as guests instead of as competitors?
And , since most of the featured steelbands are from areas where there are established panorama competitions, a good idea may be to actually feature the winners of those panoramas , maybe as part of winners rewards.
Again , just some random thoughts from an old timer :)
Glenroy I agree that where there is a panorama the winning band should represent but there will be a problem for places where there is no panorama.
This is where we continue to fail, in our quest to gain access for musical acceptance globally, no strategic planning on how we can capitalize on the opportunities and maximize the benefits of hosting this event.
Maybe the planners don’t understand how an international pan festival can be managed or promoted. Take a look at how jazz and classical music festivals are managed and promoted, the artists, recording companies, talent scouts, local art and cultural councils all working together.
The state and countries that host these events all have a stake in making it a success, not about bragging rights but more about the business of entrainment and exposure to musical art.
odw, as I've said before I don't think much taught went into this venture. It was done done to deflect attention from executive of the World Governing Body desire to remain in power.
One of my favorite opening set of lines from any movie comes from the movie BLOOD SIMPLE.
Here is the end of the voice-over: ... Now in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else -- that's the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas ... And down here... you're on your own.
A few months ago a man came from PAN TRINBAGO on this forum and tell everybody: "DIS IS TRINIDAD!!!" And the man who say that living in Trinidad and spend his whole life living in Trinidad. And nobody on this forum want to believe the man.
Dat fellah from Texas who living in Texas know about Texas and dat fellah from Trinidad who living in Trinidad know about Trinidad!
...and the only thing permanent in the universe is CHANGE. You must be willing to outgrow, what no longer fits.
True , ODW .
Seems like our only vision for the steelbands after more than six decades is Panorama , and Panorama type competitions .
And they tell ME that I'm stuck in the past !
With all the confusion I heard that the Band from Japan will be performing at the ICP, I don't know how true it is but I hope so, it will make the competition Stiff,
Can anybody tell me what are the Prizes at the ICP, I heard the first prize is $600, 000 US, is this true? that is much more than Panorama 1,000,000 TT
Instead of a world steel band panorama why not a steel bands festival instead of a competition ? jhow will it look if a band from japan wins?and performing artiest is soca artiest not even Winston Defosto Scarborough if we who compose songs for the bands to use for panorama should boycott 2016 let the bands play soca then the type of music for panorama will change boi time changes steel band and the real panorama music go dead just now thanks to people like pan tribago maby if the government take back pantrinago and tuco we might reach somewhere they put out the money so it may be better if they run it. what when steel talks are doing pan trinbago should've been doing
.Panorama music has its class
One of my friends on Facebook is an All Stars fan and they playing Curry Tabanca for the ICP, this is what she on Facebook," Well I just got in from the Trinidad All Stars Pan Yard, Bede Lopez, the Curry real Hot, we add some coconut milk but i am not sure we will keep it it was added for variety, the pepper burning your nose and the aroma is like you whole body smelling ah Curry. ah doh need to go any where else. This Curry is IT! Nuff Said. See you in the savannah".
So it looks like All Stars want that $250.000.00 US bad, so they coming and they Curry real Hot.
Bede, Ah waiting to hear what the "WOMAN ON THE BASS" have to say about that CURRY.