Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra is the new Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Pan Champs in the large band category.
On Wednesday, the 90-member band dethroned RBC Redemption Sound Setters by two points to reclaim the top spot in the annual event hosted by the THA Division of Tourism, Culture, and Transportation at the Dwight Yorke Stadium Parade Grounds, Bacolet.
The Black Rock-based Katzenjammers performing Merchant’s (Dennis Williams) Caribbean Connection, secured 284 points to edge Montgomery, Bethel-based RBC Redemption Sound Setters who settled for 282 points with Grenadian Skinny Banton’s (Shirlan George) Wrong Again.
Dressed in orange t-shirts and performing fourth in the large band category, 2018 winners Katzenjammers delivered an invigorating performance of the tune arranged by Terrence "BJ" Marcelle.
Speaking with Newsday after the win, captain and drill master Maxson Ramsey, who accepted the trophy from Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, told Newsday that the victory was a result of hard work.
“It was long in coming, it was very hard work. We’ve been practising since November and tonight I feel very proud following stressful nights. We lost plenty night rest, so to come out on top tonight, I feel very proud.
“The players enjoyed themselves and as long as Katzenjammers make the people proud, I feel good about that,” he said amid jubilant players and supporters.
“This weekend, we are in the semi-finals in Trinidad and Sunday and the following week, we’ll be here in Tobago for the finals.”
NGC Steel Xplosion and NLCB Buccooneers tied for third with 275 points. They performed Erphaan Alves' Soca Global and Swappi (Marvin Davis) and Ultimate Rejects' Feeling it, respectively.
Mt Pleasant’s Dixieland, which played an Ojay Richard-arranged Chris "Tambu" Herbert classic of Dis Party Is It, came fifth with 273 points.
The small conventional band competition was keenly contested with the Belle Garden-based T&TEC New East Side Dimension beating a field of eight competitors to clinch the title.
Led by young arranger Kersh Ramsey, 25. the band gave a lively presentation of Kees Dieffenthaller’s Savannah Grass, earning them 282 points.
Grateful for the win, Ramsey told Newsday that that he is now aiming for a hat-trick in 2021.
“I feel really, really great. I am so excited and so happy that we are able to retain this title tonight.
“We are definitely going for a hat-trick next year, so all the small bands better watch out,” he said adding that the win came despite challenges.
“Balancing school (UTT) in Trinidad and coming up on a weekend to go up to East Side was really challenging for me, but as you can see, we overcame that.”
Placing second with 280 points was Panorama small band champions Uptown Fascinators, of Scarborough, with Winston Soso’s I doh mind arranged by Ojay Richards, while Golden Lane’s Tobago Pan-thers and Patience Hill’s West Side Symphony tied with 272 points playing V’ghn’s Trouble in the Morning and Aaron St Louis’ (Voice) Smile, respectively.
Fifth place went to C&B Crown Cordaans with 264 points while Alpha Pan Pioneers and Plymouth/ Bethesda Steel Sensation’s brought up the rear with 262 points and 257 points, respectively.
Pembroke's Metro Stars, performing last in the single pan competition took first place, receiving 273 points with its rendition of Merchant’s (Dennis Williams) Um Ba Ya Oh. Second place went to the Tony Williams-led Royal Pan Illusion, which played Timothy Watkins' (Baron) This Melody Sweet. They got 254 points.
Patience Hill’s Natural Mystic came in third playing Bally’s Me Eh Fighting.
Bands were judged on arrangement, tone, rhythm and general performance.