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Halcyon Steel Orchestra Wins Antigua & Barbuda 2008 National Panorama Title

Panman Prime Minster Baldwin Spencer Celebrates win with his Band!
 

Antigua & Barbuda Six bands competed for Antigua’s 2008 National Panorama Championship.  The featured bands in the competition were Mahico Stars, Gemonites, Harmonites International, Ebonites, Halcyon and Hells Gate, the defending champion. The annual event was held at Carnival City (Antigua’s Recreation Grounds), St. John’s, Antigua.  Each band performed one song before the judges.  A significant amount of the musical material performed in this year’s competition was from past years.

Defending champion Hells Gate Steel Orchestra came into the competition seeking that elusive hat-trick, but on this night, that feat was not to be - as Halcyon Steel Orchestra took the 2008  panorama crown.  Pandemonium and joy broke out on the stage as the members of Halcyon clad in blue tops pranced and danced across, even before the announcer officially declared them the 2008 champions.  Sharing in that realization and joy was none other than the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the honorable Baldwin Spencer.  Mr. Spencer, a panman and a Halcyon Steel Orchestra ‘old boy’ was on stage with all the members, lapping up the joy of winning a panorama; after all, it was back in 1995 when they last had such a privilege.  Indeed, it is the envy of any steel orchestra  in the world, to have a head of state as a member/active supporter of its organization.

Halcyon took a non-traditional and somewhat risky approach to their performance before the judges.  They executed their piece at a tempo that was much slower than the norm in a panorama situation.   The Halcyon leader explained that the reason for this approach was to ensure that musical parts were heard clearly and not ‘jumbled’ up.  Cleary by the eventual results of this approach, it was the right thing to do.  This was the ninth panorama win for Halcyon.

The show began promptly at 8:17 PM with the national anthem being played on the steelpan.  Harmonites International Steel Orchestra, celebrating their 41st year, was the first band to take the stage to perform their version of King Short Shirt’s “My Pledge;” their arranger was Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel.  They were followed by Ebonites Steel Orchestra, which according to one of its leaders, was looking to make a serious statement and took the stage with nearly ninety players - the largest they have ever been at a panorama.  Next up - Hells Gate, the defending champions took the stage with one hundred musicians, looking to capture their third title in row.  Their tune of choice was King Short Shirt’s “Jamming” arranged by Veron Henry.  Mahico Stars followed with the Mighty Swallow’s “Rev up Jam” - a  “Hymo” Watkins’ arrangement.  A much-smaller-than-is customary Gemonites Steel Orchestra took the stage with fifty players.  Their tune of choice  was “Sweet Song” by Burning Flames.  The final band of the night and eventual winner was Halcyon steel orchestra also boasting one hundred musicians.  Halcyon’s tune of choice was “Hit Man” by Latumba, arranged by Fitzroy “Blakey” Phillips and Curtis “CC” Cochrane.


RESULTS for Antigua & Barbuda 2008 National Panorama

Results / Points

Bands

Order of Appearance

Prizes

Songs

Arrangers

1st /

Halcyon

No. 6

 

Hit Man

Fitzroy “Blakey”  Phillips
&
Curtis “CC” Cochrane

 2nd /

Hells Gates

No. 3

 

Jamming

Veron Henry & Patmore “Maestro” Smith.

3rd/

Ebonites

No. 2

 

Jouvert Rhythm

Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel

4th /

Gemonites

No. 5

 

Sweet Song

Patrick “Stone” Johnson

5th /

Mahico Stars

No. 4

 

Rev up Jam

“Hymo” Watkins

6th /

Harmonites

No. 1

 

My Pledge

Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel
&
Paul Samuels

 


Antigua Panorama Champions

  • 1. Hells Gate (champions 1949,1958,1959,1960,1964,1967,1976,1990,1991, 2002, 2006 & 2007)

  • 2. Halcyon (champions 1975,1978,1979,1986,1987,1992,1993,1994, 1995 & 2008)

  • 3. Harmonites (champions 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1985, 2001 & 2004)

  • 5. Gemonites (champions 1981, 2003 & 2005)

  • 6. Ebonites (champions 1977)

Click for more on steelpan in Antigua
www.Antigua.panonthenet.com

Steelband Champions of Antigua and Barbuda

 

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