PAN Elders, which topped the preliminary round of competition in the medium band category of the the national steelband competition, once again rose to the occasion with a superb execution of Duvone Stewart’s arrangement of The Will, a composition of Owen Reyes Johnson, aka Scrunter.
While awaiting their turn to go on stage yesterday at the Panorama national semis, some of their frontline tenor pans were downed by heavy breeze at the Queen’s Park Savannah. But as usual, the arranger touched the hand of each frontline pannist, then led them into a chant to get them pumped up, after which they delivered a performance that was well rehearsed and on point.
Three minutes into the song Stewart gave praise to the Almighty looking skyward as he guided his troops who executed with clinical precision. A bit of the Bassman in tribute to Winston “Shadow” Bailey and a bit of the hymn, How Great Thou Art, were built into Elders' presentation.
However, getting the most applause in the category was Pamberi, playing in position eight, Gyal Owner (Blaxx). Chants of Showtime! Showtime! by the members before getting into a nice spirited performance. Arranger Andre White took a couple bars from Yuh Looking for Horn (Shadow) and mixed it in the song.
The great crowd response left the arranger totally overwhelmed so much so that he held his face to mask his emotion but then gave some pumped-up hi fives to some of the tenor pannists. It was the biggest applause any band got at that point.
The next big set of applause went to commissioner of police Gary Griffith, who did not beat a note on any pan but nevertheless was the darling of the audience as he made his way into the VIP Lounge in the grand stand.
Earlier he was seen entering the venue among a couple dozen special forces officers, then walked over to the North Park while NCC CEO Colin Lucas walked around all by his lonesome.
Also impressing the crowd was NGC Couva Joylanders which played Fire in the Area (Winsford Devine) sung by Lennox Picou and arranged by Stefon West. The arrangement certainly had some fire in it. The crowd applauded most appreciatively and the highly spirited performance by the band.
Operations committee chairman of the QPS infrastructure, Ulric Miller ,said the North Greens area has held up quite well with all 4,500 tickets sold for the covered area. He said: “While it is not as spacious as the North Stand, everyone has found their spot for their coolers and are quite happy. The rhythm sections struck up a bit late but was in full gear before the large bands came on.
Earlier, Curepe Scherzando opened the show with Yuh Looking For Horn (Shadow) arranged by Yohan Popwell, followed by Sangre Grande Cordettes with Professor Say composed by Mark Loquan, sung by Destra Garcia and arranged by Kion Robinson.