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           Date: 09.12.05

Pan In The Park
The unofficial 'goodbye'
to the 2005 New York pan season
 

Brooklyn, New York - Despers USA, CASYM, Women In Steel, Utopia Pan Soul: The Next Generation, Pantonic and Dem Stars steel orchestras, all came together to bid an unofficial 'goodbye' to New York's 2005 pan season.  This was a non-competitive event, where the bands and pan patrons alike got to enjoy the music.  The event was the brainchild of Claudette Baptiste, president of Women In Steel, who worked closely with Pantonic's president Glenda Gamory and JC Alliance's Yvette Rennie.  The trio was later joined by Unique Sounds' Lynette Pascall who volunteered her services.

The venue was Prospect Park Circle, corner of Parkside and Coney Island Avenues.  Many people thought the pan event was around the area of Prospect Park more familiar to the Caribbean community in the vicinity of Ocean and Parkside Avenues.  The word quickly spread on the cell phones to those 'lost souls' and many more people were soon seen arriving for the afternoon's musical event.  It is safe to assume that there were some who never arrived, not knowing the exact location.

Perhaps the Coney Island and Parkside Avenue location of the event (apparently other events were already scheduled for the more familiar terrain on the other side of Prospect Park) was a factor which led to the unplanned, smaller-than-usual stage sides from most of the six steel orchestras present.

Dem Stars with Visionary Award

Reportedly, even before the steel orchestras struck the first note, New York's finest appeared on the scene and made Dem Stars pack up some of their instruments, saying that the bands could not have more than ten musicians.  Dem Stars' stage side normally fields between twenty and twenty-five players, so this was more than a fifty-percent forced reduction.  Other arriving bands were made aware of the restriction, and took out an appropriate number of instruments for ten players each.

 


Despers USA Management with
Pan Visionary award

At any length When Steel Talks  was there in the early afternoon, and witnessed the event which brought out even more and more pan lovers as the evening wore on.  Dem Stars kicked off the event at 3:35 PM, and had a stint of more than forty-five minutes, apparently due largely to the fact that none of the other invited steel orchestras were ready to perform.  Some players from the other bands had not arrived as yet.  But the initial crowd on hand were just happy that the pan music had begun to flow, even if the steelband stage side contingents were not as large as they normally were.  Women In Steel, then Pantonic followed Dem Stars.

Utopia Pan Soul:  The Next Generation with Pan Visionary Award

By the time the event was mid-way through, the crowd numbered in the hundreds as more music lovers found their way to the correct area of Prospect Park.  Those in attendance had expanded beyond the traditional pan community to include visitors to the park, some with their children, who stopped and stayed to witness what was for them, an unexpected but totally delightful musical spectacle.  Brooklyn News 12 was also on hand to report on the event.  Despers USA and Utopia Pan Soul:  The Next Generation would eventually bring the curtain down on the event.

Women In Steel

The organizers presented each participating steel orchestra with tokens of appreciation in the form of framed certificates, and compact but attractive trophies inscribed "Pan Visionaries 2K+   -  1st Annual "Rhythm and Steel" 2005.  The rhythm segment was supposed to feature the drummers from each band in a "play-off" which, because of the late start, did not materialize.  Additionally, each band received a box of school supplies and other goodies to distribute to the young pannists in their bands.

Despite the late start, it's congratulations to a successful pan extravaganza, to Claudette Baptiste, Glenda Gamory, Yvette Rennie and assisted by Lynette Pascall.  The organizers plan to make this an annual item on the New York pan calendar.  What would make it pan-perfect, is an effort on the part of all involved to have a more timely start, so that the "rhythm shootout" would be enjoyed by all present.  Additionally, since it is an invitational musical event, it would be efficient and allow for strategic marketing, if interested steel orchestras received invitations confirmed months in advance so that their spot in the line-up can be taken by other and national and international steel orchestras should they be unable to honor their commitment.

So - the future is looking bright for pan, and also for the young people involved. This post-panorama steelpan extravaganza put together by these "Pan Visionaries" is a marketing and advertising dream for prospective sponsors. The youth are the future of any given movement, and those who came together on Sunday were no different. The school supplies given to participating young musicians struck proper chords with them and their parents alike.

The event promoted harmony and the culture of a people, but additionally created an opportunity for bands to market themselves outside of the New York panorama season, while attracting many of the residents of that Prospect Park area who are a cross-section of the upper-middle class New York consumer population not normally exposed to steelpan. The location of the event in a non-Caribbean setting brought the steelpan art form to the forefront yet again, as it caught and held the attention of people who are not part of the traditional Caribbean/pan community, but who are in fact representative of the target audience traditionally wooed by big businesses.


 

CASYM's' captain Travis Roberts
with Pan Visionary Award

It is almost the end of summer in New York, and this Sunday steelband show was simply a great way to celebrate the unofficial end of yet another pan season in New York.  The success was so much in evidence, as people milled around, extremely disappointed that the six o'clock 'curfew' had been maintained by the NYPD.  Obviously, they wished that the event had been allowed to go on longer.  After all, it was still bright outside, with some stragglers still making their way to the site, only to realize that they had missed the pan performances, and that the shut-down time as advised of 6:00 PM had been strictly enforced by the police.  Maybe next year the pan community would be more fortunate, and be allowed to proceed until nine o'clock, as African drummers around the other side of the park were allowed to.  Pan lovers would certainly be in their glee.

The organizers were appreciative of the all-round support they received from participants, the audience, and all others concerned with the successful outcome of the Pan In The Park event.

C. Phillips, Basement Press Corp.
2005 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

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PANTONIC STEEL
The Music of Champions

Pan 4 All Seasons
www.Pantonic.com
1-718-434-0231

 

WOMEN IN STEEL
Beautiful Pan Music

Pan 4 All Seasons
WIS
1-718-629-2471

 

GEMONITES
Moods of  Pan

1-268-480 5647
Antigua
www.Gemonites.com

 

UTOPIA PAN SOUL
The Next Generation

1-718-756-1502
A New York Original
UTOPIA

 

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Pan In New York
2005

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The yard recordings are available from participating orchestras (CrossFire, Sonatas, CASYM, Sesame, Marsicans, Pantonic and D'Radoes
click to hear samples

1-718-421-2042

 
 

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