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Sleeping Judges - When Less Is More...

New York - September 26,  2004 

By Winifred Lu

Time for preliminaries...
I recently saw a picture of a judge sleeping at the 2004 NY panorama and thought to myself "that poor tortured soul."  Is it really his fault?  Should he blamed for lacking the capacity to stay awake through the performances of thirteen (13) bands in one night?  Assuming the individual took his judging duties seriously, in whatever capacity he was operating that night, it may be time to reconsider the current structure for panorama judging in New York.  Moreover, panyard judging and some sort of preliminary system to reduce the number of bands performing on panorama night are seriously needed.

Fortunately for that "tortured soul", the many pictures of him asleep have not yet started circulating on the internet.  However, it is only a matter of time...

A show featuring no more than eight of the top NY bands plus the previous year's champion would go a long way towards reducing the physical and mental demand of adjudicating a Steelband music panorama.  Furthermore, it would increase the overall quality of the show.  In this case, less is definitely more.

Steelband Panoramas represent the world championship of pan in the respective countries where they are held.  This means the best players, best management, best arrangers, best tuners, and instruments, all operating at peak performance.  This is what I expect to see and hear when I come to a panorama,  I do not want to see my grandchild or anyone else's family member behind a pan unless they can play that pan like Michael Jordan plays basketball (and like Keisha Codrington plays pan).  I can support and see my family perform on any other day.

An admittance into panorama finals should be earned, not a default result for just showing up.

Until a change in the current system is made I recommend that judges stock up on cups of coffee, tea or a cans of soda pop before panorama...


By Winifred Lu
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