Single Pan prelims begin Monday

San Juan East Side on final night in Arima. - Gary Cardinez
San Juan East Side on final night in Arima. - Gary Cardinez


DEFENDING Single Pan Panorama champions San Juan East Side Steel Orchestra is ready to face all challengers for its title.

However, Music Makers of Picton Road, Laventille is set to make history as the first band to play in the 2020 Panorama competition when judging begins on Monday in the Northern Region. Thirty bands are scheduled to compete in this region. Celebrate the Pan is the Panorama theme.

The prelims have been been brought forward to this year in a move that is aimed at giving "greater prominence and recognition to each category" of pan, said Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore.

While some may argue that we are in the Christmas season, Ramsey-Moore declared that there was "no season for pan" at the launch of Panorama 2020 on October 20 at Phase II's Pan Theatre, Damien Street, Woodbrook.

Overall, some 51 bands will be judged in the prelims which end on November 12 in Tobago. Thirty bands will be selected for the semi-finals round at the Arima Velodrome on November 17.

The champion band San Juan East Side is retaining the services of it arranger at its goes after another victory. In a telephone interview with Newsday, manager Andre Franco, who was painting the pan racks in readiness for the task ahead, said, “We will be coming with Lord Kitchener’s 1997 hit Guitar Pan.

“We have retained the services of arranger Carlon Harewood who took us to winners’ row last year, the band is ready and we have more than enough players.”

Harewood is a successful arranger and has won the last three Single Pan titles (2017, 2018, 2019), two with Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony before last year with San Juan East Side.

The panyard at the corner of Jerningham Street and Eastern Main Road, Petit Bourg, is a bee hive of activity right now with the band in rehearsal several nights per week.

Winning is nothing new to San Juan East Side as it has won the Single Pan title on six occasions, the first five from 2011-2015 were under the baton of arranger Duvone Stewart.

Since its inception in 2000, the band has not had a permanent base. Franco said the band is looking for a home but he prefers it to be in the commercial district of San Juan as players would be able to practise without disturbing anybody.

“We had an issue with the residents in Barataria even though the

Environmental Management Authority (EMA) gave us the go-ahead. But getting a place in San Juan seems impossible.”

The band started in 2000 and was located on the Eastern Main Road, Barataria, (Penny Gas Station), one year after they moved to the abandoned market on Second Street, Barataria. In its third year the band had its third relocation, this time higher up Second Street at the San Juan Market. This seem adequate until the San Juan Regional Corporation decided to renovate the market, and in 2009 the band moved to Steve’s Bar in Barataria.

San Juan East Side was on the move again in 2011. This time to Four Roses Bar on Second Street, San Juan behind Ramish and Leela Supermarket and it was from that location they won five times straight with Duvone Stewart.

Andre Franco takes charge of San Juan East Side on the road. - Gary Cardinez

In 2016 the band moved to its present location in Petit Bourg and the management of Grill and Chill has been very supportive of the band. Franco expressed thanks and gratitude to all the business places responsible for San Juan East Side's existence to date.

The defending champion will be the final band to face the judges on November 7 in the Northern Region. It has arranged to change the monotony of playing the same song over and over and has invited Brimblers Steel Orchestra to entertain fans before the judges arrive.

Franco said there will be celebrations after the judging as both bands and a DJ will continue to play music.

Single Pan Steelbands are permitted to perform with 25 to 35 players. For the purpose of the

competition, each participating Single Pan band may select and perform any calypso/soca or chutney

providing that the selection has not been played by the said steelband at a previous Panorama

competition. Allotted playing time is six (6) minutes.

This year’s preliminary round will take place at the competing bands’ pan yards/communities

Theme is “Celebrate De Pan.”

Following is the order of appearance for bands in the Northern Region

November 4, 7 pm

1. Music Makers –19 Straker Village, Picton Road, Laventille

2. Spree Simon Harmonics –Picton & EMR, Laventille

3. Uni Stars –Old St Joseph Rd, Bertie Marshall Blvd, Success Village, Laventille

4. D’Untouchables Pan Groove –205 Pioneer Drive, Sea Lots

5. Sea Lots One Love –21A Beetham Highway, Sea Lots

6. TT Fire Service – Fire Service HQ, Wrightson Rd.

7. Police Service –Old Central Police Station, Wrightson Rd.

8. Woodbrook Playboyz –6 Blackman Drive, Woodbrook (Lions Civic Centre)

November 5, 7 pm

9. Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony –Tragarete Road, Newtown,

10. D’Original Woodbrook Modernaires – cor French & Tragarete Road,

11. Brimblers –cor Warren & Gallus Streets, Woodbrook

12. Scrunter’s Pan Groove –Jeffers Lane, St James

13. Nuttin Big Pan Groove –1 Roots Lane, Petit Valley

14 Ice Water Pan Ensemble – 1 Bagatelle Road, Diego Martin

15. La Creole Pan Groove – La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin

November 6, 7 pm

16. City Sun Valley – 10 Duke Street, Port of Spain

17. Harlem Syncopators – 63 Quarry Street, East Dry River

18. Nayal Hill Steel Orchestra – Belmont Community Centre, Belmont

19. Nostrand Symphony –Norfolk Street, Belmont (Pandemonium Yard)

20. Gonzales Sheikers –Basketball Court, Gonzales

21. All Aces Symphony –Hutton Road, St Ann’s

22. World Wide Steel Orchestra –Hololo Mountain Road, Cascade

23. La Famille United –48 Cascade Road, Cascade


"Single Pan prelims begin Monday"

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