St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. - A slate of nine steel orchestras vied for the title of Grenada’s national Panorama champion for 2016. Commancheros Steel Orchestra turned the musical tables on Angel Harps (who beat them into second place last year) and their seven other competitors, with their winning performance which gave them the top score of 278. From their appearance position halfway into the competition, Commancheros’ musicians apparently had what it took to peak in the Panorama, as far as the three-judge panel which consisted of Lennox London, Stephanie Power and Cuthbert Matthews, was concerned. All three are from Trinidad and Tobago.
Commancheros Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
The players executed Andre Greenidge’s arrangement of Inspector’s Dance, dressed in Persian blue polo shirts, black slacks and white caps, and all sixty-five Commancheros band members made their musical might felt, thoroughly enjoying themselves along the way, and capturing their fifth championship title in the process.
New Dimension Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
Two former champions Angels Harps and New Dimension steel orchestras found themselves in a tie for second place, scoring 269. Interestingly, they were two of only three steelbands taking the stage with the traditional steelband covering known as canopies. Playing sixth at 9:48 p.m., New Dimension went with Salute the Band skillfully arranged by band manager and resident arranger David ‘Peck’ Edwards. Fifty-two players dressed in full white sailor uniforms, trimmed with black ties and accents on the sailor collars and sleeves, delivered a deliberate and competent performance for fans and pan music lovers on hand at the Grenada National Stadium, the event venue.
Angel Harps Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
Angel Harps Steel Orchestra was next on stage doing its best to defend its title, but despite an invigorating presentation was not able to Take It for 2016, as the name of the band’s tune of choice dictated. Arranger James Clarkson delivered once more in his re-visioning of the piece, while sixty-eight musicians in white long-sleeved tees with “Take It” emblazoned in gold and wearing black bottoms dropped a highly commendable music showcase.
Florida All Stars Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
The Panorama opened with the anthem at 7:00 p.m., one hour later than the advertised 6:00 p.m. start. First band up was Florida All Stars with their fifty-four players smartly dressed in white nautical wear, complete with caps. Jump Up arranged by Joel Joseph was their tune of choice. Band number two won its sole championship twelve years ago. It was in 2004 when Pan Wizards took the title; and this year it eluded them once again when they placed fourth. The players clothed in white gave it their best shot as they worked with music arranged by the duo of Andre Skeete and Michael “Blaize” Robertson. Their song Sparrow was a tribute to legendary calypsonian Mighty Sparrow aka the Calypso King of the World. Though having become famous performing from his home-base of Trinidad, the iconic bard is Grenadian-born.
Pan Ossia Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
The fifty-five pan musicians of the third steel orchestra for the night were a multi-hued bunch sporting brightly-colored T-shirts, appropriately bringing to life the theme of their tune Street Party. Pan Ossia remains the youngest participant on the Grenada Panorama scene; they first competed in 2011 and placed second back then, the band’s best showing to date. They mustered fifth place this year performing their Robert K. Cadet arrangement.
Pan Lovers Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
Of the other three competitors—Grand Roy Pan Angels, Pan Lovers, and Rainbow City All Stars—only the latter has been champion before. Rainbow City All Stars triumphed sixteen years ago in 2000. But as was the case with the seven other bands, it was not their night.
The crowd on hand did not appear very large, but those who did attend surely got their fill of Pan for several hours. The final band played their last notes around 11:23 p.m.; the nine participants came and went in fairly quick succession depending on the size of the steel orchestra. Results were announced shortly before 11:45 p.m. Of note is that the master of ceremonies engaged in banter while giving the results, to the extent that he skipped over the sixth-placed band completely, and went straight from position seven to five. There was also no information shared regarding the prizes competed for, and amounts/awards to be won in this annual music contest.
Additionally, there was no presentation of trophies or any sort of
recognition done on stage. In fact, music equipment had been set up
prior to the results; and when champions Commancheros were announced
the super-excited and triumphant musicians tried to run on stage
in celebration as is the tradition, but because of the equipment they
were physical restrained by a stage hand, prevented from doing so and
physically pushed back. Still - one Commancheros band member defiantly
broke containment, ran on to the stage and proudly jumped and thrust his hand in the
air repeatedly. If the stage was off-limits, perhaps event
organizers would have considered setting up an area in front of the
stage with spotlights for presentation of awards, rather than having the
young people deprived of their moment of glory- live. Grenada’s Spicemas
Corporation is responsible for the overall Carnival celebrations and
related events such as the National Panorama competition; its CEO is
Kirk Seetahal. Let’s see what
transpires for 2017. But congratulations to all the orchestras and their
players on great all-round performances.
Grenada 2016 Panorama RESULTS
# of Players
( #5 )
( #7 )
Angel Harps Steel Orchestra
( #6 )
New Dimension Steel Orchestra
|Salute The Band
David “Peck” Edwards
Bertram “Birch” Kelman
( #2 )
|Pan Wizards Steel Orchestra
Andre Skeete &
Michael “Blaize” Robertson
( #3 )
Pan Ossia Steel Orchestra
Robert K. Cadet
( #1 )
Florida All Stars Steel Orchestra
( #9 )
Rainbow City All Stars Steel Orchestra
( #8 )
Pan Lovers Steel Orchestra
( #4 )
Grand Roy Pan Angels
|Stick The Cake
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