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           Date: 11.06.05

Pantonic Steel Orchestra adds Pizzazz
to MIT's Annual Caribbean Dinner

Massachusetts - 2005 New York Panorama Champions Pantonic Steel Orchestra took their awesome performances to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) one evening this past weekend.  The institution's Caribbean Club ably hosted their popular Annual Caribbean Weekend of events, including their Dinner on Friday in MIT's Julius Adam Stratton building.

The festive atmosphere had been previously set by the gracious hosts, executive members of the Caribbean Club.  They invited audience participation with a Limbo competition to the delight and amusement of all present, especially those not from the Caribbean.   This was followed by a challenge to the audience to name the artistes of popular Caribbean songs, including reggae and soca.  CDs were up for grabs for the winner of that competition, and also for the brave souls who took part next in the impromptu singing contest, with actual selections serving as backing tracks.

Christopher Chapman, president of the Caribbean Club  made the superb musical arrangements for the event.   Executive committee member Michelle Aquing explained that this celebration was an annual affair on the MIT campus.  Though Trinidadian herself, Aquing was mindful to point out that it was unmistakably a Caribbean affair - as evidenced by the musical variety and the diverse and scrumptious buffet - and not a Trinidadian event.  Caribbean culinary specialties and favorites were the order of the night on the menu.  After what was obviously an enjoyable repast - bare evidence of which could still be seen on the tables - the steel orchestra brought the dinner attendees to their feet, playing for just over an hour.

 On this occasion Pantonic Steel Orchestra, normally one-hundred strong on a panorama night, was represented by a skilled stage side contingent of thirteen musicians and was the live band of choice for the evening's entertainment.  The orchestra delighted the audience who were taken on a musical journey which kept building as it went through varied music genres of pop, classic, R & B and soca. 

Selections which struck particular chords with the crowd included Pantonic's interpretation of John Lennon's Imagine, which had a group of students doing the "Electric Slide."  But what initially got the crowd up and out of their chairs was Lord Nelson's Disco Daddy from the steel orchestra's upcoming CDAfter that, crowd pleasers would include Shania Twain's You're Still The One and an infectious reggae favorite Still In Love.  Before closing off their performance with When Will I See You Again, Pantonic's performance of their panorama championship arrangement of Action was met with amazement as they went through a few key passages.  The dancers paused in awe in the middle of their steps and turned and applauded the musicians as they raced through complex runs of the musical arrangement.  This can be regarded as a fitting tribute not only to the dexterity of the musicians, but also to the masterful talents of Action's arranger, Clive Bradley, who also celebrated his sixty-ninth birthday on Friday (click here for pictorial birthday tribute).

At the end of the evening, Michelle Aquing and Christopher Chapman took turns in thanking the audience and all those involved who helped make the evening a success.  Chapman singled out for special mention their supporters and associations who were in part responsible for funding the event, noting that without them it would not have been possible.

Pantonic Steel Orchestra may be contacted via email at or telephone:  1 (718) 434-0231.

The executive committee of MIT's Caribbean Club,
with members of Pantonic Steel Orchestra after their performance

C. Phillips, Basement Press Corp.
2005 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

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