Grenada is recognised for its ability in producing people who are sincere to the art of pan and pan music. For the second consecutive year, Drill Master at the Republic Bank Angel Harps, Andy Chichester was invited to judge the panorama competition in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) that took place on Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with The New Today Newspaper, Chichester said that having judged in Trinidad and Tobago from 2000 and 2005, and still being one of Pan Trinbago’s several judges, he would be recommended as one of their judges when other Caribbean countries are in search of judges for their panorama competitions.
He stated that the authorities in SVG contacted him directly from since last year since they did not want all of the judges to come from Trinidad. The pan enthusiast disclosed that he has also judged competitions in St. Lucia, and Antigua.
According to Chichester, he was able to put himself in a good position to judge pan music as a result of qualifying himself musically.
He said that as a result of his association with ace arranger, James Clarkson and Angel Harps, that gave him the drive to pursue his dreams of being a complete musician and not just a panist.
Chichester currently holds two Bachelor Degrees, one in Jazz Improvisation from the University of Northern Illinois in the United States, and music special from the University of the West Indies. He spoke of having come through the school music programme while being a student at the Grenada Boys Secondary School with Clarkson and Peter Phillip.
“I compose, I write, I arrange, I produce (music), I do the whole works, rather than just the pan. So being in a position where I started arranging in Grenada, Mr. Clarkson pushed me to do that, the thought was that at some point in time I would be looked at possibly as one of the arrangers to continue arranging for Angel Harps, and I thought it best that I at least uplift myself before I get to that point and that’s why I chose to study music,” he said.
Presently, Chichester has a number of students whom he has taught to read music doing the Royal School Grading Exams. With music being a CXC Subject on the school’s curriculum, Chichester who is one of the two local CXC Examiners said he is trying to see if he can get more people involved in the art of writing music from which teachers would emerge.