The sweet sound of the steel band which was the featured aspect of the 2013 Carnival by the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) echoed throughout the Grenada National Stadium last Saturday during the annual National Panorama Championship.
Nine of the nation’s steel orchestras participated in the competition that was sponsored by the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) to the tune of just over $340,000.00.
Coyaba New Dimensions successfully defended the title, which it won last year, making it ten National Panorama Titles.
The victory for the city band, which was formed in 1988 comes as it is celebrating its Silver Jubilee.
Being cognizant of the fact that 25 years is a time to celebrate, the New Dimension that is located on Melville Street, St. George’s presented “Celebrate 25 Years” which was composed by its Arranger and Manager, David “Peck” Edwards.
The steel orchestra, which played in position nine in the competition, walked away with the coveted title with a score of 279 points to take home $48,000.00.
New Dimensions which first won the National Championship in 1988, six months after it was formed, used 65 players and 110 pieces of instrument on Saturday night.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY Newspaper, Edwards expressed his delight over the latest victory, noting that playing in position number nine was a plus for the band as they were able to conduct a final rehearsal at the stadium site of the Panorama Championship.
According to Edwards, New Dimensions will never overlook any band that is into the competition but is more concerned with focusing on itself.
The second position in the competition went to Lime Commancheros out of St. Paul’s, which played in position number seven. It scored 275 points and took home $40,000.00.
Formed in 1967, and having last won the championship in 2007, the band which had 53 members with 148 pieces of instrument played Ajamu’s “Golden Jubilee.”
Suzuki Pan Wizards, which is located at River Road, St. George’s, won the third place prize of $35,000.00 as it ended on 271 points.
The band, formed in 1988, won the National Champions in 2004. It used 70 players and 166 pieces of instrument as it played in position number four, “Bad Like Yars.”
Republic Bank Angel Harps, which was one of the bigger bands of the night with 65 players, had to settle for the fourth position with a score of 270 points. They were rewarded with $35,000.00.
The band, which was formed in 1965, is based on the Carenage, St. George’s last won the National Panorama Championship in 2011. However, one week earlier they walked away with the Junior Championship for the eight time.
With a James Clarkson composition of “Pan Concheto”, which paid tribute to a number of steel band players who have passed on.
Rainbow City All Stars from Chapel Road in Grenville, St. Andrew’s, which continues to remain, unsponsored and was formed in 1990 placed fifth with a score of 257 points as it presented for the night, “Pan Revolution.”
Digicel Florida All Stars, which played in position, number six with 50 players presented Calypsonian Tangler’s “Calaloo” to place sixth with 256 points.
Disappointingly, Waggy T Pan Ossia out of Gouyave, St. John’s that played in position number five took the 7th spot with 247 points with “A Matter Of Time.”
Calabash Pan Lovers from Grand Anse Valley, St. George’s, which was formed in 1989 and has a membership of 55 with 142 pieces of instrument played in the eight position, “It Is Carnival.” They placed eight with 234 points.
Grand Roy Pan Angels Steel Orchestra, which was also unsponsored and took to the stage in the second position placed ninth with 231 points.
The steel orchestra which was formed in 2005 and placed fourth at the national championship in 2012 came into Panorama with a membership of 40 players with 118 pieces of instrument and presented to the judges their song of choice, “In The Pan Yard.”
Just before the end of the competition the eight-year old energetic drummer from Grand Roy, Zachery Ashton was given a financial reward to assist with his preparation for school, which reopens next month.
The bands were judged on arrangement – 40 points, general performance – 40 points, tone – 10 points, and rhythm – 10 points.
The show, which was interspersed with various cultural acts during the change over of the bands, was produced by Playwright, Francis “Urias” Peters.
At the end of the competition monetary prizes were handed out for all of the steel band competitions that took place during the season, including last month’s Bomb Tune Competition in which $27,000.00 in prizes was handed out.
Although three of the bands were penalized for being late for the competition and were not allowed to participate, each of them, Calabash Pan Lovers, Waggy T Pan Ossia, and Grand Roy Pan Angels, received prizes of $3,000.00 each.
Coyaba New Dimension won the competition for the third consecutive year, followed by Republic Bank Angel Harps, Lime Commancheros, Suzuki Pan Wizards,
Rainbow City All Stars, and Digicel Florida All Stars.
For the Junior Panorama Championship that was won by Republic bank Angel Harps on August 3, the band received $12,000.
Coyaba New Dimension, which finished in the second position, received $10,000.00. Lime Commancheros was third and received $8,000.00
Digicel Florida All Stars ended up in fourth position, Island Catering Grand Roy Pan Angels which placed fifth and Huggins Pan Ossia which placed sixth all received $7,000.00. Total prizes paid out were $51,000.00.
For the National Panorama Championship bands placing ninth to fifth position each received $20,000.00.