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Bring it on

By Joan Rampersad Tuesday, February 18 2014

click on pic to zoom in
In the lead: Neal and Massy All Stars leads the way into the Panorma large band finals on March 1 after topping the semis at Queen's Park Savannah, Po...
In the lead: Neal and Massy All Stars leads the way into the Panorma large band finals on March 1 after topping the semis at Queen's Park Savannah, Po...

Having topped the semi-final round of competition for large bands in 2014 Panorama at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on Sunday, Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars is ready to take on its main challengers, all of which have won the steelpan championship many times.

“There are four bands that have won Panorama multiple times before and are within striking distance. So all I can say is, bring it on,” All Stars’ arranger Leon ‘Smooth’ Edwards declared yesterday.

However, he sent kudos to all other finalists, as well as his band, stating hard work always pays off and he was glad All Stars was able to reap what they had sown.

All Stars led the semis with its performance of “Excitement”, written by Clive Telemaque and sung by Shirlane Hendrickson, earning 274 points, while placing second was Republic Bank Exodus which garnered 271 points with their Pelham Goddard arrangement of his song “Pan Is Carnival”, co-written by Alvin Daniell and sung by Roderick “Chucky” Gordon.

“I thought we may have been in front but we have to work now to pass the front band. Therefore my focus is on the final night,” Goddard told Newsday.

Arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe felt happy for the two bands he worked for in the large and medium band categories: Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove and Petrotrin Katzenjammers. Coincidentally both bands placed third.

Phase II Pan Groove, the defending large band champs, tied with bp Renegades and Witco Desperadoes, after playing “Jump High”, written by Sharpe and Nigel Rojas and sung by Destra Garcia. Renegades performed De Fosto’s (Winston Scarborough) “In De Minor” and Desperadoes did Superblue’s (Austin Lyons) “Spankin”. The bands all scored 263 points.

After congratulating all bands making it to the finals, Sharpe stated, “I feel good. I work on vibes, and I work best when my back is up against the wall.”

Renegades’ arranger Duvonne Stewart felt his hard work is paying off, and given his players operate with the same ideal, they will work towards their tenth title.

Commenting on the portrait of former arranger Jit Samaroo recently put up in the panyard Stewart said, “I feel his eyes are on us, so we are putting in hard work, sacrifice and dedication and really trying our best to making it number 10.”

Stewart who also arranged Lord Nelson’s (Robert Nelson) “All Ah We Is One Family” for the top medium band Pan Elders was also confident they will reign in their category on finals night.

But pan lovers can’t stop talking about Robert Greenidge’s arrangement for Desperadoes. And though it was music to everyone’s ears on the night, Greenidge acknowledged there is some work to do and stated he has big plans for the finals.

Making a tremendous impression on patrons in the North and Grand Stands was NGC La Brea Nightingales with a Terrence “BJ” Marcelle arrangement of “Pan In The Atmosphere” by De Fosto. Hence the disbelief when they were so lowly placed. However the band did qualify for the large band finals.

Seion Gomez, who arranged “Madness” by David Rudder for NLCB Buccooneers, was pleased with his second place in the medium band category. He said, “The band was seventh out of the prelims and after the work they put out for the semis we moved from seventh to second. We have more work to do to go further, so it’s hard practice for the next two weeks.”

As for Michelle Huggins-Watts who arranged Machel Montano’s “Happiest Man Alive” for Valley Harps, she stated, “We gained five points in the semis and based on feedback, our performance is winning material. So we have to work on transforming our performance to a winning one.”

Adjudicators in the large band category were Lambert Phillip, Stephanie Power, Roger Saldinha, Lennox London, Jeanette Johnson and Andy Chichester, while judges in the medium band category were Joanne Ragbir, Richard Pierre, Junior Howell, Joslynne Sealey, Sherry Ann Saunders and Marceline Peters. Asked about noises emanating form the North Stand and The Greens during performances, Pan Trinbago vice-president Bryon Serrette, who went to the areas to maintain quiet a couple of times said because of the larger venue the sounds echoed, but the bands did not begin to play until the noise subsided.

Competition ended at a record 11 pm on Sunday, and because of a tenth place tie, 11 large conventional bands have qualified for the finals, while ten will face off in the medium band finals on Carnival Saturday, March 1, at Queen’s Park Savannah.

Also, in an effort to get patrons back in the North Stand on a final night, Pan Trinbago will be offering them complimentary finger food and drink for the price of $400.

Large Band semis results

1. Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars - Excitement- 274

2. Republic Bank Exodus - Pan Is Carnival - 271

3. WITCO Desperadoes - Spankin - 263

3. Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove - Jump High - 263

3. bp Renegades - In De Minor - 263

6. CAL Invaders - Jam It - 262

7. PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars - The Reason - 257

8. Skiffle - The Wedding

(Shaadi) - 255

9. NLCB Fonclaire - Big In De Dance - 254

10. TTEC Tropical Angel Harps - In De Minor - 253

10. NGC La Brea Nightingales - Pan In The

Atmosphere - 253

Medium Band semis results

1. Pan Elders - All Ah We Is One Family - 278

2. NLCB Buccooneers - Madness - 272

3. Petrotrin Katzenjammers - Spankin - 270

4. Valley Harps - Happiest Man Alive - 269

5. NGC Steel Xplosion - Dust In Dey Face - 269

6 NGC Couva Joylanders - Free Up - 267

7 Arima Angel Harps - In De Minor - 264

8 Carib Dixieland - Dis Is It - 263

9 Courts Sound Specialists

of Laventille - Poison - 262

10 Melodians - The Hammer - 259

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