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Thursday 21 November 2019
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No season for pan

Melodians steelband performs at the launch of Panorama 2020 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday. - Gary Cardinez
Melodians steelband performs at the launch of Panorama 2020 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday. - Gary Cardinez

GARY CARDINEZ

PANORAMA 2020 was launched on Sunday evening at HADCO Phase II Pan Groove Pan Theatre, Damien Street, Woodbrook, with the theme Celebrate the Pan.

In outlining plans for the competition Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said the national instrument would no longer have to "fight for a space in any short Carnival season with over 200 events."

Ramsey-Moore said, “As we enter a new decade major changes have been made to our festivities. We have listened to our members and their concerns and it is important that we treat with all of them.

“We have found a way to give greater prominence and recognition to each category particularity single pan and small conventional bands. No longer will those two categories be fighting for recognition. Both media and patrons have to divide their resources and prioritise events to attend.”

She said Pan Trinbago has been listening to soca artiste/calypsonians and has been paying attention to what is called the season of Carnival.

She then declared, “Pan Trinbago has decided there must be no season for pan and as such we start our season of Carnival in November. If TT is the land of Carnival and pan then our pan culture will be spread throughout the year."

Explaining the rational for moving the single pan finals to next month, Ramsey-Moore pointed out that this year's the single pan finals was held on the same day as the Calypso Monarch final at Skinner Park, San Fernando.

"This will no longer be the case. Single pan finals will be in November,” she said.

On November 23, single pan champion San Juan East Side Symphony will defend its title at a venue to be announced. The small conventional bands finals will remain in San Fernando on January 11.

Roadblock Steelband - Gary Cardinez

Citing Merchant’s Caribbean Connection calypso Ramsey-Moore said, “Since 2009 Merchant said the venue for the Caribbean Party will be Tobago. Pan tourism is a product we have developed and you can expect a massive medium band final in Tobago on February 16." (The actual year of Merchant’s song was in 1985).

Ramsey-Moore said the large bands will stand alone. “ No longer will the finals run till 3 am. It should be finished by midnight and then there will be an after party celebration.”

The large band finals will be on February 22 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

In officially launching Panorama 2020, Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez said, “It is almost impossible to talk about music in the capital city without referring to our national instrument. And now we may join the global network of UNESCO creative cities, steelpan will be formally recognised as a significant contributor to the musical landscape of Port of Spain. That is a moment I look forward to with much anticipation and know it will be a marked victory for many pan enthusiasts.

“In Port of Spain we speak with pride about steelpan. We boast about hosting the nation’s major steelpan competition annually and while Laventille is beloved as the birthplace of steelpan I feel like Port of Spain is one of its homes.”

Martinez said he was very happy to officially launch Panorama 2020 as next year will mark 47 years since it started and it is still hailed as the ultimate steelband competition in the country.

"It is where our young players get their start and where arrangers gain their titles as best in the world. Panorama is near and dear to our hearts and steelpan is loved in Port of Spain. I would like to acknowledge all faithful supporters of the artform and to encourage them to continue for the love of music and culture."

National Carnival Commission CEO Colin Lucas said the NCC was encouraged by the changes made by Pan Trinbago as his organisation is also making changes to Carnival. He boasted about the “dynamic leadership” of Pan Trinbago.

After the official segment of the launch the crowd was entertained by the Defence Force Steel Orchestra, Road Block Steel Orchestra, Melodians Steel Orchestra, FCB Supernovas and host HADCO Phase II Pan Groove.

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