LARGE conventional bands in the southland brought their A-game on Sunday night as Panorama judges made their way to the panyards for the preliminary round of the competition.
From La Brea to Chaguanas, players upped the ante, much to the delight of the spectators who turned up to cheer on their favourite bands.
In the NGC La Brea Nightingales panyard, leader Julius Wilson voiced his expectation to “bring glory to La Brea in 2019” with Richard Alvin Gittens’ arrangement of Party Start by Marvin “Swappi” Davis.
After competing in the large category for about six years, Wilson said, the band has achieved success, not in terms of winning the competition, but in getting young people to play.
“La Brea is not an area where much is heard about pan, but this year we are hoping to change that. We are hoping to bring glory to La Brea. We are hoping to win the Panorama, which is a big task,” said Wilson, even as one of his members invoked the spirit of prayer for the young players to use their skills for positivity before the start of competition.
T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, which has been on the list of finalists but never at the top, is equally ambitious about its chances in the 2019 competition. The energy levels were high as the announcer warned spectators and even the judges to hold on to something for the musical storm that was coming. The band did not disappoint pan lovers with its version of Clarence Morris’ arrangement of SuperBlue’s Rag Storm, which features rapso group 3canal. Bandleader Phillip Morris believes this tune could give the Chaguanas band that extra edge this year.
“Members selected this tune. They thought it offered them the scope, it literally talks with the pan, it is a fantastic rendition – everything from the rhythm to the musical flow of the piece. I believe this year is going to be particularly good for Tropical Angel Harps and that we would do absolutely well in the large band category,” Morris said.
At CAL Skiffle’s Coffee Street, San Fernando, panyard,excitement was bubbling as southerners gathered, rooting for this band which they believe is their best bet to bring home the elusive title to the south. The band placed second last year, its best effort in the almost three decades of its existence. Co-captain Joshua Regrello was unusually quiet, concentrating on impressing the judges and earning a spot in next week’s semi-finals on Sunday night..
A few streets down from Skiffle, the mood was nostalgic at NLCB Fonclaire as the players beat their hearts out with a Darren Sheppard original and arranged piece, Hart Ah Love, dedicated to its former arranger, Ken “Professor” Philmore, who died last year.
The singer is Tricia Hamilton, with producer Junior “Ibo” Joseph also providing some background vocals. On hand to witness the adjudication process was Philmore’s widow, Sophia and brother Brian among other family members.
On the players’ T-shirts were the words, “Dare to be Different.”