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Antigua & Barbuda’s 2012 National Panorama Line-up - Bands, Tunes, Arrangers

Global -  It’s time once more for the annual Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama competition, and six steel orchestras will vie for the 2012 championship title on August 2 at Carnival City in St. John’s.   East Vibes Steel Orchestra is expected to throw their hat into the musical battle ring with around 60 players.  Ebonites, who celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year, look to field about 100 members on stage.

Also competing with about 100 musicians each in their ranks, are Hell’s Gate (Antigua’s oldest steel orchestra) and Halcyon.  The latter, formerly known as Hadeed Group of Companies Halcyon Steel Orchestra, has just entered into a new sponsorship arrangement with Digicel.

Gemonites Steel Orchestra  which last won Panorama in 2005, will put their best efforts forward this year with about 60-70 panists, while Harmonites sports similar numbers in 60-65 pan players.

Antigua & Barbuda’s Emmanuel McLean, known to many throughout the years as King Short Shirt, and presently as Brother Emmanuel, celebrates fifty years in the calypso business.  In homage, the majority of the selections in this year’s panorama are by Short Shirt, in recognition of his cultural significance and musical acumen.

The 2011 Panorama champion on the night of competition was Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra, but months later following an ongoing adjudication controversy, the title of ‘winner’ was also bestowed upon Halcyon Steel Orchestra who originally placed second.

Look for some serious musical sparks to be flying at this year’s event after the 2011 post-event “winner” debacle, as orchestras seek to leave no musical stone unturned in judges’ minds as to which must be 2012 Panorama champs.  Reportedly reliable sources indicate there are likely to be five judges for this year’s competition - 2 local and 3 foreign - making the decisive calls this time around.  The points system (aggregate) is to be implemented, with the highest & lowest scores for each band discarded.

Much thanks to Robin Margetson of Panache Steel Orchestra who provided the bulk of details for this story, and also the country’s 2012 Panorama data, below.

2012 Antigua & Barbuda National Panorama Line-up

Play position Band Tune Performer/  Composer Arranger Captain
1 East Vibes Jamming Short Shirt Curtis “CC” Cochrane n/a
2 Halcyon We are the Ones Short Shirt n/a
3 Gemonites Jamming Short Shirt n/a
4 Harmonites Kangaroo Jam Short Shirt n/a
5 Hell’s Gate J’Ouvert Rhythm Short Shirt Veron Henry
6 Ebonites Rev-up J’Ouvert Swallow Dayne “Wadeka” Gomes n/a

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