PanoGrama returns bigger and better

The 2021 defending PanoGrama champ Earl Brooks Jr. -
The 2021 defending PanoGrama champ Earl Brooks Jr. -

WHEN the covid19 pandemic put a clamp on much of the world, including TT, pannist Nevin Roach answered the call to find new ways to keep the pan community and the larger society entertained. That answer came in the form of PanoGrama.

The virtual pan competition, hosted on social media platforms like Instagram, drew thousands of viewers thirsty for some form of entertainment. It saw many regional and local pannists participating in the online competition.

And this year it is back again.

The event will be held from May 7-16 and will feature a maximum of 30 participants in the preliminaries. Last year there were 20.

Roach told Newsday in e-mailed responses that the format of this year’s competition largely remains the same. This year, however, musicians would not be required to improvise for bonus points. Other improvements in prizes and judging criteria were also made.

“Tweaks have been made to improve the audiovisual delivery of the competition and the broadcast will be expanded to YouTube, Facebook and television.”

PanoGrama was held from April to May last year.

Roach told Newsday in April last year that he came up with the idea after viewing a live event and wanting to help his fellow pannists.

“A lot of the world is lockdown and people cannot go out to play gigs. There is not an awful lot going on. While I was watching a live stream, it was very entertaining and I thought to myself, ‘Nevin, you know, you could actually do something similar, but tweak it to suit the pan,’” he said then.

Nevin Roach -

This year’s competition will also have an educational component, the Knowledge For Success webinar series. The series will address topics such as personal/professional development, musical development and career guidance, Roach said.

He also plans to donate to a charitable organisation, just as was done last year.

Roach said last year’s event was a “huge success” and that there was “serious buzz” about the second instalment. He said he expects to see an immense increase in interest and decided to make auditions mandatory (with the exception of the defending champion, Earl Brooks Jr).

Auditions will take place from February 28-March 21.

Roach said PanoGrama will remain virtual for some time, although TT has had blended events, a mix of live and virtual audiences.

“However, bringing a landed version of it to different countries in the future will definitely be considered,” he added.

When asked if PanoGrama plans to partner with Pan Trinbago to bring an aspect of its competition to Panorama, Roach said Pan Trinbago, headed by Beverley Ramsey-Moore, has been supportive of PanoGrama from its inception,

He added, “PanoGrama entertainment would be open to collaboration on other initiatives with the organisation in the future.”

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"PanoGrama returns bigger and better"

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