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UK

Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Mike Gilberg

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Local North East Musician plays with top steel orchestra in Trinidad

North Shields based musician Jenny Gilberg, 26, has just returned from her fourth trip to Trinidad, where she was selected to perform with top steel orchestra BP Renegades in the Trinidad and Tobago Panorama 2014 competition. The band, numbering 120 players, of which only 10 players were from overseas, was placed third for the second year running in the hotly contested final which took place in Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, earlier this month.

Hundreds of the islands’ steel bands compete every year to be Panorama Champions in the various categories, from School Bands and Junior Panorama to the traditional Single Pan Band and Small (75 players), Medium (90 players) and Large (120 players) Band categories.

This year it was a real battle of the bands with only 4 points separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the final. In the run up to the competition the band often rehearsed until 2am and finals night was a very late one with BP Renegades performing to the judges at 4am. The celebrations went on long after the sun came up. Panorama rehearsals usually take place in the evening when temperatures are cooler; during the day temperatures are in excess of 30 degrees C.

Jenny, who works across the North-East as a steelpan and woodwind tutor and also performs as a pan soloist, is now a musical director of North Tyneside Steelband and regularly tutors and arranges for the band. She has played for a number of years with London bands for the annual London Panorama and Notting Hill Carnival. In 2008 she won the British Association of Steelbands Soloist title, the only pannist outside of London to win this title, and in 2013 she won the UK Pan Clash competition.

Jenny would thoroughly recommend steelpan to young people as a way to enjoy making music. She said, “It has provided me with the opportunity to travel and meet amazing people.”

If any young people in the region are interested in joining their local steel band, they can contact Jenny via her website:

www.jennygilberg-steelpan.co.uk

Contact:  Jenny Gilberg on 07887865844 or at jenny.gilberg@btinternet.com

Photo by Robbie Joseph


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