Pan Trinbago head overwhelmed by youth involvement in pan

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Merliq Nathaniel, 9, of NGC La Brea Nightingales, hits the right notes during the band’s performance of Nah Leaving at Panorama medium conventional bands semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on January 28. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

PAN TRINBAGO president Beverley Ramsey-Moore says she is overwhelmed by the large number of young people participating in this year’s national Panorama competitions, including the Medium Conventional Band final on Sunday at the Parade Ground, Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago.

She said her sentiments were endorsed by a retired permanent secretary who observed large groups of young pannists and supporters on board a ferry to Tobago on Friday.

Ramsey-Moore said the retired PS suggested that she meet with the Prime Minister to discuss strategies to use the steelpan as a deterrent to crime.

“He said to me he was so pleased with what he saw and that this was the answer for crime. He said, ‘Beverly, you have to talk to the Prime Minister,’” she told Sunday Newsday.

Ramsey-Moore said more than 1,000 players were expected to arrive at the Scarborough Port on Saturday.

“We are very happy that we can have young people come on the other side of the country. That is a positive for us so that there can be social interaction and group exchange.

“It is all a part of the developmental process. Even though they are coming here for Panorama it provides an opportunity for them to know the other side of the country, which is the other island and to socialise and to interact with their peers and bond together at the various hotels.

“For many of them, it is the first time they may be staying together as a group. So there is a lot in the process and for me, that is the bigger picture. That is the dynamic of all that is happening.”

Ramsey-Moore said the preparations for the event went smoothly.

“The infrastructure was put in by NCC (National Carnival Commission). I think it is a much better infrastructure than last year.”

She added she is also extremely grateful to the Tobago House of Assembly for refurbishing a road near the venue to facilitate bands coming onto and off the main stage.

“That transition would be much smoother than before.”

Ramsey-Moore said several things have been done to enhance the venue.

Pan Trinbago President Beverly Ramsey-Moore. – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

“All in all I think we will have a well-run and executed event.”

Asked about her expectations of the ten bands in the medium band competition, she said, “I expect them to bring it. From what I am hearing, it will be a fantastic show.

“The bands will not only be playing music but they will be presenting their music to the people using culture, whether it is drama or whatever the dynamic. I cannot wait to see the unfolding of this magnificent event.”

When Sunday Newsday caught up with representatives from the three Tobago bands in tonight’s medium band final – the third to be held on the island – they were fine-tuning their presentations.

Defending champions Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, which placed first in the semifinal, is pulling out all the stops to retain its title in tonight’s show.

The band from Black Rock, performing in position ten, is playing Merchant’s (Dennis Williams Franklyn’s) Rock It.

Arranger Kersh Ramsey said patrons can expect “a movie.”

“The band has been working hard. We won last year so we know the work that we need to put in to win,” he said.

“We just need to brush up on certain parts and just make everything grand. We coming at number ten so we need to bring the curtain down. So people can expect a movie.”

Ramsey said the band will do its best.

“I am confident that we are going to execute. We are going to perform and make Tobago proud.”

Dixieland Steel Orchestra’s manager Keston Duke said the band was modifying its tune to meet the eight-minute criteria for presentations.

“After that, all we can do is leave it to the judges,” he said.

The Mt Pleasant-based band, performing in position number four, will play Baron’s (Timothy Watkins’) This Melody Sweet, arranged by Dante Pantin.

Asked about their tune of choice, Duke said, “We had some music on tape and we have been playing them, looking for the correct tune. But it doh have the perfect tune. All of them sweet. So the arranger, who we are using for the first time, went with this one.”

NGC Steel Xplosion, which placed ninth in the semifinal, is also expected to give a sterling performance. The band will perform Sparrow’s (Slinger Francisco’s) Both Ah Them, arranged by Arddin Herbert.

The band, established in 2002, has had much success over the years. It won the medium band category at the 2010 Panorama with Kenneth Salick’s Radica and has been a consistent finalist in the competition for much of that decade.

Steel Xplosion, which will perform in second place, also won the THA Pan Champs title in 2008 and placed second overall in the Panorama competition that same year.

Sunday’s show is expected to begin at 7 o’clock.

ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Sangre Grande Cordettes
NGC Steel Xplosion
Arima Angel Harps
Dixieland Steel Orchestra
Sound Specialists of Laventille
Curepe Scherzando Steel Orchestra
Pan Elders
Couva Joylanders
Panberi
Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra