Top 16 bands move on to small conventional finals

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Members of St Margaret’s Super Stars steelband perform during the semifinal of the Panorama small conventional bands competition on Saturday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

The semifinals of Pan Trinbago’s small conventional Panorama met the organisations’ expectations and was of a high standard, president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said on Monday.

The semifinal was held on Saturday from 4 pm at Victoria Square, Port of Spain, and 30 bands played to earn a spot in the finals.

Ramsey-Moore said, “There was a significant improvement in the quality of music and production. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the participants on the fantastic job that they have done.”

Traditionally, 14 bands move to the finals but there will be 16 bands vying for the top spot on January 14 at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain from 7 pm. The bands will draw for playing positions at the VIP Lounge, Queen’s Park Savannah on January 10.

Reigning champion Uptown Fascinators is included among the finalists along with former champion TT Defence Force.

Other bands making it to the finals include Fascinators Pan Symphony, Road Block Steel Orchestra, Southern Stars and Alpha Pan Pioneers. The top 16 bands were chosen with Uptown Fascinators scoring a total of 277 points to take the lead.

When asked about the additional two bands, Ramsey-Moore said, “Because the executive is well pleased in what we would have seen and because it is our diamond jubilee, we agreed to add two more bands to the finals just as we have done for the medium and the large bands.”

She added that organisation was looking forward to the excitement going forward.

It was also announced at Saturday’s event that each pan player will received a $500 remittance. It was reported that Pan Trinbago was in discussion with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to have a return of the remittances.

A press release on Saturday said Cabinet approved specific financial measures to assist the pan movement and Panorama for this year and those measures were payments of grants to unsponsored bands and the remittance.

It added that the measures were taken in light of the role bands play in the social and cultural fabric of TT as well as the financial difficulties pan organisations and individuals faced during the covid19 pandemic.