ST. CROIX — Virgin Islanders have done it again — traveling outside the territory to bring home a championship in yet another event. That was the case with the CJM Hummingbirds Power Stars Steel Orchestra, hailing from St. Croix, which did not only win gold, but also the “Best Vibe” award, along with the coveted overall champions trophy at the annual Virginia PanFest, held on Saturday.
They won gold twice, along with the overall champions trophy and the Best Vibe award over 29 bands. The USVI group was the only band from the Caribbean region.
It was not the first time that Virgin Islanders participated in the annual steel pan festival, held in Virginia Beach. In the past, St. Croix participants have taken home silver and even gold, but last week’s competition was the first time the USVI took him the overall champions trophy, even while facing some obstacles: Their performances were to include Moko Jumbies, but bad weather forced the event to be moved indoors, which eliminated the ability of the Moko Jumbies to participate, said Michael Belgrave, band director.
CJM Hummingbirds Power Stars Steel Orchestra consists of two bands: CJM Hummingbirds (the school-based group) and CJM Power Stars (the community band), according to Ena Edward-Descartes, Steel Orchestra Committee chairperson. The CJM Hummingbirds participated in the Private Studio category and won gold . The Power Stars participated in the category of community bands and also won gold.