Steelpan rivalry at its best will come off when Pan Trinbago holds the National Panorama finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah tonight.
In the medium bands category, ten bands will attempt to dethrone NLCB Buccooneers, one of four bands from Tobago in the final.
Pan Elders is going into the finals as favourites having won both the preliminary and semi-final rounds with their rendition of Duvonne Stewart’s arrangement of “All ah we is one Family”.
However, Buccooneers is sitting just six points behind them with Seion Gomez’s arrangement of “Madness”.
Petrotrin Katzenjammers is third going into the final having played Len Boogsie Sharpe’s arrangement of “Spankin”.
The competition in this category is very keen and anything can happen on the night. Lone female arranger Michelle Huggins-Watts is coming hard with Valley Harps and “Happiest Man Alive”.
The other two bands from Tobago in the finals are Carib Dixieland with Leon “Smooth” Edward’s arrangement of “Dis is It” and NGC Steel Xplosion with Arddin Herbert’s arrangement of “Dust in Deh Face”.
Another band to watch is NGC Couva Joylanders whose performance of Kareem Brown’s arrangement of “Free Up” has placed them just outside the top four bands.
The first prize for this category is $600,000, second is $550,000 and third $450,000.
Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and Petrotrin Phase 11 Pan Groove had some work to do after the semi-final round in the large-band category to catch leaders Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars and Republic Bank Exodus.
But the master arranger has no thoughts of giving up his title without a fight as Boogsie is a final-night man and all eyes will be on him.
All Stars is seeking its ninth Panorama title as the band heads into the final as leaders with Leon “Smooth” Edwards’s arrangement of “Excitement”. Exodus is in search of their fifth title with Pelham Goddard’s arrangement of “Pan is Carnival”.
After the semis three bands were tied for third place—Phase II, Bp Renegades and Witco Desperadoes. Phase II is looking for their seventh title while Renegades and Despers are hoping to reach ten and 11, respectively.
The musical showdown will see Renegades playing Duvonne Stewart’s arrangement of “In D Minor” and Despers doing Robbie Greenidge’s arrangement of “Spankin”.
The two south bands—Skiffle and NLCB Fonclaire—will come to town fighting with Ray Holman’s magical arrangement of “The Wedding-Shaadi” and Ken “Professor” Philmore’s arrangement of “Big in the Dance” respectively.
Others hoping to engrave their names on the trophy today include PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars (Liam Teague—“The Reason”), NGC La Brea Nightingales (Terrence BJ Marcelle—“In D Minor”), T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps (Clarence Morris— “In D Minor”) and CAL Invaders, the band which will kick off the competition at 7 p.m. with Arddin Herbert’s “Jam It’’.
The winner in this category will take home $1 million.
The order of appearance is as follows:
1. Melodians 1. CAL Invaders
2. Carib Dixieland 2. NLCB Fonclaire
3. NGC Steel Xplosion 3. NGC La Brea Nightingales
4. Pan Elders 4. WITCO Desperadoes
5. Valley Harps 5. T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps
6. Petrotrin Katzenjammers 6. Republic Bank Exodus
7. NGC Couva Joylanders 7. PCS Nitrogen Silver
8. Courts Sound Specialists 8. Skiffle of Laventille
9. Arima Angel Harps 9. Neal and Massy Trinidad
10. NLCB Buccooneers 10. Petrotrin Phase
11 Pan Groove 11. Bp Renegades