Panorama Gold

Sangre Grande Cordettes Steel Orchestra

2018 Tune of choice:  Meet Super Blue  |  arranger:  Ken “Professor” Philmore

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Sangre Grande Cordettes Steel Orchestra celebrated its fifty-third anniversary during 2015. Fifty-three years ago a group of freelance panists from the area, came together to establish themselves as a band.  Alwin Chow-Lin-On (now deceased), a well known personality in the entertainment arena for many years, was appointed as its first Manager.

This accumulation of pan talent quickly mushroomed into an orchestra of immaculate sound and it was therefore no surprise that by the mid-sixties, they entered the music festivals for the first time. Their performances were so well received that they soon became popularly known in this arena as “the festival band.”

This popularity allowed them to obtain their first sponsorship from KLM Royal Dutch Airways. They also became a resident entertainment fixture at the Trinidad Hilton in the seventies and eighties.

They entered their first Panorama in the mid-seventies and although they have never captured the ultimate coveted title, they have made it to the grand finals on fifteen previous occasions and were East Zone champions in 1994. Special tribute must be paid to the astute guidance and musical directorship of Paul Campbell and Dr. Jit Samaroo and more recently, Anders Kappel Øvre.

The band prides itself as community institution, and is honoured to be part of the inaugural program of the “Music School in the Panyard” initiative by Trinidad & Tobago’s Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. The stage side continues to perform throughout the year and has been invited to various functions around the country receiving rave reviews for providing entertaining music with its wide repertoire which includes classical, Latin, Caribbean, pop, ballads and of course calypso and soca.

Additional info by Gideon Maxime - Steelband Showcase - 23rd January, 2002


Hailing from Sangre Grande is one the more successful steelbands of the Eastern Region of Pan Trinbago. The founder of the band was Stanley Cooper.

Cordettes emanated from several bands. They include Metronome, All Stars, Stardust and Wonderland. Stardust was one of the earliest bands which when it stopped, Wonderland from Caigual was formed. The children of Stardust also assisted in the formation of Wonderland.

On one faithful Carnival day when Wonderland came into Sangre Grande to play, Stanley Cooper, spoke to one of the legends of the area Paul Campbell and asked him to join Cordettes and this assisted in the strengthening of Cordettes which when taken up, made the band into a potent force musically.

The band Cordettes did not take long to establish itself and in 1967, the band captured the Prime Minister's trophy for the unsponsored class in the Independent Steelband Music Festival. At first the band was sponsored by the KLM airlines but with the advent of the National Quarries Limited they readily assisted the band by sponsoring it.

Although the band has made several appearances, at the Panorama Finals, it is only in 1990 that the band had won the East Zone of Panorama with the selection “Nah Do Dat”.

The ace panist and arranger Jit Samaroo greatly assisted in putting Cordettes on the map. His compositions “Gaping Season” and “Miss Supporter” come readily to mind.

Over the last few years the band, although to the fore, has not been able to capture any titles; Cordettes have earned the respect of all and is destined to greater things.

Panorama Performance

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