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Ray Holman - 50 Years of Panorama and Counting

Exclusive WST Interview

A When Steel Talks Exclusive


Global - The name “Ray Holman” is already permanently etched in the history books as one of the pillars of Panorama music. He is one of the most accomplished and respected steel orchestra music arrangers of all time. As the only arranger who participated in the first panorama and now this year (2013), 50 panoramas later, Ray Holman brings a special and unique vantage point to the musical extravaganza known as “Panorama.”

Ray Holman
Ray Holman

In this exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, Mr. Ray Holman provides a frank and honest assessment of the current state of the steelpan movement in Trinidad & Tobago, its past, its growth, struggles and current state of affairs. Who is responsible? Moreover, Ray provides some salient points on the potential way forward.

This year the already two-time champion arranger is the musical director for Skiffle Steel Orchestra for Trinidad & Tobago’s 2013 Panorama competition. The band’s tune of choice is Sapna – (The Dream), a Ray Holman-music creation. In this interview, Ray explains how this gem – that is sure to have a lasting impact on the thought process and future panorama music pieces internationally – came to be. Interesting enough, Ray explains that the lyrics came before the music. Similarly, there is insight into Ray’s reasoning for his then-revolutionary move as the first person to enter the panorama competition with his own composition.

Ray also shares his expectations for this year and the future. Fifty years later, Ray looks back on what he considers the successes, improvements, shortcomings and disappointments of the greatest instrumental music competition on the planet.

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Click for WST’s Trinidad and Tobago Panorama 2013 coverage

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