St. Vincent & The Grenadines Panorama 2017 Results - It’s “Gold” for Starlift Steel Orchestra & Arranger Duvone Stewart

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Kingstown, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, W.I. - All that glittered was indeed gold, and this was the case for Starlift Steel Orchestra of St. Vincent and The Grenadines on the night of Thursday July 6, as they played their way through to the 2017 Panorama championship title at Carnival City. And fitting it was, as the country’s veteran music organization celebrates its 50th Anniversary as well in 2017. At this year’s “Steel and Glitter” competition, the sixty-seven-musician-strong steel orchestra indeed shined in gold-accentuated black attire as they took the stage—second in the five-band line-up—to perform Duvone Stewart’s arrangement of favorite son-of-the-soil calypsonian Alston “Becket” Cyrus’s Nanny Revival. The 1993 calypso was written by Frankie McIntosh.  Dancers were part of Starlift’s presentation.

The band was the second-biggest steel orchestra for the night; in capturing the crown, Starlift dethroned 2016 winners Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra who were led musically by long-time arranger Seion Gomez.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines 2017 Panorama Champions, Starlift Steel Orchestra on stage
St. Vincent & The Grenadines 2017 Panorama Champions, Starlift Steel Orchestra on stage

With on-and-off precipitation earlier in the day, the crowd at Victoria Park—the home of Carnival City—may have been not so large, but they were definitely huge in heart as their respective favorite bands laid out their best musical efforts in the annual Panorama competition. At 8:05 p.m. when the country’s national anthem was being played by 2017 Junior Pan Fest champions Girls High School (GHS) Steel Orchestra (the band also belted out a second number), pan patrons were still making their way into the venue.

Of the Panorama’s five competitors two went with ‘Becket’ tunes, the other being Sion Hill, first on stage, with 1984’s Horn Fuh Dem. And the celebratory theme was definitely on – referencing not only Starlift and their year-round fiftieth festivities, but also Vincy Mas was in the spotlight with its Fortieth Anniversary.

For the “Glitter” part of “Steel and Glitter” eleven mas bands also took the stage after the “Steel” component, Panorama, was a wrap. Percussion sides such as the Drumbo Riddim Section entertained the crowd during the set-up time between bands.

Once again, arrangers from Trinidad & Tobago had a presence in the competition: Stewart, Gomez, and Elite Steel Orchestra’s choice of Jamal Gibbs; Elite was also the smallest participating orchestra, but gave quite a good account of themselves. They appeared third on stage.

Bands number four and five showcased the arranging talents of “Vincy” arrangers – Jomoro Francis (Symphonix) and Marla Nanton (South East). Both steel orchestras are a testament to the success of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’s initiative, Pan Against Crime. With the first competitive notes heard just after 8:40 p.m., the final chords were struck around 10:44, rounding out the five bands vying for the Panorama title.

Results were announced after the appearance of the mas bands.

2017 Panorama Results - St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Placing Band / Size Selection/
1st Starlift Steel Orchestra
67 players
Nanny Revival
(Alston “Becket” Cyrus)

Duvone Stewart
Duvone Stewart
2nd Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra
65 players
Horn Fuh Dem  (1984)
(Alston “Becket” Cyrus)

Seion Gomez
Seion Gomez
3rd South East Steel Orchestra
70 players
Pan Jam (Pum Pum Sweet) (1992)

Marla Nanton

4th Symphonix Steel Orchestra
30 players

Hairy Bank
Jomoro Francis
5th Elite Steel Orchestra
25 players
Follow Me   (Blaksand featuring Johnny Rebel) Jamal “Meck Meck” Gibbs
Jamal “Meck Meck” Gibbs

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