Ebony Steelband retains their UK Junior Steelband Panorama Champions title in 2017

Continuity of our culture through the youth!

by Robbie Joseph of Panpodium

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London, UK - Kensington Memorial Park, St Marks Road, London, W10 was transformed into a mini Carnival Village on Monday the 14th August 2017 to accommodate the annual CAPCA/BAS Carnival and Junior Panorama competition.

After months of planning and laborious work by their pannists, the bands were ready for their Panorama performance. On the day it was an early start to the activities with all players combining their efforts to get their instruments set up and also participated in ‘warming up’ sessions before they initiated the start of the Panorama. The sweet strains of steelband music attracted the public like bees to honey and the performance area was soon filled with an appreciative and fully entertained audience.

The annual CAPCA/BAS Carnival and Junior Panorama competition

On the 14th August 2017 the British Association of Steelbands in partnership with the Children and Parents Carnival Association under the leadership of Lee Woolford-Chivers hosted the competition. Junior Panorama judges for the 2017 competition were Debbie ‘Pan Diva’ Romain, the UK renowned steelpan musician, Marlon Hibbert, founder, manager and arranger of the Endurance Steel Orchestra and Michael from the Children and Parents Carnival Association.

Ebony Junior Steelband
Ebony Junior Steelband

Ebony Junior Steelband played Peter Ram’s, Good Morning, musically arranged by David Ijaduola to retain their BAS/CAPCA Junior Panorama Champions title for 2017. Their dynamic rendition filled with musicality certainly captivated the audience. Their melodious strains of music coupled with the energy and enthusiasm of their players was certainly a winning combination.

Pan Nation Steel Orchestra
Pan Nation Steel Orchestra

Pan Nation Steel Orchestra captured the runners up position with 209 points. They treated the audience to a scintillating rendition of Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe’s, Red White and Black, musically arranged by none other than the talented, Chris Storey, founder, manager and musical director of Pan Nation. This was ‘The Nation’s’ first appearance at this contest and they have certainly left their mark of greater things to come. Their rendition was vibrant and filled with enthusiasm. They were also awarded the trophy for the Best Presentation.

Sussex Steel orchestra
Sussex Steel Orchestra

In third place with 190 points was Sussex Steel Orchestra another newcomer to this competition. Sussex Steel is a charity (CIO) created by individuals who are passionate about steelpan and committed to increasing the musical opportunities for people in Sussex and beyond. Their goal is to make steelpan accessible to everyone. They run Sussex Steel professional, youth and community bands. They also played Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe’s, Red, White and Black musically arranged by Pablo Barrios.

Croydon Steel Orchestra
Croydon Steel Orchestra

Attaining fourth place with 186 points was Croydon Steel Orchestra. What a great show by these young musicians. There was a five-year-old in the band jamming music that really epitomized the spirit of this competition. Paul Dowie, manager of CSO continues to work tirelessly, inspiring his young musicians to produce some exciting music in his quest to develop his young musicians. In fact, this year he allowed three of his young members to arrange their tune of choice; Single, and Jordan Quinn- Hillier, Jordan White and Jonathan Turner and they did him justice.

Northern Steel Orchestra
Northern Steel Orchestra

Capturing fifth place was Northern Steel Orchestra; Jenny Gilberg’s musical arrangement of Destra’s ‘Lucy’ saw them amass 184 points. This youthful band had bags of drive and enthusiasm, which will prove to be useful assets in future, competitions.

Metronomes Steel Orchestra
Metronomes Steel Orchestra

Metronomes Steel Orchestra’s outstanding performance saw their youthful players attain 163 points to captured sixth place. Their tune of choice was Tambu’s, We Aint Going Home, which was musically arranged by their manager, Eversley ‘Breeze’ Mills. This band of young players certainly showed their potential and dexterity with the instrument. Their rendition certainly transported the audience back in time.

On the day the audience was treated to an explosion of sweet steel band music played by young enthusiastic pan musicians. Steel band music continues to be the overall winner; the wealth of music on offer certainly captivated the audience. In fact, it was deemed the best UK Junior Steel Band Panorama since this competition started both by the officials as well as the audience on the day.

This infectious music is spreading like a global pandemic and Pan Podium is ably assisting in its dispersion. Everyone is now looking forward to next year’s competitions with great enthusiasm. Pan 4 Life!

Panpodium leaves with a quote from John Denver:

"Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what colour we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same."

Position  Name of Band Tune Arranger Points
1st Ebony Steelband Good Morning David Ijaduola 214
2nd Pan Nation Steel Orchestra Red, White and Black Chris Storey 209
3rd Sussex Steel Orchestra Red, White and Black Pablo Barrios 190
4th Croydon Steel Orchestra Single Jordan Quinn Hillier/Jordan White/Jonathan Turner 186
5th Northern Steel Orchestra Lucy Jenny Gilberg 184
6th Metronomes Steel Orchestra We ain’t going home Eversley ‘Breeze’ Mills 163


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