Hadco Phase II plays first in large-band pan finals

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Hadco Phase II Pan Groove came 3rd place in 2023 playing We Come Out to Party, in the Large Steel Band Category. – File photo by Andrea De Silva

Hadco Phase II will be the first competitor when the Panorama large band conventional finals take place on February 10 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

There will be 11 bands – due to a tie – in this year’s finals.

NLCB Fonclaire will play in second position with its arrangement of Christopher “Tambu” Herbert’s 1988 Road March, This Party is It.

Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore described Panorama as “magnificent in all its glory thus far.”

The bands, communities, supporters, sponsors, Government and all stakeholders have “come forward and given us 100 per cent support,” she said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Ramsey-Moore said as Carnival reaches its peak there are two major events left for the organisation: the large bands conventional finals and the returned South/Central Pan Champs.

The organisation plans to honour the work of the late Ken “Professor” Philmore with the returned South/Central Pan Champs scheduled to be held on February 8 at Skinner Park, San Fernando. The late pan virtuoso died in 2018 in a car accident.

There will be two categories in the event: single pan and conventional bands.

“We are going to celebrate his life in a big way. A number of conventional bands, over 13 conventional bands and single pan bands, they are going to blaze a trail where he would have left an indelible mark in the south/central community.

“We are going to glorify him and use music to praise and thank his work,” she said of the event.

Apart from this, the organisation decided to once again add the event to its calendar to provide another opportunity for the regions to raise and bring their A-game, she said.

“The regions needed to do much more than the national Carnival. We needed community events. As they say, pan is community soul,and so we needed community events, and we thought that it was a fitting way to have the south/central bands engage in another activity during this Carnival period.”

Ramsey-Moore said there will be events in the northern and eastern regions after Carnival.

Pan Trinbago plans to be community-focused after the festival as it believes it could do a lot more by having community engagement, she said.

“Community engagement means not only the players alone but their families,” she added.

Focusing on Saturday’s event, however, Ramsey-Moore described the line-up for the large finals as an interesting one and promised those attending “music after music after music.

“This is going to be one of the best finals the world will ever see.”

Ramsey-Moore said from an informal examination of the semifinals and of Pan Trinbago’s Carnival events, there has been an increase in revenue. There were reports of over-subscription during the semifinals, particularly at the North Stand.

“The taste for pan is a superb one. There is this great energy and vibe I have never seen before,” she said.

Ramsey-Moore said throughout the country people were commending the organisation, saying, “Good job.”

She added that there would be “one or two critics,” but the majority supported the organisation.

After Carnival and particularly during World Steelband Month in August, the organisation plans to return the Pan Is Beautiful festival to its calendar.

She said line minister Randall Mitchell was working hard to ensure this year’s World Steelband Day celebrations were bigger than last year’s.

She thanked the country for its support and the renewed “huge” interest in pan. Ramsey-Moore also thanked the Prime Minister, Mitchell and the Government for “believing in Pan Trinbago one more and providing that back-up support through the National Carnival Commission).”

Order of appearance for Large Band Finals on February 10:

Hadco Phase II Pan Groove
NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra
Proman Starlift Steel Orchestra
BP Renegades Steel Orchestra
Republic Bank Exodus
Nutrien Silver Stars
T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps
Desperadoes Steel Orchestra
Shell Invaders Steel Orchestra
Massy Trinidad All Stars
First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra