New York Steelbands receive
Panorama 2003 prizes
 

At their Annual Prize Award Event, the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association, Inc., WIADCA, hosted and recognized the talents of carnival masqueraders - individuals and band leaders alike - and steel orchestras who participated in the events running up to and on Labor Day, September 1, 2003.   The Panorama which this year fielded no less than fifteen competing steelbands was held the Saturday preceding Labor Day - August 30.

Steelbands received their respective prizes for performances at this year's New York Panorama held at the grounds of the Brooklyn Children's Museum.  The ceremony was the final phase of an evening filled with entertainment and prize-giving and took place on Friday November 14, 2003 at Prospect Park's Picnic House in Brooklyn, New York.

The third, second and first prize winners (D'Radoes, CASYM and Pantonic Steel Orchestras) of this year's competition, in that order - received their long-anticipated trophies and prize monies.  The financial recompense was especially welcome as several if not most steelbands find themselves greatly out of pocket after each and every pan season.  While the monies steel orchestras receive as prizes are indeed a very far cry from the expenses they put out to get to the point of competing, every little bit helps, as the saying goes.

Sonatas Steel Orchestra and Marsicans Steel Orchestra tied for fourth place.  Each of the remaining participating steelbands - Despers USA, ADLIB, Dem Stars, Moods, Pan Phonic, Caribbean Youth Panoramics, Harmony, Crossfire, Women In Steel and Sesame Flyers, received a trophy for their efforts.  A special award was given to amplified steelband Pan Ivory for their contribution over the years.

Accepting trophy, prize money and kudos on behalf of third prize winners D'Radoes Steel Orchestra was Junior "Mann" Samuel and little Victoria Samuel.  For CASYM - long standing band-member Michelle Williams collected on the band's behalf, and for 2003 Panorama champions Pantonic Steel Orchestra, band captain Keith Roberts, band member Nicole Gibbons and several other core players triumphantly received their trophy and financial recognition from WIADCA president Yolanda Lezama-Clark.

Several of the pan fraternity noticed the total absence of any visual representation of any New York Steelband in the multi-page glossy publication which WIADCA proudly gave out to attendees of Friday night's ceremony.  It was of concern to some of the various members of the fifteen steelbands which took part in the Panorama competition.  They asked if there was an acceptable reason as to why there was not one single picture of any of them featured - especially from the competition itself?  Interestingly though there appeared two small pictures of two Trinidad steelbands from that country's own Panorama earlier in 2003.

The steelband people commented that they have cause to pause when a glaring omission such as this occurs.  They thought it was now prudent to take time to evaluate just how much respect is accorded them as artists in their own right by any promoter for an event, annual Labor Day celebrations included.

 

By CP - Basement Press Release Writer
 

 

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2003 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Date: 11.16.03

 

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