Panorama Gold

Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra

2024 Tune of choice: Rock It  |  arranger:  Kersh Ramsey

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Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra is the oldest playing steel band on the island of Tobago. Formed in 1951 in the Fishing and Tourism Village of Black Rock, Katzenjammers is well known for its energetic performance in the different styles of steel pan music, such as Calypso, Pop, R& B, religious, classical and Jazz. The orchestra is the band of choice in Tobago for Government functions, hotels, wedding receptions and private parties.

To date, the orchestra has enjoyed tremendous success since its return to National competition in 2003. At present Petrotrin Katzenjammers’ is the only orchestra in Tobago to have won seven National titles. These are: - National Tune of Choice in 1965, Pan In the 21st Century 2004 and 2008 and National Medium Band Panorama Champions 2011, 2012, 2023 and 2024.

The Organization prides itself with Discipline, Dedication and Excellence, in order to maintain its successes and objectives. Steel pan music is one important piece of community soul that has not been destroyed despite neglect. It is therefore not surprising that the orchestra is comprised mostly of youths; these youngsters play the steel pan, motivated by the joy of the experience in itself. The great effort exerted by the youth fuels a competitive spirit amongst them and further provides a platform to showcase the plethora of talent and creativity within the band.

Katzenjammers’ musical accomplishments come from the soul of the arrangers and players, traditional community spirit and camaraderie, which have kept the band together for over five decades. The distinct quality of the music developed over the years, which factors have been analyzed to be “the bounce and the spirit” in their rhythm, must be attributed to the arrangers and tuners who succeeded in “handing down” a unique style to the panists.

The orchestra is managed by Mrs. Beverley Ramsey-Moore, captained by Mrs. Jemma Duke, and directed by Mr. Maxon Ramsey.

During the course of its career Katzenjammers has distinguished itself on numerous occasions in various competitions entered, with several first place positions and many times placing in the first three positions. This steel orchestra is active throughout the year fulfilling engagements in the community and at several hotels on the island. Additionally, on various occasions Katzenjammers was chosen by the Tobago House of Assembly to entertain visiting dignitaries, including global icon and international hero Nelson Mandela.

The band’s watchwords of Discipline, Dedication and Excellence continue to play a major role in their successes and it was as a consequence of these watchwords that the programme “Pan Out Your Fullest Potential” was launched. This programme was aimed at the personal development of youths, in addition to their mastering the national instrument- the steelpan - with the ultimate objective to bring about meaningful change in their lives.

Youth represents a storehouse of human resource potential which could be released and energies driven into channeling activities to stimulate positive attitudes, skills, good sportsmanship and economic growth. However unless mechanisms are put in place to assist, they may become a reservoir of unfulfilled, frustrated people, who could represent a destabilizing force within society.

The “Pan Out Your Fullest Potential” programme had a successful launch in 2002 and to date continues to be successful, with the youths of Katzenjammers being empowered with the development of their personal and professional skills.

‘Petrotrin Katzenjammers’ - having embarked on its drive to empower the nations’ youth continue to prosper.

  Katzenjammers Arrangers


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