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Phase II Pan Groove takes 2013 Panorama championship, Buccooneers Steel Orchestra reigns over medium bands

Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2013

Phase II Pan Groove
Phase II Pan Groove

Global - After several hours of top-notch steelpan music at the historic Queen’s Park Savannah aka “The Big Yard” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Phase II Pan Groove emerged as the 2013 Panorama champions, winning TT $1,000,000 in the process.  The judges gave the band ‘love’ in return, and in the form of the title, for its performance of “More Love.” It was a bitter-sweet victory for legendary arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe without Franklyn Ollivierra, the man he considered his ‘right hand’ for many years.  Ollivierra passed away unexpectedly in June 2012, and “Boogsie” had declared that Phase II’s Panorama 2013 performance would be dedicated to Ollivierra.

Five years have passed since the orchestra which calls Woodbrook in west Trinidad home, last left the finals with the Panorama championship title in hand.  Equipped with a one hundred twenty-strong orchestra, Phase II dropped a delivery which garnered a score of 283 in the final tally, five points ahead of defending champs Trinidad All Stars.  The hope for the hat-trick by All Stars was not to be this time around.

Buccooneers Steel Orchestra

Buccooneers from the sister isle of Tobago triumphed in the medium steel orchestra category, besting their three sister bands.  The orchestra’s tune of choice, “Gold” brought them exactly that - victory.  For arranger Seion Gomez, it heralds another great moment in his career as arranger.  Gomez has championship titles in the small steel orchestra arena with Merrytones Steel Orchestra, but this is his first in the medium category in the Trinidad & Tobago Panorama.  Not the case with regard to St. Vincent & the Grenadines, however, where Seion has marshaled Sion Hill Euphorium Steel Orchestra to the beaver trick, 2009–2012 - four consecutive championships.  The Buccooneers–Seion Gomez collaboration began in 2008 and the orchestra has since made the final cut every year.

Defending champions Katzenjammers came in third, and like Trinidad All Stars, had been eager for the elusive hat trick - three championships in a row.  Despite their best efforts, both bands instead had to cede their Panorama titles in the 2013 showdown of steel.


The national anthem got proceedings going around 7:08 p.m., followed by a few words from Pan Trinbago’s president Keith Diaz, and a drumology taking the audience along on the evolutionary journey of Pan.  Pan Elders, first up in the medium band category were through by 7:45 p.m., with all ten in that division finishing shortly before 11:00 p.m. 

Despite a fairly quick turnaround which saw the large category being kicked off by Silver Stars at 11:15 p.m., it was still just after 3:00 a.m. when the last large steel orchestra on the performance card, Fonclaire, threw their hat into the ring in their efforts to become Panorama champs for the first time.  Full results for both categories were announced within twenty minutes of Fonclaire’s performance.

Click for full 2013 Panorama results

Click for WST’s Trinidad and Tobago Panorama 2013 coverage

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