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Monday 19 November 2018
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Inspired by youth

Arranger Vanessa Alexandra Headley proudly displays the trophies won by Small Band Panorama champion Golden Hands, with her song Trouble, at the band’s panyard, Independence Avenue, San Fernando yesterday.
Arranger Vanessa Alexandra Headley proudly displays the trophies won by Small Band Panorama champion Golden Hands, with her song Trouble, at the band’s panyard, Independence Avenue, San Fernando yesterday.

Richardson Dhalai

A little bit of picong and a lot of inspiration from her youthful members were identified by Golden Hands musical director Vanessa Alexandra Headley, 29, as being the source for the band’s success in winning the Small Band category of this year’s Panorama.

Headley created history when the band played a song which she composed, sang and arranged to beat all comers during the small band final at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on Thursday night. This was also Golden Hands first Panorama title.

Interviewed yesterday, Headley said it was not an overnight success as Golden Hands had performed her original songs for the past four years starting with Pan in D Galaxy in 2015.

“So this is not necessarily a first try and success but I felt it important to contribute original music to the archives for music for the steelpan instrument.

“In 2018, the song is Trouble. Now I always look for inspiration from the members of Golden Hands, they are very young members. Our youngest is nine years so I always look for something that is motivational for them so that they can channel their energy into executing the best that they can.

“We have received a lot of picong for our efforts and for kinda being a little ‘out of the box’ and I decided to send a message and let people know that in 2018 it go be trouble.”

Asked whether there were difficulties in arranging the music for the youthful pan side, she said this year was her easiest as the band members had been practising for various competitions and shows since last year.

“I think it’s because our players were so primed and ready to receive the music. We are a band that works throughout the year and they have been preparing for music festival, we had a Christmas show with Len “Boogsie” Sharpe so it wasn’t difficult.”

So what does the first time triumph mean for Golden Hands?

“It was a very emotional time. It has been really challenging for us as an unsponsored band and as a band that has other commitments throughout the year.

“We do not only come out for Panorama. It has been strenuous financially and otherwise and I think winning this year with something that is our own – because we own the song – it feels like validation. And it is not only for us but for the young future musicians of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Meanwhile, Golden Hands founder and president Franka Hills Headley said the win demonstrated that there was a “lot of light on the horizon” for TT due to the band’s diversity.

“We have had many challenges, especially, as being an unsponsored organisation. Our young people come from as far as Point Fortin and Freeport and San Fernando – south rural communities – and it is really awesome.

“We are actually doing something meaningful because when we play that music we come together as a community, a team. We have people of all different sizes, ages, races to see everybody work together as a team. This is what this nation needs.”

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