When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

So a few of us on Facebook have been at it with our annual post-panorama discussion, and clearly what seems to be the common thread is judging. Is there a better way? Well i've always felt there are a number of things that can be added or restructured to aid in a more transparent or qualified judging process. Will love to hear what you guys think.

Here goes;

Honestly, maybe the judges are being asked to do too much.

Let's make it simple, Change the points allocated from 100marks to 10.

Have 9 Judges, on 3 panels of 3.

Remove the high and low, keeping the score in the middle.

Post each middle score + total on a jumbotron as soon as it is tallied.

Panel A - 8POINTS Panel B - 7POINTS Panel C - 7POINTS TOTAL = 22 POINTS

Each panel is judging something specific;

Arrangement (inclusive of rhythm), Execution / Performance and, (NEW INCLUSION) Level of difficulty.

What is this "Level of Difficulty" you ask?

Well I cannot see how a band that executes Mary had a little lamb can be judged the same as a band that equally executes Flight of the Bumble Bee. There must be a factor from the tune of choice / what the arranger did with it in terms of its complexity. Similar to many international music festivals.

No separate category for Tone.

I really don't see the need for giving an entire section of 10pts for tonal quality, especially in large band.
Let me explain. Someone asked, so you saying that tone is or should be part of arrangement? but what if the arranger is not responsible for choosing the tuner?

Most bands now have good sounding pans (tuners responsibility) if/when played correctly. If /when the band reaches on stage based on the music given (arranger) or how players hit / slam their pans (execution) the tonal quality changes it's no longer the tuners' fault. On the flip side, judges give points based on the tuner/s name on the banner. You have Birch as a tuner, regardless of how you pans ACTUALLY sound they still give 8 or 9 Points.

I've heard arrangers tell players "ring it out" or "Jam that / beat it"... And that, changes the sound of the instrument. That same band when they play at a slower pace / softer volume on the drag / when practicing sound extremely different.

Some say the judges have been spot on in the last few years, yet many patrons, players, musical experts say different. So it begs the question, should we amend the judging criteria so it's similar to what many are judging based on outside of the judging table? Is there a better way to find the best playing band in Panorama?

Views: 2202

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Although I agree with your suggestions, I believe that on  final night, Theater, plays a big role in the issuing of points Desperadoes for example may have suffered from, Although playing very good music in my humble opinion,The band looked no different from semi final night, and did nothing to enhance that beautiful music.eg. Silver stars, Renegades, Invaders, to name a few. They could continue to remain in position 3, 4 5, regularly with their beautiful music, should they not "get with the times" Steel band times.

A bit confused by your reference that Theater plays a big part but stating that bands like renegades and silver stars need to get the times.... Care to explain?

Jeston Lett, About showing points on the jumbo tron, that was suggested before and members in the Mecca said that will be trouble because if supporters don't like the points their band got bottle pelting start.

We all know who the judges are. Have anything ever happened to a judge during or after panorama when bands and their supporters know the scores? I think those "members" are the ones who enjoy the benefits of hidden / delayed scoring... Just my opinion.

Of course. Years ago one member of Harmonites spat in a judge's face. Many people know of this story.
My suggestion was to desperadoes, and not Renegades and the other two bands In my humble opinion most of the other bands attempted to "paint a picture' other than depending on their musical prowess alone to bring them victory, What about the all Stars fireworks.Do we think that it made a differennce, if so negative or positive Anyway I maintain that the Rados need to get with the times,on final night


Any work of art is a holistic unit and can only be appreciated as a whole.

Attempting to judge and award points/marks to different parts or segments, worst again by different judges is not the way to solve the problem of judging.

Even the current system of awarding points for arrangement etc is basically flawed.
Appreciation and judgement on all art is personal and is determined by many aspects of the individual judge's life and likes.

The rules of artistic creativity  can not be rigidly applied, because creative people break commonly accepted rules all the time. They are expected to break rules.

I support the 10 point system, but more thought need to be given on how to get a wider collection of views,opinions nd expertise.

Understood and appreciated. The more people like you talk (in a good way), it seems that we should be moving away from a competition.

I look at this similar to Music festival Competitions, or even like Artistic Gymnastics, where both art & science collide. A winning panorama song should encompass both emotion and technique, but once its a competition, the criteria needs to rigid else too much subjectiveness and/or bias will creep in.

Lots of good ideas!!! But until we put a competent, open and accessible PAN TRINBAGO ADMINISTRATION in place -- nothing is going to change.

Jeston you have obviously given serious thought to this. Well done.

My concerns are with the judges. Three panels of Three. How do you for a lack of words, standardize the judges? Will there me a judging school? Where will the judges come from? Will there be an opportunity for these judges to practice "judging" in the off season and then the best judges will be chosen for the Finals? 

Jeston, I think the shows are two long and it takes a toll on the judges. I also think it is nearly impossible to fairly judge bands in different yards with different acoustics on different days. Will all the judges be local? What will be the minimum criteria to be considered to be a judge?

I love your idea of having the scores posted immediately. This is a great start. 


I would say it is becoming more and more difficult to judge the big bands panorama competition in T&T especially the finals. This past year (2017) the arrangers were stratospheric with their musical ideas and all the bands played extremely great. But my question is, does the dancing and all antics (fireworks, smoke, and etc) play a part in the judges point scoring? or are the bands scope points solely by the music they play?.....Then if the antics count, the bands could concentrate on playing less music and more on the stage antics to win the competition, they could even go as far as hiring experts in the future to prepare them for the competition.


© 2020   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service