At 30-years-old, arranger Marlon White says he has achieved almost everything in the pan world (Single Pan) that is available to him to this point.
The self-taught musician took Marsicans Steel Orchestra to the National Panorama Single Pan title for the first time and has accepted the tie with Trinidad East Side Symphony as a great achievement.
His arrangement of “Say Say”, a Winsford Devine composition vocalised by Baron was exceptional and the Carnival Thursday night audience on the final night, at Skinner Park, San Fernando showed their approval.
White says he has been around music for some time but only started in 2000 and has been arranging for ten years, starting in 2006. He admits he comes from a musical family as his father Michael plays the piano and he followed suit learning both piano and keyboards.
In his ten years as an arranger White, took eight years to plough through all competition before him. As conductor and arranger for Marsicans he took the Pan Down Memory Lane title in 2008 and 2010. In 2012 he won Arima Fest and the National Music Festival in 2013 arranging the test piece.
Other accolades include the title of Arima Panorama Champions 2013 and 2015 and his big win this year National Panorama Single Pan 2016. This impressive list of titles also puts Marscians in the history books.
Marscians was once a conventional band in the late 60’s early 70’s but folded.
According to manager Cindy Rosemin “The band came back as a Pan Round the Neck side in 1989 and has been on the rise since.” She says the band won the National Music Festival in 2002 but White was not the arranger then. She confirmed that Marlon White was a player with Marscians before he became the arranger.
The quiet yet assertive arranger says his one wish is to arrange for a large band in the National Panorama competition but for now he is starting at the lower end. This year he arranged for Nu Tones in the Small Band division and missed out on the final by two points with his arrangement of David Rudder’s “Dust In Dey Face”.
White says he will concentrate on the development of the one-time National Panorama Champions (Large) Nu-Tones to bring them back to their glory days. In 1998, Nu Tones won the National Panorama title with a Clive Bradley arrangement of David Rudder’s “High Mas” and shocked the pan world.
Even though White has a day job with Scotiabank he remains committed to the steelband movement and will continue arranging to make his dream come true.