Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - With the Trinidad & Tobago National Anthem by Ashley St. Clair marking the official start of the 2012 Panorama finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad at 7:45 p.m. on February 18 - it would be exactly eight hours later at 3:45 a.m. before the eagerly-anticipated results for the evening’s competition were known. Twenty-one steel orchestras - ten in the medium band category and eleven in the large category - regaled steelpan lovers with music, in an event that brought the curtains down on yet another year of determined and fierce preparation and competition in the annual steelband music ritual known as Panorama.
Bringing their total Panorama wins over the years to eight, and playing Leon “Smooth” Edwards’ arrangement of Play Yourself, were defending champions Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra who kept their Panorama title for a consecutive year; so too did Katzenjammers in the medium category. In fact Trinidad’s sister isle of Tobago did the island proud, holding down the top two positions in the medium bands - Buccooneers following closely with 284 points, four less than Katzenjammers. This year the champs were faced with more challenges; their Trinidad-based arranger Edwin Pouchet was unable to travel to Tobago to work with the orchestra due to health reasons. According to band captain Jemma Duke, the stage side players of Katzenjammers therefore went to Trinidad to learn the music, and imparted the arrangement to the rest of the band upon their return. Co-winners of the medium band championship title in 2011—Valley Harps—had to settle for fourth position.
By the time the last band in the medium category had performed, the crowds in the Grand and North Stands in the savannah, as well as the audience taking in the Panorama online - were anxiously awaiting the advent of the large steel orchestras. The first - one of the two representatives from Trinidad’s south region, Siparia Deltones, took the stage at 11:25 p.m. in their quest for the Panorama title.
The 2012 Panorama season was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Pat Bishop and Ralph MacDonald, both who passed in 2011. Dr. Bishop worked closely with Exodus Steel Orchestra each Panorama season, and the band paid homage to her, performing Aunty Pat penned by their arranger Pelham Goddard. Len “Boogsie” Sharpe who was mentored by Bishop also arranged his own composition Archbishop of Pan in her honor, the delivery of which brought his band Phase II Pan Groove into second position behind champions Trinidad All Stars. Exodus Steel Orchestra tied with Harmonites in fifth position. The latter were exquisitely attired in royal purple and steelpan-enhanced gold robes—complete with the mitre, the traditional ceremonial head-dress of bishops—in keeping with the “Archbishop” theme in their tune of choice, also Archbishop of Pan. Harmonites played in the final position, and finished off the competition at 3:31 a.m.
Interesting to note, that it is not only the orchestras
in the medium and large categories which retained their championship
titles; this scenario played out across the board for the entire
2012 Panorama season. It first transpired earlier in
the week on February 16, in the small conventional steel orchestra finals
as Arima Golden
Symphony won the title - for the fourth consecutive year, while
Single Pan Band winners
San Juan East
Side Symphony went home with their title for a second year running.
Click for full Panorama results
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