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Theron Urbano decries exclusion of Steel X Plosion from 2013 NY Panorama

Theron Urbano wrote:

"How can New York Pan Fraternity deprive these kids and this band from panorama.  This question is very puzzling to me. I am an American Soldier who took my Pan to War. I could be an ambassador for our instrument and yet in still my kids are being told to go home and come back next year for Panorama. What S%$t is that. Is it because our band manger is a female. What is it? I have yet to get a definitive answer as to why or why not our band Steel X Plosion cannot participate in this year's panorama.


"We have a pan yard.. We have players... We have a tune.. We have our own management team. Is it fair to have these kids practicing and parents sacrificing in vain. I have checked your website [WIADCA] and there is no paperwork on (SOP) Standard Operating Procedures or no memos concerning when to register for panorama.

"You have bands dropping out and yet in still you wont let another band replace them? This is an outrage. I thought that we want to preserve heritage and pass it on to the younger generation not keep it stagnant. I remember being in Iraq with my pan and getting panorama updates from When steel talks and even publishing my story there as well. http://www.panonthenet.com/spotlight/iraqUrbano.htm


"I came back to the states from Germany and said if I ever get the chance to be close to NY my son and my daughter will play. Well Mr. Thomas Bailey please come to our pan yard located at 5601 Preston Ct between 56th and Ralph in Brooklyn and tell the band parents and children to go home and come back next year.


"Band from Canada could play but not we. (Nothing against Pan Fantasy).


"I encourage pan unity. If it was a band from Norway or Switzerland would they get the same treatment that we are?


"I applaud young Arrangers such as Freddy Harris III Odie Franklin Andre White Khuent Rose Iman Pascall Earl Brooks Jr. and Foster. You guys will take pan into the next generation. Tameeka Garcia you are a strong band manager and I thank you for all your hard work in trying to get this band on the stage. You should not have to put up this much fight to get a band on stage since you didn't break any laws. To the parents thank you for the support. Now we have to raise that support shield a little higher.

"It seems like the badjohns stop playing man and move to the governing body. Tanty Bevy and Uncle Earl I didn't know that pan was more so for the politics than the music. Then they want to know why people don’t come out to NY band launches. I want WIADCA to tell us why the decision taken at a recent Panorama Committee meeting should remain in effect is a sufficient answer to why we can’t play.

"A Panorama Committee meeting without representation from our band. Why are we not even allowed an audience with this so called panorama committee. Everything is email and he says she says. MAN UP MR BAILEY. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH OUR BAND, OUR BRAND, AND THE WAY WE DO THINGS; COME TELL US OR CALL US INTO YOUR OFFICE LIKE A REAL PRESIDENT, CEO, CHAIRMAN OF SAID PANORAMA COMMITTEE OR WHATEVER YOUR TITLE MAY BE.

"At the end of the day I have to explain to my kids why they lost a summer practicing pan that they may or may not play. That is rellllllll S%4t… When Steel Talks put it out on your forum. Somebody need to take a look at this. It is really sad when I have to get Senators involved."

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Do like Diaz and tie dem up in the court. You could shut down the whole panorama and NO BANDS will get to play!

Let 'em in!   "If priest could play...."

Let them play.


Check out the video of us practicing. The drummer at the end is an American kid that passed by the pan yard with his little cousins and his brother. Outside making ruction. Now he into something good and I have to tell him don't come back because we not playing this year. I travel from New Jersey past Great Adventure to come to practice. My own money for gas and toll. I'm not getting paid because its more than that for us. We told them that we would play first and still NO. We suppose to suck it up why because nobody in our management team over 40. I get it you have a grudge with the management we used to play for but we are not them we are our own brand. LET THE FLIPPING BAND PLAY. DO IT FOR THE KIDS. We ain't sponsored is parents and us management footing the bill. We ain't begging for WIADICA money. We just want to be judged.

I don't know all the details since I have not been in any meetings with WIADCA or the USSA, but what I can say is, that it's a shame this band isn't allowed to play. Again, I don't know all the details, so I can't say more on that.

However, this is what the majority of the bands opted for when they decided to go back to WIADCA, it's a shame, but things like this have been happening for a long time, so we shouldn't be surprised. Whether the problem is the sound system, poor toilet facilities, a lack of transparency, etc....the bands will continue to run back to WIADCA for more beating.

Just think about this for a while...If a steelband played for Panorama and placed outside of the top three, they would quickly find themselves in debt, after paying the tuner, the arranger, rent for practice space and transportation for the Pans. So what do the bands do? They put on fundraisers, which they call, "BAND LAUNCHES", to raise funds in order to cut costs....folks, this is utter madness. It's for reasons like this, why steelbands have no money and no property to call their own.  What they need to do is charge WIADCA a fee that at a minimum, matches their expenses, then that way when they put on a fundraiser, they can bank that money.

Sorry for the rant, but the bands don't realize the power they have, if they stick together...my suggestion is to bring this matter to the attention of the USSA and take it from there.


Thank you so much for your insight Mr. GP Sir. If it wasn't for you I would not have figured out what was going on. Your suggestion to bring the matter to the USSA led me to googling who they were. Up to this point we were told that the band managers voted against us. Every time we asked one of those managers they replied with they never voted. Now I see that and I quote from the letter sent to us from Mr. Bailey " the decision taken at a recent Committee meeting should remain in effect". That Committee was the USSA. Members in that committee are also band managers and hence the politics.

Keith Marcelle : Chairperson
Martin Douglas : Vice-Chairperson
Magnus Scanterbury : Director

If any one of you three influential pan personnel would like to dispute any of this, please do. If you would like to tell the public why you are so hell bent in not letting this band play, please do. Can you provide a document not backdated with what we have done wrong to deserve this treatment please do. I am saying this in all good faith because if our band is forced to step our game up we will. I will reiterate that nobody in our management team is over 40. Which means that there are many avenues of approaches that we can use to dispel this dispute or disagreement. We may be young but we are also wise and have influences of our own. Quote me on this, " Every politician is elected by the people". This year we will teach an old dog a new trick.

We could set up a time next week to discuss this. I have a whole Panyard of children I would like you to talk to. And if you are wondering why I have so much say, so much passion, so much mouth. I am not only a player, I am the Captain of the band and I going down with my ship like if its Titanic.

When steel talks thank you for this outlet. I am not decrying " Ah DeBawling ".

I told myself I was not going to respond to this post, but after my name that of other officers and the organization was being wrongfully portrayed, I had to.

  1. So often people post things with absolutely no truth to it and then others who love to hate just blindly respond in the stupidest way.
  2. Mr. Urbano, did it ever occur to you that maybe what you were told was not the truth, or exaggerated?
  3. You have no clue as what took place, but yet you posted things and people's names so carelessly. You should be ashamed of yourself. Having a love for pan and kids is no reason to be thoughtless.
  4. Your band is not in panorama 2013 because the request came six weeks past the original deadline for registration and three weeks past an extension given to a couple of bands that missed that meeting. that's it, no biases.
  5. The meeting on July 24th, where you unfortunate circumstance was presented was in fact the very last meeting before the panorama. Now read this very carefully. THE VOTE TAKEN, WAS THAT OF THE BANDLEADERS OF THE BANDS ENTERED IN THE PANORAMA, NOT THE COMMITTEE OF USSA. Also Mr. Scanterbury was not even present at that meeting. Why are you calling his name? there are minutes of the meeting which will indicate who voted and how they voted. The vote was based on the fact that your band was six weeks late to register, and would be more than welcomed to participate in panorama 2014. It was a unanimous vote.
  6. Your management was informed on or around the 25th, they asked me to intercede on the 26th, I spent the next two days doing that. On July 29th, I informed your management that the decision would stand, despite being told that Pantrinbago had voiced interest in your plight and that a lawyer was waiting on deck to pursue litigation. I guess that was meant to intimidate me.
  7.  Why was your players told that they were in the panorama and to continue practicing since that time? I don't know. Do you? I ask you, who is being cruel to the kids? Even a couple of nights ago after the draw was done, they were told that they will be in the panorama. That is wicked.
  8. There is much more, but I think this is enough for you to digest. Also your players, some of them were situated in other bands with the chance to play for panorama 2013. If you care about them as you say you do, let them go back to those bands to have that opportunity to play. And let's face it, the player you are speaking about are actually from another band that chose not to participate in panorama 2013, at least that's what I was  told by your management.

 A footnote to this. I actively stop playing pan in 1987, I left as the Vice-Captain to voluntary my time with a kids band no one knew exited, I did that for twenty-six until 2010, 2010 was the first and only year I received a salary for those services, I have cried with them for them, I have scolded them when they needed it and have loved them always, I have seen them grow into mature and responsibly adults with families of their own. I actively started working on behalf of  steelbands   in 1978 at the age of eighteen. So, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TALK ABOUT ME ABOUT PAN AND KIDS AND CAREING FOR THEM? There are a lot of people out there that have done more and have suffered unbearable things, lost of marriage, home just to name a few. WHO ARE YOU TO CALL THEM OUT LIKE THIS? I respect the fact that you chose to be a soldier, thats admirable. But you shouldn't write about things and people unless you have all the facts. What you have wrote can enflame a very fragile community, and it was irresponsible of you. There are way to many people out there that are willing  to use these opportunities to further separate and keep the pan community divided.

Once again USSA will hold a forum the Saturday after Labor day to discuss " How we can save pan in New York" the place and time will be announced soon. I am open to anyone for discussions. My number is (347) 522-4010.

Keith, you did the right thing , thanks for responding.

Mr. Marcelle,

As my band manager stepped in and advised, this is not a war, it's all love. I just want to paraphrase and ask a couple questions followed by statements of my own. This would be very helpful to this forum and or the pan community by extension.

1. Where can one (New Band or Old Band) find in black and white how to register for NY panorama? (Statements) If we knew about the deadline and extension ahead of time it would be met; we would not put our necks, reputation and brand out like this. That come like we trying to pull a fast one. That would taint our name and the brand known as Steel X plosion to include any band with that namesake.

2. How can there be a vote about us entering Panorama without any representation from us there to apply reason? (Statements) I don't know of anyone that like to be told that they were persecuted by a jury of their peers without representation. Broke criminals get at least a court appointed lawyer. Saddam Hussein, Zimmerman and Jeffrey Dahmer and all had representation. I think that it is unfair that we were not. We were treated worse than them by our peers. Again this is a statement and also my opinion. We have a band leader/manager too. Why was she not invited?

3. Where and how can we obtain the minutes from that meeting? Can it be posted publicly? How come it was not sent to us or can it be sent to us? (Statements) As you are from USSA do you have access to it? You stated that IT WAS THE BAND LEADERS OF THE BAND THAT VOTED NOT THE COMMITTEE OF USSA. Did the USSA reside over this meeting? If so shouldn't we be able to obtain a copy? If the bands voted against us are we not privy to the results?

Finally I will let this conversation continue between our band manager/band leader and yourself BUT I am anxiously awaiting your response. BTW we did tell the kids that they were not going to panorama after the drawing and they were passionate about still playing. So now I will jump in with my manager and say let the children please play, it's not just for us but the pan movement! Have a heart.

Mr Marcelle, these are kids, and I am wondering if a compromise of some sorts can be made somewhere to have them maybe as Guest Artistes at your NY Panorama 2013? I don't think this will hurt, will it? Its good to encourage the youth in Steelpan. Slap them on their wrists as a discipline yes, but encourage them too. I think that gesture will go a long way for the Steelband Movement in NY. Do you?   

Bertel: There are obviously more undercurrents than meets the pages of the forum. Ah doh think X-PLOSION go be in that panorama.

Bertel Gittens

This was recommended by one of the band leaders but again time was a factor. Arrangements for a guest performing were probable made as early as May, because the first week of June flyers were out with the name of the guest band. Just to address the issue of kids I do understand, last year the Canada band had to with draw from the panorama two weeks before, their kids were hurt because coming to New York to perform for the panorama was like going to Trinidad. But they persevered  and by all counts will be here this year. and again, those kids of Steel Explosion do have the opportunity to perform with other bands, remember these players are actually Sesame Flyers players, or so I was told by their management. So a question. Is the emphasis for them, really about the kids playing for panorama or that  the  name Steel Explosion appears for panorama?


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