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Arddin Herbert
Invaders Steel Orchestra
2005 T&T Panorama Season


Date: 1.06.05

Arddin Herbert, arranger for Trinidad's story-filled Invaders'  Steel Orchestra and resident arranger for New York's CASYM Steel Orchestra, has come full circle  as he now experiences a home coming.   When Steel Talks  caught up with the arranger as he shared his thoughts on the upcoming competition for the 2005 Panorama season in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Herbert grew up in Invaders' panyard and he said he is equally at home there as with his New York band CASYM.  In fact many of the people who he knew as players growing up, are present as onlookers in the Trinidad panyard as he prepares the band for their 2005 presentation for the Pan season.

Asked about his reception in Invaders, especially from the musicians, Herbert made it clear that they were extremely warm in their welcome to him.   There was also not much of a transition for the arranger as Invaders Steel Orchestra now has a large complement of young players, and the panyard was comparable in atmosphere and energy-level, to youth-based CASYM. 

Herbert has commuted from New York to Trinidad a couple of times on weekends to work with Invaders, and is in fact leaving again tomorrow, Friday, for another session with them.  To date they are on track with their schedule as he as given them just over five minutes of their entire eight-minute arrangement piece.  Invaders is one of the bands that opted to take advantage of the new 2005 rule which allows orchestras to choose music from past years, once they have not competed with it in a past panorama competition.  The band will have completed their selection - a classic by Timothy Watkins aka The Baron, called Say Say - by the time the preliminary judging rolls around to their panyard on Saturday January 15. 

The arranger says that his approach in arranging for Invaders as opposed to CASYM has differed only in terms of the time constraints.  Because of the short runway to panorama, and also his own availability, he is more structured in his arrangement, and the timetable when he imparts the music the to band. 

Herbert said that he was comfortable in the 2005 competitive arena and paid tribute to the likes of Clive Bradley, Pelham Goddard, Len 'Boogsie' Sharpe and more, who he would be competing against.  He welcomed the challenge, but made it known that he was not intimidated.   He also recognized, and spoke of his respect for, all the upcoming arrangers in the Panorama events.  The New York-based arranger looks forward to a keen competition, a great panorama season in Trinidad and Tobago for 2005, and extended his best wishes to all the musicians.

[Editor's note:  Due to a few technical challenges in the interview, the full context of some of the questions and Herbert's responses are not immediately clear; all those points are addressed in the above synopsis.]

Preliminary judging begins in pan yards on January 13.

C. Phillips, Basement Press Corp.
2005 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved


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