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Caribbean

Published on January 23rd, 2016 | by TandT Newsday Newspapers

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Pan lovers flock streets

THE theme for this year’s Panorama rang through last Wednesday evening as hundreds of pan music lovers took the annual pilgrimage from steel orchestra to steel orchestra for the judges’ visit in the Large Conventional division. The excitement came from the fans while the excellence came in the form of beautiful music from the players.  It was an amazing sight on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain where Desperadoes awaited the judges’ arrival.  With cars parked on both sides of the street, traffic stretched up to Park Street in the north.  Anxiety was at a peak as the players were eager to show off their skills to the new arranger in their new home on the ground of the former Greyfriars Church.  After the national anthem was played by two members of the Caine family, Desperadoes got down to business of playing Carlton “Zanda” Alexander’s arrangement of 5 Star Akil’s “Different Me”.  Zanda worked his usual magic on the piece and the players executed it well and had hundreds of supporters with smiles on their faces.

Singer 5 Star Akil stood next to the judges’ table in amazement, after the performance he took the opportunity to shoot pictures with the players as well as many of his fans.  When asked how he felt, Akil said, “Awesome, amazing, this is the best feeling in the world. This is exactly what we have been working hard to achieve; the coming together of soca and pan. I just can’t believe this is happening.” It proved more difficult getting into reigning champions Massy Trinidad All Stars, Duke Street panyard. The crowd had grown thicker, even across the East Dry River from the panyard there was a crowd.

It was quite obvious that the champions had no intention of letting go of their title and their performance of Leon “Smooth” Edwards’ arrangement of Clive Telemaque composition “Leave we Alone” was the evidence. With tenors ringing out and bass pans answering, supporters got a treat.  By this time over on Charlotte Street at bp Renegades’ yard it was useless trying to enter.  Security had to beg people to allow the judges to get to their station.  Once inside, arranger Duvonne Stewart was pacing anxiously in readiness to get it on.  Like a well-oiled machine the players went through Stewart’s arrangement of “Music Inside Meh Head” to a point of near perfection and cheered on by their fans.

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