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Published on August 26th, 2016 | by Robbie Joseph

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UK National Steelband Panorama Competition 2016

Saturday the 27th August will see Kensal Road off Ladbroke Grove host the UK National Steelband Panorama finals. The event will kick off at 7:00 p.m. with eight of the UK top steel orchestras performing in this musical battle to achieve the coveted title of The UK National Steelband Panorama Champions.

Ensure you reach early and start walking along the ‘Drag’ from Ladbroke Grove along Kensal Road where all the participating steel bands will be practicing for their glorious ten minutes on stage. The atmosphere is electric. It’s a musical river with music flowing from the bands that appear to push the crowds along the way as they drift from band to band. The rumble of the basses is like the river crashing along its meandering way whilst the midrange pan instruments emit melodious tones that sounds like the running water over its rocks and pebbles. The front line’s harmonious tone adds to the musical river’s existence to lead you into a state of musical harmony.

Scales, Chords, Melodies, Harmony, Syncopation, Allegro, Allegretto, Capriccio and Orchestration to name a few. This is what will be the ammunition in this musical war.  The players are the soldiers of these musical armies as the come to Kensal Road, the battlefield, and where you will hear a musical explosion of the sweet sounds of steel band music. This is one war where everyone involved is a winner and no one gets hurt.

Hundreds of pan musicians who have practiced hundreds of hours will play thousands of steelpan instruments in the iconic musical battle.

Ebony Steelband Trust will be returning to defend their Champions title. Last year’s victory saw Ebony clock up twenty UK Steelband Panorama titles which stands as the world record for winning the most National Steelband Panorama competitions. They will be playing Duvonne Stewart’s musically arranged rendition of Voice’s, ‘Cheers to Life’. Duvonne and the band have been working hard and having great fun in their preparation to retain the Champions title.

Croydon Steel Orchestra continue to employed the services of the young and talented David Ijaduola proving that the UK continues to nurture the development of young musical arrangers ensuring the continuity of the artform. Croydon will play the musically arranged rendition of 5Star Akil’s ‘Different Me’.

CSI Steel Orchestra led by their musical arranger Brent Holder MBE will be pulling out all the shots in this 2016 Panorama. They will be playing Brent’s musical arrangement of Designer’s ‘Pan By Storm’. Brent continues to encourage his youthful players and four of his children are playing in the band this year.

Endurance Steel Orchestra is a new comer to this competition with their first appearance in last year’s competition. They were formed four years ago and have been establishing themselves on the steelband circuit. Marlon Hibbert, who founded the band at age 18 has certainly developed himself and Endurance in leaps and bounds. Endurance will be playing Marlon’s musical arrangements of 5Star Akil’s ‘Different.

Mangrove Steelband managed by Debi Gardner have the musical prowess of Andre White. Andre and Leon Foster Thomas have been working diligently with their players on the delivery of Andre’s musical arrangements of 5Star Akil’s ‘Different Me” on the night and are looking forward to this 2016 musical battle with attitude and confidence.

Metronomes Steel Orchestra led by Eversley ‘Breeze’ Mills will also be playing 5Star Akil’s, ‘Different Me’. Musically arranged by Anise ‘ Halfers’ Hadeed. Metronomes have been knocking on the winner’s door for some time and are hoping that 2016 is the year they capture the coveted UK National Steelband Panorama title. Their pan yard atmosphere reflects that of one in Trinidad with throngs of visitors and the traditional pot of food cooked nightly.

Real Steel has won this competition for 2012-2014 and is hoping to regain the title with their Champion musical arranger Leroy Clarke’s musical arrangements of Carlton ‘Panman’ Harewood’s  ‘Nostalgia’.  Real teel has always been a consistent contender in this competition since they entered and are one to watch on the night

London All Stars Steel Orchestra are returning to this competition this year having been absent for a few years, although their players have continued to play with other bands in the competition. They will be playing Simon Superville’s ‘Soca Ruption’ musically arranged by Phil ‘DBL’ Rollock. The band’s manager is Frank Rollock Sr – ‘Mr Steelpan’ himself and has ensured that London All Stars has participated as many times as was possible.

All the steelbands will be practicing each night at their pan yards until the night of the competition, so visit them and enjoy the wealth of music that will be on offer on the 29th August 2015 from 6:30 p.m. at Kensal Road, London, W10 5BZ.

2016  Steelbands playing order at the UK National Panorama:

BAND TUNE COMPOSER ARRANGER TUNER(s) MANAGER CAPTAIN
CSI Steelband Trust Pan By Storm Designer Brent Holder “Mapo” Richardson Brent Holder MBE  Tanisha Elcock
Ebony Steelband Cheers to Life Voice Duvone Stewart Dudley Dickson Pepe Francis MBE Anesha Carbon
Real Steel Nostalgia Carlton ‘Panman’ Harewood Leroy Clarke Toussaint Clarke Leroy Clarke
Mangrove Steel Band Different Me 5Star Akil Andre White Bertrand “Birch” Kellman Debi Gardner Andrew Facey
Metronomes Steel Orchestra Different Me 5Star Akil Annise ‘Halfers’ Hadeed Toussaint Clarke & Grafton Yearwood Eversley Mills Vivian Miller
Croydon Steel Orchestra Different Me 5Star Akil David Ijaduola Emily “Bacchanal” Lemmerman Paul Dowie Jody Moosetach-Humphries & Temitayo Ken Afolabi
London All Stars Soca Ruption Simon Superville Phil ‘DBL’ Rollock Frank Rollock Frank Rollock Shanai Rollock
Endurance Steel Orchestra Different Me 5Star Akil Marlon Hibbert Toussaint Clarke & Yann Brabant Shareen Gray Marlon Hibbert


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