Former Panorama arranger Dr Jeannine Remy’s appreciation for South Trinidad musician continued to grow after day five of the Music Festival at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando.
The senior music lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine left the building highly impressed after adjudicating a series of steel pan performances by students on Friday morning. The opening category was the tenor/double seconds solo for those ages 17 and under.
The nine competitors performed the test piece Vals Venozolano (Venezuelan Waltz) composed by Paquito D’Rivera. The steel pan arrangement was done by Marco Riz, with variation and adaption by TT’S Vanessa Alexandra Headley. The results for this category will be announced next Wednesday, but Dr Remy reassured the students they did a fine job.
Competing were Mekhi DeVertruil, Darion St Clair, Olivia Hospedales, Kylelon Edwards, Toni Lewis, Malachi Latrox, Hannah Casey, Andelle Balwah and Arlene Mountoute. The ages 13 and under category followed this, with ten performers in total. They recited Ludwig van Beethoven’s timeless classical piece Für Elise, but with a jazzy twist.
It was a close call with Naparima Girls’ High School’s Chelsea Hanumanta and Golden Hands Steel Orchestra’s Jeremy Greene both placing third with 89 points. Caleb Fortune, also of Golden Hands, placed second with 90 points, and the winner was Golden Hands’ Teon Lewis with 94 points.
Lewis will move on to the championships on March 26 and 27. Other competitors in this category included Miguel David, Christian Fermin, Jaeda Ar-Razi, Tafari Crawford and Maya Balwah. The ages 21 and under category had three competitors with their test piece being Les Plaintes de la jeune fille (The young girl’s complaints) by Franz Schubert. Dr Remy commended the youngsters on their effort, saying it is a difficult classical piece. Golden Hands’ Jessie Jagnarine and Presentation College’s Rene Stephen and Aaron da Silva were the competitors. Certificates were presented to the winner – da Silva (88 points) and for second place which went to Jagnarine (86 points).
The final category was the junior pan ensemble with two steel bands competing. Golden Hands’ Steel Orchestra played Julie Andrews’ classic tune My Favourite Things from the musical The Sound of Music, and the Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School Steel Band performed Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke. Golden Hands won with 88 points while Fyzabad had 87.
Speaking with Newsday after the programme, Dr Remy said she loves South Trinidad and she was pleased with the performances. “I think the talent in south is one of those untouched areas where we don’t really know too much about all the talent that is here. Their performances were spectacular, I enjoyed each and every child I heard today. They were well prepared.”