Renegades, All Stars share title after fierce battle, second tie in Panorama history

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A Massy All Stars pannist is fired up during the band’s performance to tie with bp Renegades in the Panorama finals. – Jeff K. Mayers

The last time two bands tied for the top place in a large-band Panorama final was in 1985. On Saturday that was broken as bp Renegades and Massy Trinidad All Stars were crowned 2024 Panorama large-band champions. Both bands scored 285 points.

Renegades played Mical Teja’s DNA while All Stars played Olatunji’s Inventor. Unlike last year’s winning piece, both bands played 2024 songs.

Renegades won the title last year playing the late Black Stalin’s 1991 Ah Feel to Party. The band now holds the record for the most Panorama wins, having surpassed Desperadoes’ 12 wins.

In 1985 Amoco Renegades, with a Jit Samaroo arrangement, tied with Desperadoes, arranged by Beverly Griffith, for the Panorama title. Both bands played Kitchener’s Pan Night and Day.

Saturday’s tie was also illustrative of how fierce a musical battle it was at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday.

Before a packed audience, 11 bands brought their strongest game to the stands for a chance at earning the title.

The fight was so fierce that the difference between sixth and seventh place was a point and a half. There was also another tie at fourth place between Proman Starlift Steel Orchestra and Shell Invaders. Both bands scored 280 points.

For Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore, this is reflective of the growth and development of pan under her stewardship.

After the results were announced, Ramsey-Moore told the media, “It was a magnificent show. I am pleased. I am satisfied.

“The hard work of my team. We have been doing this since November and when you think of the logistics to be putting on so many shows, in the community, taking judges to and fro.”

The judging criteria were: arrangement (40 points), general performance (40 points), tone (10 points) and rhythm (10 points). Scores out of 300

Renegades’ president Colin Greaves dismissed claims that the band won because this year’s Panorama title sponsor was bpTT, calling it ridiculous.

In a phone interview, Greaves said the band was honoured to be the joint title holders with Massy Trinidad All Stars.

“They truly are a fantastic band and we both have a fantastic relationship. We wouldn’t pick it any other way.”

Greaves said this was not the first tie in Panorama history at this level and it showed the calibre of the execution of all of the bands.

“This year’s standard of Panorama was extremely high. It was extremely competitive and it was evident in how close the scores are with just one point and half point separating most of the finalists.

“We think there are so many things that are evaluated on the night. So many factors. It is not just about the musicality, it is not just about your execution, not just about whether you jump and wave, it is not just about whether you had plenty runs; it is not just about whether you had the best stage presentation.

“There are so many factors that come together. We always say, win, lose or draw, we respect what the judges decided to do and we party and celebrate, which was the scenario at 138 Renegades Way (Charlotte Street) until the sun came up,” he said.

Responding further to the criticism, Greaves said Renegades has never needed interference of any kind to be successful.

Arranger Duvone Stewart leads bp Renegades to its 13th victory at the bpTT Panorama large-band finals at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Jeff K. Mayers

“It is also disrespectful to the legacy of what Renegades is. Renegades is an institution of musical excellence that has existed for 76 years, toured the world, performed at the largest stages, even in Guinness Book of World Records for 2.5 million people because of its continuous, unwavering musical excellence.

“This is our 13th national Panorama win but for the previous 12, bp was not the title sponsor of the competition. To add to that, bp has always been a major sponsor of Panorama. In fact, the big challenge trophy people have been kissing and hugging for decades was a bp trophy.

“So the 20-year drought when Renegades did not win Panorama, they were always a sponsor of the competition. Their support never wavered over the years.”

Greaves said it was not uncommon for there to be scenarios where the title sponsors have bands in the competition. He referenced NLCB being the title sponsor then and having three bands in the competition.

“I think people’s issue is that the band won, and that is kind of disappointing on their end. For you to think that a corporate sponsor gets themselves into the internal running of the judging of the competition is disrespectful to the judges, to the musicians that worked hard day in, day out; disrespectful to the competition and disrespectful to the organisation as a whole.

“We must remember integrity reigns and we can’t be cynical in your outlook because you did not receive the result you may or may not have wanted.

“At the end of the day, the competition is 61 years in running. It has a high level of competitiveness each year and we must never pull at straws to look for reasons as to why some did not receive the results they may have wanted.”

Results of the large-band Panorama finals:

1st bp Renegades- DNA- 285 points

1st Massy Trinidad All Stars- Inventor-285 points

3rd Republic Bank Exodus- Long Time- 283 points

4th Proman Starlift Steel Orchestra – Pan in ‘A’ Minor remastered- 280 points

4th Desperadoes Steel Orchestra – DNA- 280 points

6th Shell Invaders Steel Orchestra – Free Up – 278.5 points

7th Nutrien Silver Stars – Inventor – 277.5 points

8th T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps- DNA- 277 points

9th First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra – Wet Me Down – 276 points

10th NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra – This Party Is It- 275 points

11th Hadco Phase II Pan Groove – Gimme Everything – 274 points