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Tobago band strikes first note for Panorama 2013
Pan Fanatics Steel Orchestra, of Mason Hall, Tobago, had the distinction of being the first band to sound a musical note in Panorama 2013 on Thursday night. Occasion was the start of panyard judging in the preliminary round of the Single Pan Bands category which opened this year’s competition, hosted by Pan Trinbago, that is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Panorama, and dedicated to late pan technician Bertie Marshall.
The compound of the Mason Hall Government School was where the Anthea Balfour-led Pan Fanatics, on instruments tuned by Gerard “Panman” Balfour, presented its tune of choice, Breakaway, composed in 1995 by Leon Frisco Gray and sung by Steve Sealy, before the judging panel comprising Roger Saldenha, Ian Anthony, Joanna Scott and Damien Phillip.
President of Pan Trinbago Keith Diaz, in brief opening remarks, reminded attendees that Tobago was part of the first Panorama staged in 1963, as segments of that competition took place there, as well as in San Fernando. “The executive of Pan Trinbago is pleased to be here with you to share this special moment in steelband history,” he said.
“We note the vibrancy and enthusiasm of these young players which lead us to believe that serious energy will be the hallmark of performances in this historic Panorama of 2013.” Newly-elected chairman of the Tobago zone of Pan Trinbago Marie Toby made an appeal to residents of Mason Hall to continue giving full support to their community band and, by extension, the steelband movement.
“This band is a product of your community,” she said. “Its players are your sons and daughters. Give them your support. Encourage them on their musical journeys that we expect would serve to fashion them into the type of citizens of whom we can all be proud.”
Next location was the village of Hope where two orchestras presented their contributions to the adjudicating panel.
Hope Pan Groovers, led by Tony “Pan Jumbie” Williams, offered the late Maestro’s (Cecil Hume) 1976 composition Gold, arranged by Williams on pans tuned by Lloyd Gay and Rodney Stowe, while nearby neighbour Get Down On It, led by Natalia Alexander, chose All Over, composed and sung by Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez and Baron (Timothy Watkins). Its pans also were tuned by Stowe.
Final stop of the night was across at Pembroke where Metro Stars Steel Orchestra awaited on the compound of the Pembroke Village Community Centre. Led by Steve Jack, the aggregation, on instruments tuned by Mario Joseph, presented Jack’s arrangement of Vibes, composed by Ken “Professor” Philmore and Mark Loquan, and sung by Destra Garcia.
Panorama competition resumes in Tobago on January 17 with preliminary round panyard judging of bands in the Small and Medium categories.