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.
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?
There should be no marks/points in panorama for theater if judges are swayed by this. It's not on the score sheet in the listed criteria and judges should not be swayed by this. Well then a band bringing Minshall or Mc Farlane to do their theater could run away with panorama next year??
Mr. Clarke: CROWD RESPONSE will always be a factor in CALYPSO and STEEBAND competitions although there are NO POINTS awarded in that category. I so well remember how many CROWNS The Mighty Sparrow won JUST BECAUSE a THOUSAND GRENADIANS came down from the LAVENTILLE HILLS and went RABID once SPARROW appeared on stage. And the judges always got INFLUENCED and gave him the crown. (Ah does still lose sleep over that!!! Ah like CALYPSO so much!!!)
I saw the same thing happen last SATURDAY (modified over the decades of course) to hand the PANORAMA TITLE to ALL STARS.
So maybe IT IS TIME for the judges to add a new element to awarding points: CROWD RESPONSE!!! Of course, I know that you have to have some level of CALYPSO or PAN PRODUCT to get the crowd moving. So I don't think that Minshall or Mc Farlane have the fundamentals to WIN PANORAMA because they do not have any PAN in dey BAN!!!
Don't you think that there are judges who have their favorites? Well there are.,So what can be done about that.Many of you have been calling for foreign judges but if pantrinbago treats them like they treat the local judges it would certainly be a One Time Thing. As for Sparrow ,he is still the greatest calypsonian.
Correct is right. There are no marks given for theatrics..
Claude: someone mentioned theater having an influence on the judges,that's why I asked if a band should hire any of these two people to organize the theater and decor if it will cause the judges to award points,causing them to win. Tonight in the yard two people mentioned that a judge in the large category said to them on carnival day that he was blown away by the presentation of a particular band before they struck a note and he had to compose himself that he was there to judge on the criteria before him and not on the appearance of the band. Judges may be influenced by that and they should not be. One person in the group said if a band comes on with pomp and splendour and the next band comes on with different colour tee shirts, the judges may not pay attention the that band as the one before,but the tee shirt band could have the better tune. There was once a best dressed competition at the panorama finals.
Mr. Clarke: I have the utmost respect for you as a PAN AUTHORITY. So I defer to your opinions. However, when RENGADES come on the stage wearing SUCH UGLY PAJAMAS -- ah instantly lost my interest in listening to them. And dey wondering why they loss!!!
A television station in America once did a little experiment about APPEARANCE and PERCEPTION and I will tell you about it. They sent a WHITE MAN dressed in a suit and looking real SPIFFY to a PAWN SHP with a RING TO PAWN and he was offered X amount of dollars for the ring. Then they sent a WHITE MAN in flip-flops and T-Shirts with the equivalent ring and he was offered X -dollars for the ring. And then they sent ah black fellah with braids and ghetto flair to the pawn shop with the very same ring -- ah doh have to tell you the MINUS MINUS that went into that offer.
NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS!!!
It's unfortunate that there's no way around the judges being influence by the spectators, it's the voice of the people and they have power.
Cecil: Where have you been? Yuh eh see Gerard Clarke beating meh up here and yuh eh come to defend me. You know looks in everything. Man grow RASTA and pick up all kinda woman -- you know that!!!
I do think we are asking the judges to do too much and we should try a different model. I would like to offer my thoughts here. I think having small panels focusing on specific tasks is a good idea. I don't agree however, with the 'difficulty criteria'. A great arrangement does not necessarily contain difficult passages or parts. A good arranger tries to give a piece of music what he thinks the piece calls for. He doesn't try to randomly create difficult parts to gain points he will create chaos if he does that. He also has to take the players into consideration. What good is the music if the players cannot execute it. It is not a reading class. I also think that having the panels be specific in their tasks will guide the points towards the musical presentation as opposed to the theatre (smoke and fireworks) i.e assuming it is a musical competition. The should have a separate award for 'showtime and fan noise'. I know some people think that is should be a show then they should put that criteria in if that is what they want.
This next point, I would really like to hear what you guys think. I think that the bands should have a panel to vet the potential judges before panorama like the attorneys do before a trial ( maybe a panel of 10 or 12 people from different bands} I firmly believe that some of those judges don't know what they're listening to or maybe they not following the criteria on the paper in front of them. This is just my observation. Let them tell me how they award points for tone?
I am enjoying this discussion because each one of you gentlemen are making such valid arguments, I really don't know how to get us close to coming up with a winner based on the criteria of the competition. This is why I think assigning judges with specific tasks would help in that direction.I'm not even sure it will solve the problem of fan support and theatrics, but it's worth a try. I still think in addition we need to arrive at judges who know what they are listening too.
Question,is it a music event? if it is, what is being judge presentation or musical content?