Pan Explosion 2004

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival.


The fifth annual British Association of Steel bandsí Pan Explosion was held on Sunday 2nd May 2004 at the Tabernacle in Powis Square, London. Unlike the English weather at this time of the year, this spring day was perfect for hosting the event, bright and warm as if blessed by the heavens.  Dallaway Steelband performed in the foyer of the Tabernacle entertaining the crowd before the start of the show.


The British Association of Steelbands (BAS) is proud to have initiated and developed this competition.  Its concept is to encourage younger players under the age of twenty-five for the ensembles competition and thirty for the soloistís competition.  2004 being the fourth year the soloistís competition is in existence.


The objectives of the competition are to

         Encourage younger players to develop their arranging and performing skills.

         Encourage the composition and production of compositions written especially for pan.

         Provide an environment in which the talents and dexterity of young players can be displayed.


Entry is open to all members and member bands of BAS. Each competing Ensemble comprising of no more than six players is required to perform two selections in any musical style. One piece must be an original (own composition written by individual(s) aged twenty five years or younger and the other being a tune of choice. Both selections must include a pan solo, to be clearly identifiable within the arrangements.


As the theme for all of BASís 2004 events is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival it was only fitting for the show to be opened by veteran pan player, Russell Henderson, his steelband, the Russell Henderson Steelband, was the first to play at the 1964 Notting Hill Neighbourhood Festival organised by Rhaune Lasette. This event has progressed to become the Notting Hill Carnival as we know it today.  Russell opened the show with two catchy tunes played on his pan slung around his neck as he had done forty years ago. He was proud to announce that he was eighty years old and still going strong.


The pan soloist competition followed and was fiercely contested by all six players.  In the end the victory went to Samuel Dubois of Ebony with second place going to Carl Nash of Dallaway, third position was awarded to Justin ĎRedzí Richardson of Metronomes with  fourth place going to the first female competitor in this competition, Belinda Stevens of the Croydon Steel Orchestra. Fifth and six places were awarded to seventeen year old Ryan Eastmond and sixteen year old Dwayne Xavier of Mangrove Steelband respectively.


Robert Clarke and Friends entertained the crowd during the interval with some wonderful and enjoyable Pan Jazz music. Look out for them at the BAS Annual Awards on the 5th December 2004 at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury.


The ensemble competition saw Ebony Steelband retained its title under the musical directorship of Carline Etienne. In second place was the Ebony Millennium Volunteers steelband led by Samuel Dubois with Croydon Steel Orchestra under the guidance of Belinda Stevens attaining third place.


The MC on the night was none other than Martin Jay of Choice FM 96.9 with DJ Sugar K of Unique FM 102.2 pumping out sweet pan and soca music all night. Judges on the night were Gerald Forsyth, Princess Rollock and Kyron Akal.  


BAS now looks forward to hosting and supporting yet another highly charged and competitive explosion of pan revealing the innovative skills and talents of the many young pan musicians aspiring to explore the vast avenues of musicianship available to them in 2005.


Pan Podium

All photos by Pan Podium -  © Pan Podium 2004



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Date: 05.06.04


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