The Queen’s Park Savannah was abuzz with activities on Saturday evening with Kaiso House, The Carnival Village and the sound of the national instrument, the steelpan.
But the spotlight was on the steelpan as hundreds of people gathered on the "drag" to hear the various bands rehearse for the Panorama semis in the medium and large categories, held on Sunday. All the bands from Tobago made their presence felt as Saturday night went on.
From the western end the first band was Trinidad Valley Harps and the young pannists took Franka Hills- Headley’s instructions with stern faces as they played De Party Now Start. Up was NGC Steel Xplosion out of Tobago and they were under the guidance of drill master Kenneth Clarke as they rehearse Odie Franklin’s arrangement of Soca Global.
Next to them was Potential Symphony going through their paces with Drill master Kareem Brown as they try to get Amrit Samaroo’s arrangement of All Dem Tobago Girls right. Manager of the band Carlan Harewood and arranger Dante Pantin were seen mingling in the crowd in front of the band.
Katzenjammers was next in line but the players were not behind their pans they were one of the last bands to rehearse on the night. But Pan Elders who were next to the Tobago unit went at it full steam ahead.
With arranger Kendal Williams out front, the band from south went through their paces of Whoa Donkey. Pan Elders held court for a very long time as pan music lovers took in their session.
Just about 9.15 p.m. a slight drizzle had some people scampering for cover but it did not stop the players. Opposite Pan Elders was the only large category contender, RBC Sound Setters.
They took a while before they started their session but another band from the sister isle Dixieland was going guns. They rehearsed Ojay Richards’ arrangement of This Party is It. This band chose to be inside the savannah on the eastern end and were all alone and went on non stop.
When RBC Sound Setters started the clean clear sound of their instruments penetrated the stillness of the savannah air as they played Michael Toby’s arrangement of Wrong Again. By this time Katzenjammers were going through their paces of Caribbean Connection as arranged by BJ Marcelle.
Pan Trinbago’s president Beverley Ramsey-Moore was in the savannah along with several members of her executive while former Minister of Culture Joan Yuille-Williams also made a stop by the pans before making her way to the Carnival Village.