Pan Trinbago’s National Steelband Panorama 2014 competition kicked off at the Arima Velodrome on Thursday night with the preliminary round for single pan bands in the eastern region.
Of the 21 bands which faced the judges, three tuners—Herman “Guppy” Brown, Desmond “Mappo” Richardson and Leonard Lera—accounted for 11 with three, three and five, respectively.
Surprisingly most of the bands fielded the maximum of 45 players and even though several players performed with multiple bands they did not make too much of a difference.
The official responsible for taking the players count, Gerard Mendez, chairman of the northern region said he observed the bands in the east did not have a problem with players like those under his control.
He said, “With fewer hot spots in the east, the players are free to move around and go into different communities to play pan. In Port of Spain, while the steelbands in the hot spots are not directly affected with the crime and violence, indirectly they are affected as players are not coming to these areas.”
Patrons at the velodrome witnessed a good night of pan music as Trinidad East Side Symphony (Poom Poom), Arima All Stars (Music/Dingolay), Marsicans (Free Up), San Juan East Side Symphony (Fantastic Friday), San Juan All Stars (Bahia Girl), Curepe Polyphonics (Bacchannal Time), Pan Jammers (This Melody Sweet), East Phonics (Du Du Yemi), Trinidad Nostalgic (Jerico) and Pan Elites (Spankin) all played their hearts out.
Once again the majority of players were both very young and female, thereby outnumbering their male counterparts almost three to one.
Pan Trinbago Eastern Region and members of the stage crew can feel proud as they were able to pull off the event and send patrons home by 11.30 p.m. The judges for the single pan preliminaries were Giselle Alexander, Kenrick Noel, Rojelle Granger and Hugh Borde. They were off to Tobago last night; they will be at the northern region preliminaries today in the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah and then go to San Fernando tomorrow. Results for the single pan category semi-finals will be announced on Monday. (See Pages 9 and 17)
The prize structure in this category is as follows:
1st — $200,000