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Sunday 24 March 2019
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Sound Setters crowned THA Pan Champs

East Side Dimension, Metro Stars cop small, single band titles

Metro Stars storms to first place in the 2019 THA Pan Champs single pan bands final with their performance of Pan By Storm at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago on Friday night.
Metro Stars storms to first place in the 2019 THA Pan Champs single pan bands final with their performance of Pan By Storm at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago on Friday night.

RBC Redemption Sound Setters is the new Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Pan Champs in the large band category.

The Bethel band, which did not qualify for the semifinals of the Panorama competition, rebounded handsomely on Friday night, dethroning last year's winners, Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, before a gathering at the Dwight Yorke Stadium car park, Bacolet.

T&TEC New East Side Dimension won in the small, conventional band category, while Metro Stars retained its title in the single pan competition.

Dressed in yellow and performing last in the large band category, RBC Redemption Soundsetters delivered an exhilarating rendition of Nailah Blackman's Iron Love, earning them 283 points and the title. The piece was arranged by Michael Toby.

For its success, the band received $100,000 and the THA challenge trophy.

T&TEC New East Side Dimension's performance of Hello won them the small bands final in the 2019 THA Pan Champs at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago on Friday night.

Captain Marie Toby, who accepted the trophy from Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, later told Sunday Newsday band members were elated, particularly after failing to qualify for the Panorama semifinals.

"We bounced back," she said amid jubilant players and supporters.

"We did not make it to the semifinals but we still had hope knowing that we had a competition because the THA and the players understood that we did not make it to the second leg and we had to take this one. So, they put all that they had out in making it a success and they really delivered."

RBC Redemption Sound Setters give a powerful performance of Iron Love to win THE 2019 THA Pam Champs crown for large bands at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago on Friday night. PHOTOS BY DAVID REID

Toby said two-time national medium band champions Katzenjammers posed a formidable challenge.

"The race was between Katzenjammers and us. But as a leader in competition, everybody comes out to win but everybody cannot win and whatever results the judges give it is final."

Toby said the band was pursuing several initiatives for the upcoming months, which she declined to reveal.

"We must be in the public's face at all times."

Katzenjammers, which performed Stranger in tribute to late calypso icon Mighty Shadow (Winston Bailey), placed second with 281 points and got $90,000.

Manager Beverly Ramsey-Moore, Pan Trinbago's president, said she was pleased with Katzenjammers' performance but felt the best band had won. She said Redemption Soundsetters had delivered an excellent rendition of Iron Love.

NGC Steel Xplosion and NLCB Buccooneers, tied for third with 278 points. They performed Irwin Reyes Johnson's (Scrunter) Sing In She Party and David Rudder and Voice's (Aaron St Louis) Madness, respectively.

Mt Pleasant's Carib Dixieland, which played Pan On Fire, came in fifth with 265 points.

The small band competition was keenly contested but in the end, Belle Garden's T&TEC New East Side Dimension beat a field of eight competitors to clinch the title.

Led by young arranger Kersh Ramsey, the band gave a lively presentation of Kees Dieffenthaller's Hello, earning them 276 points.

Placing second was Scarborough's Uptown Fascinators and last year's small, conventional band winners, Our Boys, in a tie with 268 points. Fourth place went to C&B Crown Cordaans with 267 points while West Side Symphony and Alpha Pan Pioneers tied for fifth place with 261points. Tobago Pan-Thers and Speyside's Steel Sensation brought up the rear with 256 points and 248 points, respectively.

Metro Stars, performing first in the single pan competition, received 270 points with its rendition of Designer's 1990 song, Pan By Storm, composed by the late Ken "Professor" Philmore. Second place went to the Tony Williams-led Royal Pan Illusion, which also played Pan By Storm. They got 255 points. Natural Mystic came in third. Bands were judged on arrangement, tone, rhythm and general performance.

The THA Pan Champs, now in its 22nd year, was hosted by the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation and Pan Trinbago's Tobago Region.

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