Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore says moves are afoot to host the medium-band category of next year's Panorama competition in her native Tobago.
Ramsey-Moore told Sunday Newsday she met recently with Tobago House of Assembly (THA) secretary for Tourism, Culture and Transportation Nadine Stewart-Phillips, and that possibility was one of the major items on the agenda.
Ramsey-Moore, who became Pan Trinbago president in October, has expressed her intention to push for a change in the format of the Panorama finals, mainly because of the length of the competition. She said if Tobago hosted a category of the Panorama final on the island, it would represent a significant shift in the organisation's flagship event, held annually on Carnival Saturday at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
That is because the competition has traditionally featured ten medium and large bands on the same night, with patrons having to endure roughly ten hours of pan before the announcement of the winners are named.
Ramsey-Moore said: "As a Pan Trinbago executive, we believe we should not have a national finals of medium and large going until four o'clock in the morning."
They need to be separated, she feels.
She added: "Tobago is an alternative venue that we are considering highly and I wanted to bounce it off, massage it, with the secretary of tourism, and it really found favour with her. And Tobago will, based on our conversation – once our membership takes a final decision on that – Tobago is willing to embrace."
Ramsey-Moore said the issue would be put to the organisation's central executive "so we could have our members buy in for 2020.
"I believe that as we change into a new decade, I think we can look forward to a medium finals."
Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago and the THA also have agreed to honour Tobago's young arrangers at a function, scheduled tentatively for September.
"We feel that we should acknowledge our young arrangers in Tobago and we want to do a special programme for them so that they can inspire other Tobagonians to get involved, not only in arranging, but also in tuning and making of our own pans, steelpan technologists, so we can collaborate on having programmes to ensure we have our home-grown stock to take care of our bands."
This year, several of the island's gifted young arrangers rose to the fore, the most celebrated being Kersh Ramsey, who led his band T&TEC New East Side Dimension, of Belle Garden, to second place in the small band Panorama finals. The band also placed first in THA's Pan Champs.
Ramsey-Moore, who is also leader of the Black Rock band Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, said Stewart-Phillips was very enthusiastic about the initiative.
Stewart-Phillips also told her plans are on stream to host a steelpan festival in Tobago in September.
"The discussion will continue with the Tobago region and I think that is the way to go, which is a more disciplined approach to the music. We look forward to the THA hosting a steelpan music festival in September."