When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

The matter of Casablanca Steel Orchestra not going forward to the semi-final round in the small band category was not only an issue of a couple points short of qualifying. While awaiting their turn to perform, the captain Allyson Poteon was informed by a Pan Trinbago official that the Dj had lost the copy of their tune which had to be played before the band’s performance (the tune of choice is played for all bands competing at every level of Panorama and the scores are given based on arrangement and interpretation of that tune).  Efforts to have the Dj retrieve the tune off of a digital device proved futile because the Dj’s USB cable had a short resulting in the inability to have it played for the judges and patrons. In addition, two minutes into their rendition of “Big Mama” composed and arranged by their vice president Michael A Gabriel; the band was stopped via the announcer when Pan Trinbago’s officials realized that one of their judges was in the restroom.   A video circulating on facebook shows the effect the interruption had on the players. 

This had never happened in the history of panorama save and except when Renegades was stopped because of the noise emanating from the north stand.  A written appeal was sent to Pan Trinbago’s head office but to no avail. It is indeed unfortunate that the band should fall to such ill fate after having put in their blood, sweat and tears into their preparations to appear and perform at the preliminary round of the competition.

The questions then arise; why wasn’t the scores of the alternate judge used rather than stop the band in full performance? Failing this, why wasn’t the band afforded the opportunity to proceed to the next round based on the destroyed morale and state of minds the players would have incurred because of the stoppage? Further, (based on the presumption that the judges did not hear the tune of choice) how did the judges score the band if they did not hear the entire tune of choice?

It is also hoped that this does not affect the bands opportunities for sponsorship whereby it may appear the problem was lack of preparation. Some members of the public are of the perception that the band faultered on stage when it was in fact the fault of Pan Trinbago’s officials.  

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