There will be another National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) PanoGrama champion come May 22. Whether that title goes to France, TT the US or Barbados, remains to be seen.The semi-final round of the virtual pan compeition, however, saw France's Mathieu Borgne maintaining the lead that he has held since the preliminary round.
The semi-finals was held on May 13. The defending champion TT's Earl Brooks Jr placed fifth in the semi-final round. Second place and third place in the semis went to TT's Dejean Cain and Tyeesha Alexander respectively.NLCB PanoGrama stepped in to fill the entertainment gap in a time when TT is yet again faced with the raging covid19 pandemic.
The competition's preliminaries ran from May 7-9 and saw 30 local, regional and international pannists vying for a spot in the semi-finals. Ten of the 20 semi-finalists will move on the finals. "Defending champion Earl Brooks Jr opened the night with a chill rendition of Summertime by Childish Gambino, before Carlon Lyons followed up with Charlie Parker’s Confirmation. Dejean Cain then paid hommage to Ken "Professor" Philmore with dazzling performance of Pan by Storm. Mathieu Borgne who continues to lead the competition, closed out the night with an african influenced version of Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder," a release said.
The virtual show got over 3000 viewers on Facebook and the figures are not yet in for YouTube and Instagram. NLCB PanoGrama also hopes to have a positive effect on its various pan communities. NLCB PanoGrama's founder and host Nevin Roach announced the organisation (PanoGrama Entertainment) will be making donations to two organisations. It will donate to Pan Trinbago's Social Prosperity Fund which was started to assist vulnerable families, supporters and struggling pannists. Roach said one of his main aims for starting the virtual pan competition was to assist struggling pannists during the pandemic and was happy to be donating to such a cause again.The NLCB PanoGrama will also be donating to the St Vincent pan association to help with the relief efforts after the island’s volcanic eruption. People can also assist NLCB PanoGrama's relief efforts by making a donation.
Donations can be made through RBC in TT, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, Barbados or through its FundMeTnT or PayPal accounts. The ten finalists will be compete for a grand prize of US$1,000, an all-expense paid trip to Canada for the Sons of Steel concert, a virtual session with steelpan virtuoso Victor Provost, an appearance fee partly sponsored by Pan Trinbago and an Augustus Peters Steelpans Low C Tenor Pan package. Each finalist will also receive an EnSoul Music Designs pan pickup.
The second place winner will receive US$800 and a virtual session with Provost, while the third place winner will receive US$500 cash and a virtual session with Provost.Voting is open for the special awards and all participants for this year are eligible. People can also vote for best dressed and people’s choice at www.pano-grama.com/vote.
Here are the ten finalists: - 1. Mathieu Borgne (France) – 92.6 pts
2. Dejean Cain (TT) – 92 pts
3. Tyeesha Alexander (TT) – 91 pt
4. Jamel Cadette (TT) – 89.6 pts
5. Earl Brooks Jr (TT) – 87 pts
6. Hanif Goodridge (TT) – 86 pts
7. David Yundi (US) – 84.2 pts
8. Keishaun Julien (TT) – 83.8 pts
9. Charlton Alfonso (TT) – 83.6 pts
10. Andre Forde (Barbados) – 83.4 pts