GENESIS PAN GROOVE lead the field of the semifinals of the 2020 Panorama Small Band competition with a scintillating arrangement of Sparrow's Doh Back Back. Their performance tallied 280 points at a marathon pan session which ended at around 2.45 am at Victoria Square on Sunday.
Uptown Fascinators from Tobago, with 278 points, placed second in the semifinals which ended a marathon session around 2.45am at Victoria Square in Port of Spain on Sunday.
The final is scheduled for Friday.
The first Panorama competition for the new decade proved to be a challenge for organisers.
The show ran for over ten hours starting at 4.20 pm on Saturday afternoon until the last note was played at 2.45 am on Sunday. Thirty-one bands faced the judges and the atmosphere on Park Street was great as people came out to hear and celebrate the national instrument, many meeting for the first time for the year greeting and hugging each other.
When it came to the competition things were different. The winners of the single pan category received their cheques before the actual start of the small band semifinals.
The flow of bands was stunted throughout the evening with a problem as early as band number two, Motown. They took a very long time before they started playing Trouble in the Morning, a song which seemed to be a test piece for the evening. Nine bands played the Jevaugh "V’ghn" John 2019 composition.
The cause of the delay was with the officials counting the number of players to ensure it did not exceed the limit, a problem which ran throughout the competition.
The worst came around midnight when the members of the T&T Defence Force were made to stand in front of the band to be counted before taking their positions behind their pans.
While the organisers wanted to have one band in a “holding bay’ while the band on stage played, there was still a problem. It was evident several bands didn't have enough supporters to push their racks on stage as most of the players were very young and could not control the pan racks.
The other problem was the set up time. Bands took too long to get their pans in order to play for the judges which caused too much downtime.
While the people came out to see and hear pan not many paid the $100 to sit in the stands as many chose to be a part of the action on the road.
Pan music won out at, however, as arrangers and players came out in full force to impress the judges.
From as early 5.50 pm when band number four Genesis Pan Groove played an Arddin Herbert arrangement of Sparrow’s Doh Back Back, they solicited loud applause from the audience for their energetic performance.
At around 10 pm Uptown Fascinators also had the audience singing along with them as they played Ojay Richards’ arrangement of Winston Soso’s I Don't Mind.
The T&T Defence Force caused a stir among pan enthusiasts as they performed Duvone Stewart’s arrangement of Gabby’s Boots. It was a marked improvement from their preliminary performance.
T&TEC New East Side Dimension woke up the dwindling audience around 1.30 am with their performance of Kersh Ramsey’s arrangement of Savannah Grass.
Both Roadblock and Fascinators Pan Symphony gave the competition an early morning boost with their performances of Savannah Grass and Trouble in The Morning as arranged by Dejean Cain and Yohan Popwell respectively.
Another highlight of the evening was when Pan Trinbago’s President Beverley Ramsey-Moore was interviewed by former president Keith Diaz who now works for a radio station.
The top fourteen bands go into Friday’s final. The results of Saturday’s semi-final are as follows.
1. Genesis Pan Groove – Doh Back Back – 280 pts
2. Uptown Fascinators – I Don't Mind – 278
3. T&T Defence Force – Boots – 277
4. T&TEC New East Side Dimension – Savannah Grass – 276
5. Fascinators Pan Symphony – Trouble in the Morning – 273
6. Arima Golden Symphony – Madness – 272
6. West Side Symphony – Smile – 272
8. Golden Hands – Oil and Music – 271
8. Roadblock – Savannah Gras – 271
10. Highlanders – Surrender – 269
11. Tobago Pan-Thers – Trouble in the Morning – 268
12. La Horquetta Pan Groove – Trouble in the Morning – 267
12. Harvard Harps – Mystery Band – 267
14. C&B Crown Cordaans – Thunder – 266
15. Motown – Trouble in the Morning – 265
15. Our Boys – Top Stricker – 265
17. St Margaret's Super Stars – Trouble in the Morning – 264
18. Alpha Pan Pioneers – Trouble in the Morning – 263
18. Tokyo – Nobody Go Run Me – 263
18. Merrytones – This Melody Sweet – 263
21. Panosonic Connection – Party Start – 261
22. West Stars Symphony – Music in We Blood – 259
23. Simple Song – Trouble in the Morning – 258
24. Nu Stars – Trouble in the Morning – 257
25. Plymouth/Bethseda Steel Sensations – Let us Build a Nation Together – 255
26. Perfect Cadence – Pan By Storm – 254
27. Northolus – Jane – 253
27. Hilltoppers Steelpan Academy – Far From Finish – 253
29. Kalamo Kings – Gyal Owner – 251
30. Swavic – Trouble in the Morning – 250
31. Tamana Pioneers – Woman on the Bass – 245