When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music


(Published in Newsday and Guardian today)


In this article, I will confine my comments merely to the organization of the Panorama Finals Competition.

As someone who has spent most of his life and has devoted much of his time, talent and energy, at great personal sacrifice, towards the development, popularity and promotion of the steelband both at home and abroad, it would be re-miss of me to sit idly by and not attempt to remedy the current situation with respect to the Panorama Finals show and the obvious and continuous decline of the steelband in general.

I have been making some suggestions for the past ten years to members of the leadership of the governing body, regarding the downward spiral in attendance at the Panorama Finals show, which seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Any primary school student, if given the opportunity to solve the equation, would arrive at the obvious conclusion that twenty bands will require no less than eight hours to complete their performances.

I have heard many patrons complaining that they’ve paid money to come to a show but have had to leave without hearing the bands they paid to hear, perform. This is very unfair because it’s like paying for a gourmet meal and then being served finger-food. It is not satisfying, hence the reason for the rapid decline in attendance at the Panorama Finals show. In addition, there is almost a sense of being held hostage at the event. while patrons endure long hours waiting to hear their favourite band perform.

Prime time is always reserved for your main act which in this case, is the large band category. The bands should not be playing to a sparse audience during the wee hours of the morning. It is unfair to the musicians, the audience and the sponsors. I know for a fact that some sponsors feel cheated out of the advertising they expect to realize from sponsorship, simply because the audience is greatly depleted when their band finally performs.

It might be too late for implementation to have the medium and large band categories perform on separate nights, however I would strongly recommend that the large bands be allowed to play first, beginning with this years’ Panorama Finals show on Saturday. Patrons would then leave the Panorama event with a heightened sense of satisfaction in getting their money’s worth. If there is insistence on having both medium and large bands perform on the same night, obviously one category will suffer and it should not be the large band category as it is the category that the vast majority of patrons paid to hear.

This is just one of the areas in which the Panorama as a major cultural event, needs to be reformed.

Ray Holman

Views: 1544

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Nah Merrytones

The International Panorama showed that without the Big Five, Trinidad might have suffered an international Panorama ass-whupping.



merrytones, I think it will always be better if you allow the players to move freely as oppose to restricting them.

Agree with you 100% Claude Gonzales. Pan Elders got more points than 1/3 of the large bands in the preliminary round. They can easily compete with the large bands. They may be able to beat Renegades.

Cecil if Panorama is supposed to be a competition, there can be no "moving freely"...ALL competitions are subjected to rules...(well ought to at least)...Rules naturally negate "freedom"...It's pointless for me to be going on and on about my personal feelings re: Panorama and it's present anyhowness. It's either one is prepared to play by the rules (if any) or one is a "gangsta". Mind you, even the "gangsta" life has rules...just think about that...

merrytones, if by players moving around gives a band an edge I'll be against it but I don't see this as the case here. To me it's just players capitalizing on the short season,   pan player playing pan to make a dollar.

Maybe the Medium and Small band categories could be held on the same night; start the event from 4:00 p.m. I certainly think the Large band category should be on its own date; but we shouldn't dismiss the other two categories because the players do perform excellently and they are just as enthusiastic and dedicated.  They also have put in those long arduous hours of practice and such discipline must be applauded and appreciated.  In addition, the skill level of these players is noteworthy.  Get rid of the dead horses (bunch of 'alternative' [to coin trump word], that are 'running' Pan Trinbago. People who are really concerned and dedicated to this wondrous art form and the members of the different orchestras, should be the ones working with the pan fraternity to ensure the well-being of the members and continuity of this magnificent instrument.

NIce post, Andrea!!! But getting rid of the "dead horses" is like belling the cat!

Do you mean to say that Pan Trinbago will always be plagued with 'those kinds of self-centered and self-serving and useless' people? I sincerely hope not!

My sentiment exact well said let's hope it's reform


© 2020   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service