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Mayor Kenneth Ferguson shares his views on Skiffle Bunch's Exclusion from History-making Panorama finals
Trinidad & Tobago Steelband Panorama 2007

Trinidad - When Steel Talks had the opportunity to chat one-on-on with San Fernando Mayor Kenneth Ferguson, who calls the exclusion of popular and world-renowned south steel orchestra Skiffle Bunch "a disappointment to all of us, particularly to all the South people.  It's not compulsory for us to have a south band in the finals.  However we thought the performance of Skiffle Bunch during the semi-finals really warranted them a place in the finals.  It was a disappointment to all southerners, particularly the people of the city of San Fernando."  He added that it would have made good business sense to have a south band in the finals, and that it was the concern of many, that by merit and based solely on the orchestra's performance, "Skiffle Bunch should have been included in the finals." 


Live Exclusive Interview
with San Fernando Mayor Kenneth Ferguson

The system of adjudication this year is different from last year and previously, when a number of judges - example five or six - scored performances, and then the highest and lowest marks were discarded.  This year there is a three-judge panel, as well as an alternate judge.  The panel's three scores are taken into account, not that of the alternate.   When Steel Talks chatted earlier with Junia Regrello, captain of Skiffle Bunch, and he said that the orchestra received scores of 90, 90, and 72.  Interestingly Regrello had noted that the alternate judge give Skiffle Bunch a score of 84, and had it been that score that qualified instead of 72, the orchestra would have been into the finals instead of ninth, and eliminated altogether.

Despite that outcome, Mayor Ferguson assures that the situation will not deter the arrangements and plans in place for San Fernando's proud and historic hosting of the panorama finals.  Asked about what could be done in an attempt to perhaps avoid similar scenarios in future competitions, the mayor replied it was his understanding that there were more judges empanelled in previous years, thus enabling high and low scores to be discounted, and that he believes that "it is something that Pan Trinbago and the NCC (National Carnival Commission) may look at for 2008. "

The current role of the mayor's office for the 2007 Panorama event is to ensure overall appropriate facilities and accommodations are in place to guarantee a professionally produced show, and that orchestras and patrons alike are catered for.  In fact, the opportunity to glimpse what will be in store for the history-making national panorama finals competition, comes up this Sunday, February 11.  The staging area, modified entrances and exits, holding area for the bands, etc. will all get their 'dry run' for the big night occurring one week later.

Sunday is going to be a special day for South/Central Trinidad's pan fraternity, when bands, both traditional (single pan) and conventional (all categories) present their steelband showcase performances at Skinner Park.  Bands from the entire region are expected to participate, and San Fernando's mayor Kenneth Ferguson will be on hand with everyone else to enjoy the event.  And, Mayor Ferguson wants everyone to 'come to the city of San Fernando, the second largest city in Trinidad...Southerners are noted for their hospitality' he declared, 'and they will take care of visitors, who will have a wonderful time.'

Contact Mayor Kenneth Ferguson at 1 (868) 652-9378 or

Click here for related post-semi final interview with Junia Regrello

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