Curepe Scherzando, playing in last position in the medium category of the National Panorama Steelband semis, lit up the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday with their near flawless execution of the Yohan Popwell arrangement of My House, a Jason “Shaft” Bishop composition sung by Farmer Nappy.
At one point the arranger got on ‘his’ couch in ‘his house’ to play the pan. The crowd responded with thunderous applause. A couple of Tobago bands also came out to send a message that they are going all out to represent when the final will be held in the sister isle next Sunday.
From as early as the second band, the NGC Steel Xplosion, out of Tobago, playing Erphaan Alves’ Soca Global arranged by Odie Franklin, saw the band, looking smart in their red tees and white trousers and delivering a fine performance that had the small crowd paying attention to a smart rendition of the song.
Then two bands later, Katzenjammers, which is managed by Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore raised the temperature in the Savannah with their playing of Merchant’s Caribbean Connection. Looking to keep within striking distance from the title, the players started singing part of the refrain before the count was given for the band to start playing the song arranged by Terrence BJ Marcelle. It was quite an energetic performance. But grabbing even more attention of the people in the Grand Stand was nine-year-old Jadon Ramsey-Phillip whose playing ability matched those of the older players. This is his third panorama in the band.
Pamberi, that played Wrong Again (Shirlan “Skinny Banton” George), appeared to enjoy their time on stage as arranger Andre White played himself in front the band,pretending to be the ‘horned’ man. The crowd liked what they heard.
Drill master Akua Leith took NGC Couva Joylanders through its paces with the Stefon West arrangement of Is My Turn, a Dennis Williams and Winston Scarborough composition. The largely youthful band kept a tight grip on the arrangement.
Siparia Deltones, playing Festival Song (Ella Andall) arranged by Akinola Sennon gave an entertaining performance that really had people feel like dancing in the stands.
Potential Symphony, that also played All Dem Tobago Gyul, looking to improve its sixth position did a fine job with the Amrit Samaroo arrangement of the song that earned them lusty applause.
Earlier, at 12,50 pm, with just a handful of people in both in the Pan City and Grand Stand of the Queen’s Park Savannah, the first band Trinidad Valley Harps started to roll its pans on stage. Their song of choice is Crazy’s De Party now start arranged by Vanessa Alexandra Headley.
At the appointed hour of 1 pm, the National Anthem was played.
Judges for this category comprised Joanna Ragbir, Lennox London, Roger Sardinah, Stephanie Powder, Corinne Soo Ping Chow and Joycelyn Sealy.
Bands were judged on arrangement and general performance 40 points each, tone and rhythm ten points each.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and his special squad made their entry into the Grand Stand of the Savannah and proceeded to the Pan City during that performance.
San City Steel Symphony’s rendition of Dear Promoter by Kees Dieffenthaller and Aaron “Voice” St. Louis received polite applause.
The arrangement by Aquil Arrindell saw him insert a bar of the anthem as well as quite a bit of Benjai’s Trini in it.
Pan Elders song of choice, Whoa Donkey composed by Barnett “Preacher” Henry and sung by the United Sisters back in 1993 saw new arranger Kendall Williams led the players into the playing of an army chant before getting into the meat of the song. However unlike previous years when they had the crowd at the edge of their seats, Sunday was a different in that they were a little more subdued.
Carib Dixieland, that played the 1988 road march This Party Is It composed and sung by Christopher “Tambu” Herbert, with arrangement by Ojay Richards, was applauded appreciatively by the now one-third filled Savannah.
Tornadoes, playing All Dem Tobago Gyul composed by Winsford Devine and arranged by Shervon Edwards, looked relaxed in its delivery of the arrangement.
As the sun descended into the west, Pan City was almost filled as leaders in the medium band category Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille were introduced.
Playing Ah Feeling to Rock arranged by Seion Gomez. Original singer of the song Plain Clothes waved flag for the band.
The crowd responded to a fantastic ending at 4.30 pm, as the first rhythm section struck up in Pan city.
Hatters’ delivery of Trouble in the Morning (Jevaugh “V’ghn” John) arranged by Earl Brooks Snr and Earl Brooks Jnr didn’t raise much trouble.
Playing Sailing (Winsford Devine), sung by Robert “Trini” Elias, in his 100 per cent Trini t-shirt, who also waved flag for the band, Sforzata, with an Arddin Herbert arrangement came out to improve on its 6th placing in the prelims. They gave the judges something to think about. The crowd also reacted favourably to the performance.
Sangre Grande Cordettes, playing Breakaway (Leon “Frisco” Gray) sung by Steve Sealy & Traffik, and arranged by Kion Robinson didn’t move the crowd.