AFTER a successful seven-year partnership in which Duvone Stewart brought victory after victory to Pan Elders steel orchestra, the arranger and the band have parted ways.
The southern pan fraternity reacted with surprise yesterday to a statement purportedly from Pan Elders posted in When Steel Talks on social media which declared the separation.
The statement read, "Good Morning, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. With that said, the executive committee wishes to formally announce the resignation of Mr Duvone Stewart as arranger for Pan Elders Steel Orchestra.
"This was a difficult but imperative decision for all parties involved. We again wish to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to Mr Stewart for the seven great and successful years he has spent with this band. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours."
The statement also indicated that Pan Elders will announce its new arranger sometime today. Throughout this year's Carnival season the band struggled financially as its main sponsor Petrotrin, was closed down by government and its successor companies were not as generous with subventions.
Band leader Hollister Smith even reached out to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for assistance when the PM visited the band's Carib Street pan yard prior to the Panorama finals. Days before the finals San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello presented Smith and two other south bands, with a cheque to assist in preparation for the finals.
In spite of its financial challenges the band was able to secure its sixth victory in the medium band category with a Stewart arrangement of Scrunter's The Will.
This was a historic Carnival for Stewart who earned the triple Panorama titles, in the small, medium and large band categories. Messages and calls to the cellular phones of Stewart and Smith were not returned.
In a brief response, Mayor Regrello said, "San Fernando is extremely proud of what Mr Stewart was able to achieve with Pan Elders. That being said, Pan Elders has emerged as a formidable force in their category. Therefore, l have no doubt that the band would be able to readjust their sails and move on.