Amala's View

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Junior Panorama showcases young arrangers

Nobel Laureate Week came to an end today with a bang. True to the theme of the celebrations - Unlocking the potential within – today’s exercise, Junior Panorama 2006 allowed budding arrangers to shine. It was agreed that the arrangers for Junior Panorama must be youngsters themselves. All of the arrangers were 20 years or younger and they can not arrange for more than two years in succession, thereby giving another youth a chance to develop their skill. Fantastic!
Today’s competition saw six bands, all adorned in t-shirts bearing the sponsors name, the name of their band and in some cases the name of the test tune.
The competition got underway shortly after 4pm with St Joseph’s Convent Steel doing a medley to warm up then Nicole David’s Queen of the Jungle as their test piece. They seemed to lose their timing at points of the test piece but nonetheless they were given the support of the audience. The Leon Hess Secondary School band was next, sponsored by Bumper 2 Bumper, they were hot from the get go with the Alison Hinds Roll It as their warm up piece, complete with dancers. They did a very good interpretation of TC Brown’s Mucho Pan for their test piece.
The highly anticipated Cable & Wireless Diamond Steel took the stage next. Their warm up medley was a luke warm rendition of Waistline Shots and a surprise inclusion of Sean Paul’s We Be Burnin’. The crowd was extremely jubilant from the first strains of the Sean Paul number and in true Diamond Steel showmanship, they wheeled it!!! The test piece was an excellent interpretation of Messenger’s Boom Boom Bye Bye. They managed to remind the audience to Stop The Violence and ended with a shout of “peace”. Miguel Joseph is to be commended for his arrangement of the test piece.
Busta Emerald Steel were up next, while their numbers seemed smaller than the allotted 35, they managed to have fun on stage while doing Alpha’s In De Arc as their warm up. They did Jaunty’s We Shall Hop as the test piece.
Digicel Pantime, clad in red were next. They had the entire front of the stage eating from their pans when they did a medley of Machel Montano’s Craziness and You to warm up. Both them and the audience were hot by the time they got to Invader’s Take My Money for their test piece. Just like Diamond Steel and Leon Hess, they played with expression, deviated from the melody and came back and in general showed that they understood the music and the criteria. Their pieces were arranged by Yannick St Juste and Shakir Lubin. The final band had been much anticipated too owing to their rivalry with Diamond Steel. Somehow when the South Shoe Store sponsored North Stars took the stage, even with their warm up piece, there was something left to be desired. They did a medley then moved into Jaunty’s Ooh La Lay as their test piece. The applause at the end of their performance was not as warm as it was for their arrival.
In the end, third place went to South North Stars. In pan, as in business, the two mobile phone companies battled for supremacy. Cable & Wireless Diamond Steel was beat into second place by one point and the Digicel sponsored Pantime showed that they were the bigger, better steelband! The arrangers are to be commended for their efforts and the CDF too for a job well done. The future of steelband is certainly in good hands and while we would all like to receive the gold medals, Diamond Steel’s members should be taught that there is such a thing as losing gracefully and we are all winners. I look forward to seeing Marie-Grace Michel (the Minister’s daughter), who is the captain of Digicel Pantime and her band at the opening of St Lucia Carnival 2006.


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