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Pan Community Launches High Tech Protest - Calls Out Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister

Steelband Panorama 2011 Countdown

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Panorama petition
Panorama petition

Global - In what has to be considered an unprecedented approach to conflict resolution and highlighting of issues within the steelpan music community - members of the steelpan music fraternity have launched an internet-based initiative.  It is a petition to garner global support for their concerns and grievances over the way proposed funding for this year’s [2011] steel orchestra music panorama competitions has been allocated by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

The main point of contention is the announcement of the reduction in funding for the player stipends. Evidently, the controversy began when increased prize money announcements and pledges while on her campaign trail were made last year by the now-Prime Minister, but have now turned into what is perceived  to being disproportionate  prize increases across the cultural stakeholders but simultaneous stipend reduction for the steelpan musicians.

Trinidad and Tobago currently has the most steelpan musicians in the world. It is the Mecca of all things related to steelpan music culture. And its annual panorama competition is the largest gathering of tuned percussion musicians in the world. The event attracts thousands of fans and enthusiasts from all over to the competitions every year, as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival celebrations.  In addition, thousands of panists participate in the prestigious competition over a two-month season.

The online petition calls for the reversal of the recent cabinet-approved decrease of funding for the steelpan panorama musicians. 

The newfound freedom and ease of direct connection with the fans and practitioners of the genre, has resulted in a profound increase in the amount of entries into the discipline in recent years. It has also opened up additional markets for the music in foreign countries, colleges and entertainment venues.

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