It was a case of double delight as last year’s winners in the Junior Panorama St Margaret’s Boys Anglican and St Francois Girl College each retained their crowns yesterday in the Primary and Secondary schools finals, respectively.
The first finals saw primary school students engage in pan war in an effort to dethrone reigning champions St Margaret’s Boys Anglican. But it was not to be as the lads of this school regained their crown with their rendition of Good Morning by Barbadian bard Peter Ram. The school’s performance was good enough for 278 points and first place.
Placing a close second, six points behind St Margaret’s was Tacarigua Presbyterian who played Ultimate Rejects’ 2017 monster hit We jammin still while there was a tie for third place between Guaico Presbyterian and St Mary’s Government playing Aldwyn ‘Lord Kitchener’ Roberts’ Toco Band and Chris ‘Tambu’ Herbert’s Free Up, respectively. Both earned 271 points.
The finals staged at the Queen’s Park Savannah, saw St Paul’s Boys Anglican starting proceedings with their rendition of Austin ‘SuperBlue’ Lyons’ Poom Poom, decked out in Blue’s signature white suit and blue bandana complete with a Superman S on their chests. The lads hyped the crowd up with a puff of smoke as the flag bearers glided across the stage on stilts, self-proclaiming they are Super St Paul’s. The tone was definitely set for panorama war among the schools.
Carenage Boys Government was up next being in what was their second trip to the finals. The youths were clad in royal blue jerseys and glittered caps. They added a unique twist by incorporating African drumming to their pan performance of We Jammin Still. Members of Ultimate Rejects led by Edghill ‘Maximus Dan’ Thomas accompanied the band, waving flags.
Asked about preparations for Panorama, Hakim Farray of Carenage Boys said, “we practiced every day during lunch and break and we really enjoyed it.” Dan said the group was more than willing to work in performing with the school despite the understandably hectic season. “We need to teach others to appreciate our national instrument to create sustainability and we’ve been so blessed to have our song featured so much in Panorama this year so we had to come show support.”
2016 champions, Tacarigua Pres’ ‘Pan Treble Makers’, garnered the greatest crowd reaction when they stormed the stage amid smoke to play their rendition of We Jammin Still. Like Carenage Boys, the Tacarigua lads had Maximus Dan and members of the Ultimate Rejects on stage giving support with flags.
A parent later told Newsday she encouraged her daughter to get involved in the school’s panorama preparation as a means of breaking the monotony of academics at Tacarigua Pres.
“I know she gave her best and for this I am very, very proud of her and the school no matter how they place,” the parent said. Tacarigua Pres walked away with the award for biggest crowd reaction.
In the Secondary Schools Finals, defending champs St Francois Girls College brought their A game and shot to first place with an impassioned performance of Crazy’s, Pan Break, earning an uproarious applause from the audience and securing a whopping 283 points.
However, despite leaving the stage as clear crowd favourites, with their performance of Fallin by Kes, the combined efforts of Naparima College and Naparima Girls High School were not enough to secure first place. While long time rivals St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph thrilled the audience with their performance of soca classic, Free Up, by Chris “Tambu” Herbert and dropped to third place with 264 points.
Newsday spoke to St Francois arranger Peter Rory Aleong, who said while there were certain aspects of the band’s performance that could have been improved, he was generally pleased with the results and satisfied with the performance of all band members.
Aleong who has been the school’s arranger for the past eight years remarked this recent victory marks the school’s sixth Junior Panorama title and commended teachers, parents and the students for their support in contributing what he described as a well oiled machine.
(Additional reporting by SHANE SUPERVILLE)