Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines - More than a hat-trick, to make their own mark on history, steel orchestras from St. Vincent & the Grenadines will now have to surpass the ‘beaver trick’—four championships in a row—racked up by the 2012 Panorama champs, Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra, ‘prophetically’ attired in gold shirts and headbands offset by white pants. Titles for the years 2009-2012 are firmly under the band’s belt as they triumphed for yet another time in results which were announced at 1:00 a.m. on Friday July 6th. Seven steel orchestras took the stage in a steelpan segment that lasted just over two and a half hours at Carnival City’s Victoria Park in the capital of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Kingstown. An annual gala affair entitled Steel and Glitter, the country’s annual steelband panorama competition came together with mas presentations for a music-filled and colorful affair.
Showing up with fifty-two musicians playing instruments tuned by Sherwin Pierre, Sion Hill Euphonium fielded just two more players than their closest rivals, second-placed Starlift Steel Orchestra, who once again failed in their attempt to dethrone the reigning Pan champs. Seion Gomez was again in the arranger’s chair leading the eventual winners to victory with his arrangement and their execution of “Pan Revolution.” As the last steelband on stage for the evening, Sion Hill finished with a flourish, a simply superior performance at 10:48 p.m.
The top three bands for 2011 retained the same positions for 2012 – Sion Hill Euphonium, Starlift and Potential steel orchestras copped first, second and third places respectively. It was their performance of Becket’s “Mas At Victoria”—first released back in 1976—as arranged by Kingsley Roberts, which secured first-runner up honors for Starlift. Interestingly, the junior arms of both steel orchestras—Sion Hill Euphonium and Starlift—also mirror their big brothers & sisters with the identical results in the July 1st 2012 Junior Pan Fest, taking the title and second place.
One more band was added to the competition roster this year – the young steel orchestra Georgetown All Stars brought to seven the number of bands in the 2012 Senior Panorama. Georgetown is one of the bands coming out of the country’s Pan Against Crime Initiative, the others being South East Steel Orchestra, which took the stage with about thirty players, and Dynamic Stars from Union Island. After starting off in St. Vincent’s Junior Pan Fest, Dynamic Stars (the smallest band of the night with a contingent of around seventeen) has now seen its third year of competition among the ‘big guns’ in the senior event. Third-runner up Elite Steel Orchestra took a patriotic stand performing Ziggy’s “Vincy Sweet and Nice” while dressed in the country’s national colors.
In addition to taking in the Mas competition and the Panorama, the small audience gathered at Carnival City also got a preview of the contestants for the Ms. Carival 2012 competition, capped off by a sweet and jumpy session from soca singer Benjai. The show was carried live once again on Star 98.3 FM, and in its entirety, though the quality was not stellar. Sister national station 99.9 We FM’s feed was superior, and also carried the entire Panorama segment.
2012 Panorama Results - St. Vincent & the Grenadines
|Placing||Band||Selection / Performer||Arranger|
|1st||Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra||Pan Revolution (Carlos “Rejector” Providence)||Seion Gomez|
|2nd||Starlift Steel Orchestra||Mast At Victoria (Becket)||Kingsley Roberts|
|3rd||Potential Steel Orchestra||Set It Off (Winston Soso)|
|4th||Elite Steel Orchestra||Vincy Sweet and Nice (Ziggy)|
|Dynamic Stars Steel Orchestra||Woodlice In My Pocket (Defoe)|
|Georgetown All Stars Steel Orchestra||Wake Up The Party (Scorcher)||Septimus Cain|
|South East Steel Orchestra||Pan Dream (Skarpyon)||Marla Nanton|
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