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For years I have been hearing about 'what the judges are looking for' and  'the direction of the judges' as it relates to the arrangements offered by the bands. This year someone even singled out the arrangements of Boogsie and Carlton Zanda as the arrangements of the future, what the judges are now gravitating to. If what the judges are looking for strictly relates to improvements in areas of an arrangement, I have no problem with that. If it is geared  to individual pieces, I have no problem with that either.

However if the judges are determining the direction of musical style of a panorama season then I take great exception to that. What do you my fellow bloggers think about this, is it an issue or none issue? Personally I think that the judges subtly insert themselves into the competition as the integrity of panorama judging has been compromised over the years. There was a time when results were hardly even queried because they were in line with what john public recognized. 

Within recent times more and more results are being questioned by john public, who by the way knows his panorama arrangements. Why don't we have these issues when the steelband music festival comes around?

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I remember years ago at the Musical Festival at Queens Hall that the ajudicators would publicly read his comments to the audience before awarding the contestant's marks.

I believe that the Judges marks and comments at Panorama should be available to the public the next day, maybe on PanTrinbago's website, thereby allowing the public and bands to better understand how they arrived at their decisions.

Certainly there should be no reason to conceal them .................... or is there?

At least if for no other reason it would ensure that the judges DO THEIR BEST.. Not to look musically illiterate when this is published.. But i always maintain, Pan Trinbago aint no different from T&T License Office.. With all there is to stop the corruption, there's always a way to get around it.
i totally agree and why are we using thr same judges year after year.and we have so many qualified musicians who could relate to pan, why is it some bands believe the tempo must be so fast, if someone talks fast youwill definitely not hear all the words same with music you will not har all the notes, but tjs seems to be the trend.
Have any bands been judged fairly and squarely?   As I am writing this, I am listening to Maestro sing about unfair judging at the competition.  He said "they want to see the score sheet."I do not know when this calypso was written, but it goes well with today's topic.  Nothing has changed.  It may be easier to judge the music festivals because the judges may be more familiar with that type of music.  But the tunes that are played during panaroma, unless it is a classical piece, they may find it difficult to judge. 

After attending the Finals of this years - Single Pan and Small Band finals in Arima, i am disgusted by the Smoke Screen we call JUDGES.. Imagine, this year i believe we went back to three judges and an alternative, however for this particular small band category i couldnt believe my ears when i compared the bands to the results.. The judges comments are nonsensical, giving these bands nothing with which to prepare themselves for the next round or even worst, three judges with three contrasting feedback.

However, bringing my post specifically to the FINALS, In separate places, and at separate times, two judges stated in personal conversations, that the placed BAND A on top.. If this is so, can someone please tell me mathematically or otherwise how would it be possible for 2 out of 3 judges to place Band A in the top spot, yet the came 4th??

I always ask, Why the long lull between the last band performance and the results? what could be taking so long.. You have one band's score to add to a list. not so?

what is the purpose of the removal of judges, when we live in this small country called T&T? I can see 2 of the 3 small band judges every weekend if i choose, we call their names and put the faces on international tv, so why hide afterwards?

With the type of speculation that is created about this competition and the results, it might be better for Pan Trinbago Panorama committee to sit themselves and judge this competition.

To answer your last question first, in the pan classical music festival, all scores  are known in advance, so the criteria centre around interpretation and performance.  Secondly, as I have stated on this forum before, it is precisely the job of a Panorama adjudicator to provide musical feedback on style of arrangement, compositional maturity (if appllicable), etc., and to thereby  determine "the direction of musical style", as you put it.  By providing such feedback in a transparent and public manner,  most of the issues regarding John Public's queries and disagreements with results can simply be avoided.  Just my 2 cents.


Peter Gray


In the case of Pan Culture and Panorama judging - don't fool yourself - the "John and Susie Q Public" who are into Pan are intelligent when it comes to good Pan arrangements thanks to  the Internet, Technology and Multi Media - they have a library of  information at their fingertips both in audio and visually, and this will only continue to get bigger and better, The Pan yard members of today have this all - and in some cases on their cell phones.   Nothing is the way it was even 5 years ago,  just think - if the normal person learned to play pan 5 years ago - where is their skill level now?  - same for the arrangers and players.
Judges are failing to raise the bar for arrangers - most of the arrangers fit their music into the "criteria" box of what the judges expect instead of pushing expectation to the next level which is I see as growth and building on the whole idea of Panorama and the Pan Culture.   Fortunately, some of these arrangers raise their own bar because of their ability to take the audience on a journey and tells a story without words for 8 minutes while keeping the guidelines in focus. We hear the same type of styles and arrangements year after year so the judges just look for the same criteria year after year and the real judging is done by "John and Susie Q Public" - ( the people who support the culture financially and or otherwise).
In the midst of this years finals we did see arrangers do some great arrangements that were memorable,  Michelle's arrangement for Valley Harps  "Do Something for pan" - is an excellent example of innovation, their was definately a journey in her arrangement that got the listeners attention with the Down Home on your knees blues section so well incorporated it took everyone by surprise, it was well placed and short enough that the same vibrance within the whole song was maintained.  I was in a room with a bunch of Music College Students who are all pannist's watching the finals and when that song was played the room was on their feet....each student was judging the songs they heard both musically and theoretically and in order of difficulty, execution of transitions etc.,
Their were other bands that caused a similar effect all night.... however - the Pan supporters will always remember Michelle's arrangement; There again - if you go to the same students that were in my presence and ask them what was the name of the song or arrangers who judges placed high in there ranking - they will tell you they can't remember they will have to hear it again... Yes - I did ask and that's the answer I got.
Pan is global there are hundreds and thousands of people worldwide arranging and playing pan in their own communities.  The current and future generation of pannist are exposed to music education of a high level incorporating all kinds of Genre and cultures and they look to the arrangers to bring "arrangements of the future" incorporating the core standards but with innovation to stretch the minds and skills of the arrangers and players.  Tnt is the Mecca for Pan and Pan Culture  - Tnt gave the world Pan and the Culture - The art of creating music for this wonderful array of instruments is definitely a Big part of it - I personally dont place much importance on theatrics of costumes -  for me its all about whats coming out of the pan .......ITS ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC.........
I am a writing this as "Susie Q. Public" a Musician - Classically trained on the Piano but also plays Guitar Pan.


I am truely amazed that after hearing what everyone standing on the stage heard and said of the performance of Silver Stars, a whole piece from Curry Tabanca, and extremely unclean playing by the band for long runs, that this band was adjudged to have come 3rd.  Any judge worth his salt could not in good concience put them so high.  This was an outrage.  If the persons present on that final night in the Grand Stand were allowed to vote, Invaders would have been adjuged the winner, by far.  Their presentation was well choreographed, clean and powerful, with great dexterity and their music was exciting and beautiful.  Exodus was deserving of their place, and All Stars was just All Stars, clean and at times exciting in the front line players Gulston and his other friends.  But if one was to listen to the background it was very ordinary, nothing in the class of Invaders.  These judges are a complete waste of time.  Do they really listen to everything, or are they just wowed by pyrothecnics, and some players antics.  I always thought this is a music contest.
Is that an invaders jersey in your profile pic....

I submit that the selection of judges, do not represent the variety of music that is being explored by some of the better arrangers. It is clear that Boogsie, Clyde Bradley, Ray Holman, Herbert, Professor and Carlton Zanda, are heavily influenced by Jazz and pop music. The judges tend to be classically trained and not Jazz influenced musicians themselves, most of them really do not know what they are hearing from these arrangers. They look at music from a clinical sense, execution, melody, arrangement etc.but emotion and soul in music is non clinical.

Secondly I think that the right judges, should be allowed additional time, to listen to taped recordings of the Finals performances, away from the noise and gimmicks, so much of the intricate arrangements are overlooked and not understood, one time around in a Panorama Finals. I am sure if they listen a second and third time in solitude, we would have a different order of winners for Panorama 2011.


The judges do not have any problems when they have to judge a piece of music that is of a classical nature.  How much time are they given to acquaint themselves with a panorama tune?  Or, how often do they hear these tunes before panaroma?  Do they sit down at home and listen to any of the calypsoes that are played on the Radio?  Do they spend any time going around to the pan yards just to listen and familiarize themselves with what the band is playing?  If they did that, then they will be able to pick up the nuances, subtleties, and all the different shades that are in the music.  Perhaps it is time to allow the arrangers to do the judging.  Instead of coming down so hard on the judges, CHANGE THE FORMULA.  By this time next year, there should be something in place that hopefully will please one and all.

"Secondly I think that the right judges, should be allowed additional time, to listen to taped recordings of the Finals performances, away from the noise and gimmicks, so much of the intricate arrangements are overlooked and not understood, one time around in a Panorama Finals. I am sure if they listen a second and third time in solitude, we would have a different order of winners for Panorama 2011."


This idea has never before crossed my mind. I find your suggestion very interesting.


Please clarify:

...are you suggesting that the judges, as a group, listen again to the taped versions and then each independently adjust their scores OR

 ...since a "common consencus" is already statistically achieved from the present format, use that as a base for open discussion after a group second hearing - sequestered off course, as jurors are - so that, through their collaborative exchanges a more even-tempered and reflective consencus, especially in those areas which are indeed difficult to accurately express in statistics, could be achieved?

Would/should the visuals be then taken into consideration even though, at present, no marks are allocated? 

Would positions alone, without marks, be collectively stated?

It would be interesting to hear the pannists and arrangers' views.


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