Steelband Panorama 2011

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Panorama Finals

Eric Mannweiler reports on his 2011 steelband panorama experiences

Posted by Eric Mannweiler on March 7, 2011 at 3:29 p.m.

Ok so you all know the topic of this post... FINALS

Eric I have to admit, it was different than I expected in a number of ways, and it was very different from Semis. First of all, I saw no other bands perform except the medium groups that were rehearsing in the savannah when I got there earlier in the afternoon. There was a lot of excitement in the band when we set up to rehearse in a car park by Pan Trinbago's North Zone office. The uniforms were really well done and personally gave me extra motivation, excitement and energy. We rehearsed, we ate, we had a pep talk/ band prayer, and everything seemed very well. Tensions and stress levels rose during the process of moving racks, fueled by confusion, the heat, and etc. When we reached the stage it felt just like semis, with everyone taking pictures, chipping to the tune, and generally feeling good vibes. I was happy to share a rack with some of my good friends from the band: Zig, Josana, Amber, Kai, BO, Salah Wilson, and the others whom I can't recall (my apologies).

Starlift Steel Orchestra Finals Performance

Panorama 2011I won't talk much about our performance other than to say I felt like Starlift brought a lot of energy to an incredible arrangement, and ultimately showed a drive and spirit that I think has been less evident in the band's recent years. The fact that Starlift was able to make it to finals and compete as the smallest of the large bands, and also the only un-sponsored large band, speaks wonders of Liam's arrangement. I hope Liam and Starlift can continue to build a musical relationship in the future (and that I can be a part of it...)

There was one section that really didn't go well for me... It was a new section that was pretty technical, and the tempo rushed just enough that my mind struggled to find a balance between the different tempos. Then ... I lost it... For what ever reason my hands just stopped as I lost the timing, and what's worse - I wasn't the only one. I heard this hole where one of the most exciting parts of the tune was supposed to be, and my heart sank. I knew the band had lost hope of a first place finish right then. The tune was faster than we had taken it in rehearsals, but it felt comfortable all the way up to that point, and it felt fine right after and all the way up to the ending. That one spot though, that one mistake, ate at me for a long time last night (and is still affecting me somewhat). Eventually I was able to shake my fixation on the negative moment and appreciate the rest of the performance - and the incredible experience it was to play on the Big Stage. (One area that was way better than Semis was the fact that we actually played to an audience last night!) I am very proud of the group and will remember that night for the rest of my life!


I have to say congratulations to All Stars, and as disappointed I was that Starlift didn't win (of course I was routing for us), I am happy for my friends in All Stars, as well as the members that I didn't get a chance to meet. Congratulations should be given to all of the medium and large bands that played last night, not just the winners!

Also, for those that haven't seen it, the Savannah's Carnival Village has some excellent cultural booths. I checked out Pan Trinbago's booth, and learned a lot about tassa in the East Indian booth right next to it. Plus there are some pretty great food vendors (including a pretty awesome punch stand).

I am going to play for J'Ouvert with Starlift, which I will be leaving for in about 2 hours, so I will leave the post here in order to get a couple of hours of sleep. I am excited to see my first J'Ouvert, but I am not sure what exactly to expect... With that in mind, until next time

Life for Pan

(PS can anyone help me find a video of Starlift's semi final performance from this year?)

Eric Mannweiler

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