Panorama 2003 The
A Pan Management
By NICOLE VANDERBROOK -
“Everything is looking rosy and nice in
newspapers and magazines,” said Sesame Flyer’s Keith Marcelle,
commenting on the 2003 Panorama. Words like unity, togetherness, and
harmony are being thrown around by those on the outside, by politicians
and newsmakers. So why is that within the pan world, a feeling of
discord permeates among the various steelbands?
It is now just over a month after the Panorama took place and bands
remain quite vocal on its impact, recalling it as if it had taken place
yesterday. However the memories aren’t all fond, in fact the majority
rest in the range of disappointment.
2003 marked a historical year in pan history, as the West Indian
American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) and United States Steelband
Association (USSA) joined all the bands for one giant Panorama. Fifteen
steelbands showed up behind the Brooklyn Museum on September 30th,
fifteen bands that had been working all summer in anticipation of this
one day. However most bands felt that their tremendous input was
unmatched by the rather upsetting caliber of the Panorama.
A common theme among the various bands seemed to be that the room
for improvement concerning next year’s Panorama is enormous. The two
most commented on problem areas were the sound system and the judging.
The sound lacked in showcasing the best aspects of the bands. While the
judges, who showed up late were felt to be unqualified for such an event
by most the bands.
Although the consensus among the steelbands seemed to be in step
concerning the sound system and the judging, there was a split of
opinions on the real unity among the bands. Some felt the competing
steel orchestras had finally banded together, while others saw that
despite the effort some bands stayed starkly loyal to their own members.
Franklyn Mayers, manager of Adlib, turns his focus away from the
management and technical difficulties of the Panorama and instead looks
to a deeper reasoning behind the event‘s lack of success. he attributes
it to the steelbands themselves. Namely the older members of the
steelbands, those supposedly setting the standards for the youth.
Mayers’ over all tone when speaking of some of the members within other
groups is one of heartbreak. Adlib placed 7th in the end, leaving
Mayers band on the losing side money wise. However looking back on the
Panorama and the entire season, Mayers comments, “It’s all worth it,
because of the kids, I wouldn’t do it besides that.”
Clyde Henry, the Leader of NY All Stars, shared in Mayers thought on
the problem concerning the Panorama. Henry commented, “The whole
problem with the Brooklyn pan movement, are the steel bands
themselves.” He urged the steel bands to unite, focus on a common goal,
and to recognize that not one band can do it alone.
The problems concerning the Panorama are there, hanging on the
tongues of each and every band. Yet they are still speaking with 15