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August is steelband month

Friday, July 25, 2014
Panorama 2014 Silver Stars. PHOTO: Abraham Diaz

It’s that time again when Pan Trinbago commemorates its annual Steelband Month with a plethora of events almost every day in the month of August, and beyond. However, even before the new month begins there is steelband activity this evening as the Northern Region of Pan Trinbago stages the 123 Plus Concert, at Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Pan Theatre, Hamilton Street, Woodbrook, at 7 pm. 

Premiered last year, this event showcases the top three steel orchestras in the National Panorama final, with guest performers, at their respective panyards. Tonight’s programme features 2014 National Panorama winner Phase II and guests bpTT Renegades and Witco Desperadoes. 

Pan Trinbago’s Steelband Month will be celebrated in August with a host of events during the month and a few scheduled in September. The schedule of events dates from August 2 to September 1. Some of those listed are organised by the steelband parent body and its regions while others, like the Laventille Steelband Festival, Arima Fest and Pan on The Avenue, are supported by the association. 

Some of the premier events are Pan by the Seaside, Clifton Hill, Point Fortin (August 2); The Jit Samaroo Benefit Concert (August 8); Pan Trinbago Youth Boat Ride (August 13); Pan Exhibition (August 25 -29); South/Central Pan Chutney competition (August 30); culminating with an Independence Fiesta (September 1). 

As has been the norm, Pan Trinbago’s Interfaith Service on August 3 at the Massy Trinidad All Stars Pan Theatre, Duke Street, Port-of-Spain, is the official start of the month-long programme. High point of the service is the blessing of the steelbands’ flags.

Over the following days, activities include a visit to the Foundation Stone at the Multi-Purpose Complex, St Paul Street, East Dry River (August 7); a seminar themed Pan, Progress & Patent at Nalis, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain (August 5); Bad John Day, Defenders of the Pan at the bp Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain, (August 14); and, the Pan Trinbago Awards Function (August 12). 

The latter is a gala event, which for the first time since its inception, will be held in San Fernando, at the National Academy of the Performing Arts, South Campus, (Sapa). 

A number of contributors to the steelband movement will be honoured by their peers. 

Pan In De Countryside has been added to the programme and will take place on August 16 at Gilbert Park, Couva. 

Selected bands are Couva Joylanders, PSC Nitrogen Silver Stars, Skiffle, T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, Longdenville Claytones and Humming Bird Pan Groove. 

Independence Day brunches at various panyards/theatres also make up the August itinerary. Carded for Independence Day, August 31, these include Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, White Oak Starlift and CAL Invaders. 

Samaroo wins Panorama 

Amrit Samaroo won St Lucia Panorama championship last Friday night. The arranger for Trinidad’s Supernovas of Lopinot, this year’s National Panorama small bands champion, he arranged Dream Big, his own composition for Pan Times. Lyrics for the composition were penned by TC Brown. This is the second consecutive year that Pan Times has won the title. Last year the band won with Samaroo’s arrangement of It’s Pan Time, another original piece. 

Back at his Surrey Village home, Samaroo, son of legendary Renegades arranger Jit Samaroo, is up to his eyeballs in work in the Supernovas panyard preparing for busy month of August. 

Speaking to Pulse this week, Samaroo said: “It is a good feeling to win again. It’s been a long time I’ve been involved with pan in St Lucia, since 2005. I actually cut my teeth arranging for senior Panorama in St Lucia.” 

Supernovas, a relatively new steel orchestra, has been making waves in pan winning fans along the way. The band is managed by Anthony Samaroo and its vice captain is Caley Persad. 

Samaroo added: “I am doing some new music and preparing Supernovas for the hectic schedule ahead for Steelband Month. I didn’t actually leave for St Lucia as I was involved with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra for its Pan on the Higher Note concert on August 2-3 at Napa. 

“Beyond this, I am keen on retaining the small band championship title in 2015, as well as improve on the showings with my other two bands, Nostalgic and Melodians.”

Pan Trinbago Steelband Month agenda:

• August 3 (10 am) – Interfaith Service – Massy Trinidad All Stars Pan Theatre, Duke Street, Port-of-Spain; 

•August 3 (4 pm) - Laventille Steelband Festival – Eastern Main Road, Success Village, Laventille;

• August 5 (1 pm) – Seminar: Pan, Progress & Patent – Nalis, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain;

• August 7 (2 pm) – Visit to Foundation Stone – Multi-Purpose Complex, St Paul Street, Port-of-Spain;

• August 8 (8 pm) – Jit Samaroo Benefit Concert – Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain;

• August 9 (7 pm) – Arima Fest – Arima;

• August 12 (7 pm) – Pan Trinbago Awards –Southern Academy of the Performing Arts (Sapa), South Campus, cor Todd Street and Rienzi-Kirton Highway, San Fernando;

• August 13 (10 am) – Pan Trinbago Youth Boat Ride – Treasure Queen, Pier 2, Chaguaramas; 

• August 14 (7 pm) – Bad John Day (Defenders of the Pan) – bpTT Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain;

• August 15 (6 pm) – Northern Region Pan Lime – The Harvard, Serpentine Road, St James; 

• August 16 (5 pm) – Pan in the Countryside, feat Couva Joylanders, PSC Nitrogen Silver Stars, Skiffle, T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, Longdenville Claytones and Humming Bird Pan Groove – Gilbert Park, Couva;

• August 23 (8 am) – Pan on the Avenue;

• August 25-29 – Pan Exhibition – The Foyer, Central Bank, Independence Square, Port-of-Spain;

• August 30 (8 pm) – South/Central Region Chutney Competition – Petrotrin Sports Club, Pointe-a-Pierre;

• August 31 (7 am) – Independence Day Brunch – panyards of Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, CAL Invaders, White Oak Starlift; 

• September 1 (4 pm) – Independence Fiesta – Tragarete Road, Woodbrook.


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