- Traveling abroad for a major competition is never easy.
Traveling to Antigua for the eccentric Five Alive
competition with the expectation of winning is, at best,
normally wishful thinking. The Antiguans are that good
at this music/theatre contest. It's their invention
and they have dominated the event since it's inception.
Many other nations have participated in this competition and
have shown themselves as worthy competitors - all
seeking to take the top prize back home with them. Past
regional and international competitors have included, Grenada, St. Vincent,
Trinidad & Tobago, New York, and the UK to name a few.
However, none have been able to get the job done.
This year there was a greater general anticipation of the championship
being up for grabs as the undisputed champions, Musical Youth,
winners of five championships in the past seven years,
decided to take a break and not participate in this year's
event, but instead take in the show as honored spectators. Even
with this opportunity the chance of foreigners taking the prize
seemed still very remote. In the past most of the
foreigners seem to get discombobulated trying to get the
'right blend' between musicianship and stage theatrics.
Golden Hands on stage
for Five Alive competition
This year Golden Hands from Trinidad & Tobago definitely got the proper blending of
judging categories right. They dropped a 'def'
arrangement of King Short Shirt's "Tourist Leggo" with a
wicked, crowd attention-grabbing skit. What makes this
'win' even more amazing, is that Golden Hands
has never before performed in Antigua, so therefore never
took part in their Five Alive contest, or any
similarly-conceived event. Foreign bands in the past
who have participated, found it challenging and even
frustrating, to adapt to the spontaneous concept of the
competition. Golden Hands triumphed in this
department. They went home with all the money (and a
plaque). Whatever strategies they used worked to perfection.
With the crowning of
Trinbago's Golden Hands as 2006 'Five Alive' champions the
field has become wide open. There is a very strong
suspicion among the steelband community that the undefeated Musical Youth will come out of
their 'early retirement' to try to reclaim their title and to
bring the championship back to Antigua & Barbuda. We also
anticipate that due to the growing international popularity of the
event and increase in prize money - $2,006 dollars US -
five-person squads from all over the world will be heading to
Antigua in 2007.
Countries, musical organizations and/or ensembles interested
in participating in the 2007 'Five Alive' competition should
contact the Moods of Pan organizers,
Gemonites Steel Orchestra. Corporate entities
desiring to sponsor a team or take advantage of the
2007 marketing and advertising opportunities of the 'Five
Alive' contest should contact Gemonites immediately .
here for 2006 Five Alive Rules