Global - It was around 6:25 p.m. on Sunday February 9 when Antillean All Stars struck their first notes at Skinner Park in San Fernando, south Trinidad - almost four and a half hours after the advertised 2:00 p.m. start. The band kicked off what turned out to be a field of eleven small steel orchestras in the South/Central region of competition, two less than the expected thirteen, when fellow competitors Starland Steel Orchestra and Music Makers Steel Symphony did not take the stage.
One of the bands, Tornadoes Steel Orchestra, delivered a tune they requested be written specifically for them for the 2014 Panorama season. Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel penned Musical Tornadoes for the band when they approached him to do so, as they had been pleased with his 2013 selection which had been their tune of choice. Tornadoes hopes that “Mistah Shak’s” music once again takes them, at the very least, through to the finals as was the case in 2013.
Hatters, Couva Joylanders, Trinidad Valley Harps, Pan Elders and San City Symphony were the five contenders in the medium category which followed the small steel orchestras. The event concluded after midnight, wrapping up four days of preliminary competition in as many regions - South/Central, Tobago, North and East.
Out of forty-nine small steel orchestras, twenty-one are slated to move on to the semi-finals next weekend on February 15 at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain. They join single pan semi finalists on this day. Fourteen out of the twenty-six medium steel orchestras which performed in the preliminaries are expected to move forward to the next phase in competition on February 16, also at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
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