Robert Cadet, Jr. - Junior Steelband Panorama Arranger

Junior Panorama Arranger for Grenada’s Pan Ossia Junior Steel Orchestra

New York, USA - Robert W. Cadet, Jr. better known as Junior Cadet, started playing Pan at the age of 10 in New York. The first band he played for is now known as Harmony Music Makers; he then moved on to Metro and other bands. In 1997 when his father, Robert Sr. from Grenada came to New York on vacation, he realized his son’s love for the Pan and bought him a tenor pan of his own. That was all the inspiration Robert Jr. needed.

In 1999 he became a member of Caribbean Youth Panoramics (CYP) under the leadership of Joseph “Franklin” Gerald and Lawrence Bell, where they not only taught members to play Pan but also to read music. Given a sheet from Mr. Franklin with the C major scale and having a tenor at home made it all come together. Every afternoon from school before homework, Robert Jr. would set that sheet in front of him and run scales. He would sit at home with his radio and try to mimic all the local songs he heard, and also try to play along with music on his tapes of Panorama performances.

Arranger Robert W. Cadet, Jr., aka “Junior”
Robert W. Cadet Jr., aka “Junior”

In 2008 while Robert Jr. was in Grenada and the junior arranger for Florida All Stars was ‘giving the band music,’ there was a section of the arrangement where he asked if he could ‘put in a part’ - to which the band arranger said “yes.” The juniors loved his input, and it became part of the song; the following year he himself went on to arrange some ‘road songs’ for the band.

When the time came that Junior’s father, Robert Cadet Sr. decided to form their own band, his son knew that he would have to step up; the new band’s membership was mostly young adults. Junior decided to add the ‘young flavor’ to the band by incorporating some of the latest music. Along with another younger player in the band, Terry Guischard, they would achieve a great combination of old and new.

In 2009 Robert Jr. (Junior) was actually propelled into becoming fully music literate, when he and ten other steelpan musicians would go to Trinidad to play with Sforzata Steel Orchestra. He was unable to get to Trinidad until the week before preliminaries so he was sent the score sheet. When he arrived in the panyard, it was simply to play. The band did not make the cut, but Junior would go on to perform with Siparia Deltones Steel Orchestra under arranger Carlton “Zanda” Alexander, where his mind was further opened to a whole new style of music.

For 2012 Junior decided to embrace the role of arranger, preparing the Panorama selection for Pan Ossia’s junior steel orchestra, which was in itself a mission.  He had to arrange and score the music for the band’s tune of choice - Music Man - from New York, and send it to the band in Grenada, where Mr. Guischard imparted it to the band, in preparation for the 2012 Junior National Panorama.

edited by C. Phillips 

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