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Reigning Miami Panorama Champ Metro Steel Orchestra Looks to Defend Title

Miami Carnival 2022 Panorama Flyer

Miami, Florida, USA - Join Miami Carnival for their annual Panorama on Friday October 7, 2022, at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida starting at 4:00 p.m. The list of bands competing for prizes and the coveted title of 2022 Miami Carnival Steelband of the Year includes reigning champs Metro Steel Orchestra, Lauderhill Steel Ensemble, New Generation Branches Steel Orchestra, Elite Pan Stars Academy, and Melo Groove Steel Orchestra. The steel pan is one of those instruments that brings together all the cultures and unites all.

This annual cultural musical experience is set to be a vibe. The Panorama competition showcases the rhythms of the sweet sounds of pan music. The Steelpan was invented around the 1930s on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. It is also the only instrument invented in the 20th century. Therefore, it holds great historical significance in music and is appreciated worldwide.

A rhythm section in the Carnival Village kicks off the vibes for the evening, and there is anticipation and excitement for the epic special performances by Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony and Roadblock Steel traveling in from Trinidad Tobago, as well as the Japanese Steelband WaiWai. This year’s Miami Carnival Panorama is a music-inspired family event not to be missed. Steelpan is well rooted in Caribbean culture.

“The momentum is here. We got a lot of positive feedback for Panorama’s return to Broward. Miami Carnival is the place to be in October. I urge anyone that’s going to be around to catch the best show in North America. This is a forum where the public will see what the bands have been doing this year. The Panorama is an avenue to keep steelband culture alive,” said Dexter Bleasdell, “Pan is the rhythm that fuels the lifeblood that flows through the heart of Carnival.”

The Panorama competition is a massive production to assemble. According to Bleasdell, the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee plans a year out from the show. The bands also go through a series of preparations for the annual event. The practices for the big day become more intense as the date gets closer to the competition.

The Miami Carnival Panorama competition works on a point system. Judges give points on the arrangement (40), general performance (40), tone (10), and rhythm (10). Whoever has the highest score wins the competition.

“You are guaranteed to be up on your [feet] dancing. We developed a formula for a fun and well-arranged performance. It’s going to be alive and filled with energy. Our band performs year-round because we get booked for gigs and events. We are now transitioning from stage-side practices for Panorama. They have been intense but fun. We have a new arranger that came from Trinidad. He’s an amazing young guy and keeps the whole team moving at a lively pace,” said Mary Rodriguez, president of Lauderhill Steel Ensemble.

Steelpan is an instrument people of all ages can play. The bands in this year’s Panorama have children, adults, and seniors participating in the show. Newcomers to this instrument develop a sense of pride as their skills develop. Child exposure to the steelpan is perfect because they can play this instrument into adulthood and become professionals.

“I have seen children grow into professors and musicians around the globe with the steel drum over the years. Their involvement with this instrument impacts their evolution,” said Bleasdell.

“I see a sense of accomplishment. It’s fun watching the newcomers keep up with us for the first time, or they get through a couple of lines without making a mistake. We have a young girl who is 10 or 11 that performed with us in a parade this month. To see her go from not being too sure to keeping up with the rest of the band is amazing,” said Rodriguez.

Wilfred Kieal, Jr. was the winning arranger for title defender Metro Steel Orchestra in 2021, and is working again with the band this year. Expecting to have about thirty-five players taking the stage, Kieal says that their tune in the Panorama is Voice’s Out and Bad.

Some members of Metro Steel Orchestra
Some members of Metro Steel Orchestra; Kieal is in front with black cap & drum sticks

This past fall, the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee expanded its youth arts enrichment program with its inaugural youth pan workshop series. The fun and interactive music workshops introduced children to the steel pan through hands-on instruction and the history and rhythmic versatility of this unique Caribbean instrument. The children also had the chance to learn to play a song using the pan instrument.

Panorama Details:
Date: Friday October 7, 2022
Time: 4:00-11:00 p.m.
Location: Central Broward Regional Park
3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, Florida
Advanced Tickets online: $25.00
Parking: $20.00
Children under 12 are free with paid adult entry.

Data in part based on Press Release from:
Harris Public Relations

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