Global - There was joy in both camps, with the happy result for defending Single Pan Band champs San Juan East Side Symphony playing “Fantastic Friday,” and Pan Jammers, also champions. San Juan East Side performed on the evening of Thursday February 27, but it was in the early hours of Friday morning when the results were made known, turning the experience indeed for them, into a “Fantastic Friday.” The band had been determined to hang on for that fourth consecutive title, and they did as they returned with arranger Duvone Stewart. Equally thrilled were the players of Pan Jammers who delivered sweet sounds on pan with Baron’s “This Melody Sweet.” Arranger Nicholas Singh developed the musical tale that was theirs to tell on steel.
Things had got off to what seems, a sometimes customary late start – this time around two hours – for the Single Pan Band and the Small Steel Orchestra Finals component of the 2014 Trinidad & Tobago Panorama season. The advertised start time at the Skinner Park, San Fernando, south Trinidad venue had been 6:00 p.m. The 2013 winners San Juan East Side Symphony were first up with “Fantastic Friday” and impressed the judges enough from position one on the playing card, to share the title.
After several ‘crowd-favorited’ renditions by the Single Pan Bands, La Creole Pan Groove playing Bunji Garlin’s “Carnival Tabanca” as arranged by Yohan Popwell, closed off the Single Pan Band finals. At precisely 11:00 p.m. local time, the final notes were struck - which ended what was a total of sixteen final-night performances, all competing for championship bragging rights and the initial key prize purse of $200,000. Just under thirty minutes later, the second competitive arena was fired up by the first of the small steel orchestras.
There were sixty-three starters out of the gate in the Single Pan Band preliminaries, but just sixteen finalists made the cut. Notwithstanding the “ties” in the final standings, prize purses from second through sixteenth place originally ranged from TT $120,000 through TT $60,000. However the amounts were finally distributed, Single Pan Band finalists were probably quite pleased that they were able to leave the venue with their checks in hand. It was 3:10 a.m. when the house announcer shared results, after both segments of the competitive show were completed.