While distributing prizes for the single band winners and finalists, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore called on pannists to be leaders in their community.
She also said she hopes to distribute prizes for the medium and large bands on the same night as the competition.
The prize distribution took place at Pan Trinbago’s head office at the corner of Duke and Melbourne Streets, Port of Spain Monday. The ceremony took place earlier than in previous years.
Addressing the leaders of the 20 bands in the February 3 finals at the Arima Basketball Court, Ramsey-Moore said the central executive was pleased with single bands’ performances, even though at the time the executive was still awaiting funding from the National Carnival Commission (NCC).
But during that time she saw “the resilience of our pan people” and commended the players for that. She told them she wanted them to take that strong sense of leadership back to their respective communities.
“Do not just pack your pans up and wait for the next competition. We want you to play a bigger role now. There is no TT without the national instrument. There is no strong community without the influence of our steelpan leaders,” Ramsey-Moore said. She told the pannists to use that leadership to embrace TT’s youth and to effect behavioural change.
“You have a greater role to play. Your role is not only during Panorama time,” she said.
She said steelband leadership was the leadership TT needed at this time. To reduce crime, Ramsey-Moore said, use the panyards. It was the executive’s role to ensure that the panyards “were centres of excellence.”
She said there would be a further conversation with all the pan leaders to ensure they work together to “lift the standard to develop the environment in which we all would operate,” because, she said, “We need to ensure our national instrument survives in an environment that is acceptable.”
Some people wondered if they would push aside single pan, Ramsey-Moore said. “No, not at all, since this is where it all started.”
People also asked, she said, if Pan Trinbago would restructure the competition. “Yes. We have to restructure your competition, because we want you to be placed on a greater stage. We don’t not want you to be pushed aside or to get rid of the single pan competition.
“So we have to have a conversation after today, and that conversation is about how do we place you at the centre of all things.”
This conversation would be held in the next two months, she said.
Winners San Juan east Side symphony received $250,000, second-placed Shades in Steel got $200,000 and third-placed T&T Fire Services got $165,000.