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Grenada Steel Band Panorama 2005

NCB Angel Harps marks
40th Anniversary

with 2005 Panorama Championship

NCB Angel Harps Steel Orchestra last Saturday returned to winners row with an emphatic victory at the National Panorama Championships held at the Tanteen Netball Courts.

NCB Angel Harps Carnival Tuesday 2005

Playing a James Clarkson composition and arrangement of “B Flat Melody” the Harps scored a total of 273 points, beating last year’s winners River Road Pan Wizards into second place with Commancheros placing third and Florida All Stars fourth.

The win marked the return of the Harps to the top after an absence of five years. The Orchestra last won Panorama in 1999 when the competition was also held at Tanteen. Playing in first position, the Harps set the tone for the night and sent a strong message with their performance of Clarkson’s melodic arrangement with tempo, clarity, energy and sweet pan music. They set a standard that was never surpassed on the night.

The victory this year was the Harps’ eleventh Championship win, and is the most by a steel orchestra in Grenada. The win also represented a hat trick of victories at Tanteen for NCB Angel Harps making them the only Steel Orchestra to have won the competition at Tanteen. Most of all though, winning on Saturday ‘gave us the biggest birthday gift we could have hoped for’ said Gerry Tamar, Captain of the Orchestra, ‘and in any case we couldn’t have let anyone come into our own backyard and beat us’.

For James Clarkson, it was a sweet return to winners row with an arrangement that was reminiscent of earlier championship years as we wove a beautiful, sweet weave around B Flat Melody. It was also an excellent execution of a sweet but technically difficult arrangement by youngsters, most of whom were playing in their first panorama competition.

It was a fitting result for Grenada’s oldest Steel Orchestra which came from humble beginnings forty years ago when George Croney, the Boyke brothers, George Coard and others formed the Angel Harps Steel Orchestra in 1965. Since then, Angel Harps has grown into an “institution of pan” and has remained a part of the greater Carenage area, the community where the orchestra was born. “Hundreds, maybe as much as one thousand persons have been a part of this Institution called Angel Harps over the last forty years” says Secretary of the Orchestra, David Seales. “The Orchestra has provided and will continue to provide an avenue of meaningful involvement for our youth in the area of steel pan music. This is one of the main objectives of the orchestra and one which will ensure the continuity and future success of the orchestra”. Seales said that the composition of the orchestra for panorama is “predominantly made up of youths who have come through the orchestra’s Learners program and the Junior Orchestra program which are both annual undertakings of the orchestra.” The Orchestra also conducts the pan programs for the Anglican High School, TA Marryshow Community College and the St. George’s University

By David Seales

All photos compliments of  David Seales ©2005

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