Panorama 2003 The Aftermath
A Pan Management Perspective


“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 separate voices.




©2003 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.


Date: 10.04.03


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