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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?

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Regarding the back-in-time issue---it is the prerogative of the arranger to choose.  If he or she selects a tune from the respective recent calypso season versus a back-in time tune, then that's fine--it's a non-issue, unless it is the same tune.

Panorama is not a music festival----it is an integral mix of drama, excitement, and sweetness.  What is sweetness? it's that intangible, undefinable thing that comes from a unique combination of tune choice, arranger, pan tuner, engine room, tone of pans--I could go on.   Few bands nowadays have drama, excitement, and sweetness.  Guinness Cavaliers had it; coca cola silver stars had it;  and now pan elders.   Don't get me wrong.  Boogsie would likely win any jazz festival.  Dr. Samaroo would have likely won any music festival with a clean and clinical perfect performance.  Panorama is different---fairness is not an issue. 

Merrytones I have to respectfully disagree with some of your points. About bands playing a "back in time tune" the same can be said of arrangers playing their own compositions.  About arrangers arranging without restraint, i don't quite understand what you are getting at but creativity in musical expression should never be stifled as long as it's being expressed on the approved instrument which in this case is the steel pan.                                           All bands are not created equal and the difference in skill levels is evident in performances during the competition. Some weaker bands in this respect  and other bands that are unable to attract the number of required players benefit by having established players from other bands helping them out. i think this helps the competition instead of hurt it.                                                                                                                                  


Arrangers arranging "without restraint" refers to arranging for more than one band...hey...we're all entitled to our opinions bro...my beef is and will always be with strict adherence to COMPETITION. Listen, nothing about Panorama is fair we all know that and have to deal with it one way or another. Look the poster above says "Panorama is different...fairness is not an issue"...He fuh real?...Then why COMPETE atall?...Maybe you agree with him too...

That's my thing. Either panorama is a Competition or a (non-competitive) Festival of Steelpan music. Can you imagine playing in a 5-a-side football competition but wanting to go with 6 because you have an All-girls team? 

Let's get serious.

Allyuh good oui!!!



I think it's more correct to say it is no longer what is played but how it is played from 2005 onward at least. This would perfectly describe this year's 'winning' outcome in the Large Band category.

Future back to five years ago, same comments. How 'bout a panorama competition with no judges, eh?

Patrick Ram: Ah tell dem before the carnival that once PANORAMA DONE they will switch to discussing the JUDGING doh matter who win. Dey running TRUE TO FORM when they should be looking to stock PAN TRINBAGO with a NEW ADMINISTRATION instead!!!

Merrytonestothebone try to explain to the forum that if 10 men (CRACKSHOTS) playing for Band A and then the same 10 men (CRACKSHOTS) gone and play for Band B -- you no longer have a FAIR COMPETITION. But nobody eh listening to him!!!

They ARE listening Claude...that is why one man put Phase II's failure squarely on Boogsie's shoulder...not the crackshots who probably too busy to learn the music properly anymore...Once upon a time Boogsie was flying high, arranging for more band than he could count...One failure...dey kick him under the friggin bus,,,after one time is really two...

Well I have news for ALL who conveniently trying to avoid the truth. I am saying it again. In Panorama, bands are not only competing for Prize Money, but more importantly they are also competing for TIME. All who could read try and make sense of that sentence...maybe yuh could could then see the ills of band-hopping...

A few years ago Natasha Joseph, then Phase II's drill master and a major "crackshot" in the business said on this forum that player remittance should raise to $2,000.00..."to discourage players from band-hopping". Eh? Imagine that? Don't put an end to the nonsense pay more for it. This year she play for Starlift. Ah see both Starlift and Phase II tie in the Finals. Poor Starlift. They no longer have a band it seems, because they had to rely almost solely on "crackshots". I know, because we "invited" one of them to play for us in the Semis as well.

Hello Jeston,


Heard that this specific post of yours was the subject of discussion and was read out loud on the local station in Trinidad/Tobago, called i95.5fm…

A panel of judges for panorama consist of six people, five and an alternate. You have four panels, single pan, small, medium and large so in all it 24 divided and they must judge the same category from prelims to final. Merrytonestothebone, calypsonians caused that back in times panorama tune thing. Bands begin their practice from November and even in early December there were no releases from them as singers were holding back so that their tune does not go stale when January comes. I attended a meeting where this was voiced and Pantrinbago took the decision to allow bands to play a tune from  previous years. When this happened after a few years, singers started release earlier as their music was not selected.


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