Pan-Demonium Steel Orchestra
2024 Tune of choice: “Disco Daddy” | arranger: Rashaun Myers Williams
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Pan-Demonium Steel Orchestra was formed in 1972 as a company band “Huggins Pan-Demonium” and soon achieved recognition at home and abroad, playing arrangements by Ray Holman, and going on tour to North America and Europe. Over the next two decades, Pan-Demonium grew to be regarded as one of the leading steel-bands in Trinidad and Tobago. Sponsored by Fertrin and captained by Barry Nanton, they made regular appearances in the National Panorama finals. Their memorable rendition of The Mighty Trini’s “Sailing” placed 2nd in the 1988 Panorama and was one of a series of successful collaborations with the late Clive Bradley.
The eviction of the band from their panyard at 54A Jerningham Avenue in 1992 was a tremendous setback. Having lost both sponsor and panyard, the band struggled to survive. In 2005 they made a welcome re-appearance at the Republic Pan Fiesta competition, operating out of a new panyard at 3 Norfolk Street, Belmont and under the direction of a new captain, Roger Williams. Since then the band has become a regular competitor in the Pan in the 21st Century and National Panorama events.
Recently, Pan-Demonium once again faced the possible loss of their panyard, this time as a result of river-bank erosion. Fortunately, the Ministry of Works took remedial action and in 2012 a substantial retaining wall was constructed along the eastern boundary. The entire area was back-filled, levelled and paved, providing more useable space and a safer environment for members and visitors.
With an influx of young players from the Belmont community and environs, Providence Girls Catholic School and Queens Royal College, Pan-Demonium continued to grow, and in 2014 they reached the finals of the National Panorama competition (small conventional category). Throughout the year, the band performs at various functions, playing a wide variety of music arranged by a cadre of talented young musicians, including Kwesi Paul & Triston Marcano.
Additional info by Gideon Maxime - Steelband Showcase - 23rd January, 2002
Pan-Demonium which formerly occupied premises at 52A Jerningham Avenue Belmont was formed in 1974. This most successful band had a crashing exit from this pan site when on December 16, 1993 it was evicted from its original site by the National Insurance Property Development Company. It was a pitiable sight to see these instruments of the band languishing on the roadside for over three months until the band was given a new site. The band had occupied its old premises for over 20 years.
Pan-Demonium was one of the more successful bands. Originally the band was sponsored by Fertrin Trinidad Limited and made the finals of Panorama on at least these occasions. One readily remembers the selection “Sailing” arranged by Clive Bradley in 1988. In fact that year such was its performance in the semi finals that it was expected to win. But it was piped by Phase II on that final night.
In the early years the Panorama arrangements were done by Ray Holman -
1976 - We Kinda Music by Sparrow
1977 - Panyard Vibrations
1980 - Panyard Rhapsody
1981 - Odysseys on Steel
1982 - Musical Showdown
1983 - J’Ouvert Bounce
In 1984 the arrangement was done by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe while in 1986, 1987 and 1988 the arrangements were done by Clive Bradley.
Pan-Demonium made several overseas tours. In 1979 Roslynn Carter the wife of President Carter of the USA invited the band to the USA to play at Super Bowl. The band played during the half time period and this trip was sponsored by Eastern Airlines. The band was managed by Conrad Franklyn.
Other tours of Pan-Demonium include the Montreal Olympics of 1976, the USA, the Grape and Wine Festival in St. Catherine’s Canada, Martinique Carnival and Venezuela.
Also in 1971 the band spent many musical evenings at the Trinidad Hilton with pieces of music such as Tales from Vienna Woods and Filandia. The band also had a link with this said Hotel whereby visitors visited its panyard as part of a package.
In 1984 the band was led by Gerry Shepherd.
Following the loss of its sponsorship when Fertrin withdrew, the band members raised funds by way of bazaars, sports meetings and cake sales.
That location at Jerningham Avenue was also the home to many schools such as Holy Name Convent, Bishop Anstey High School, Belmont Secondary, Ideal High School and St. Francois Girls College, particularly when competition time approached.
By 1993 the captain was Barry Nanton who tried unsuccessfully to forestall the eviction with over TT$100,000 worth of musical instruments.
At present, the band is located at Norfolk Street but the fortunes of the band have waned.