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bp Junior Renegades celebrate 7th Junior Panorama win

Tuesday, February 25 2014

click on pic to zoom in
PLEASED AS PUNCH: Members of the Junior bp Renegades coast through their tune 'Happiest Man Alive' by Machel Montano  the band having won first place ...
PLEASED AS PUNCH: Members of the Junior bp Renegades coast through their tune 'Happiest Man Alive' by Machel Montano the band having won first place ...

It was a special win for the junior players of bp Renegades, they having copped the top spot in the Non-Conventional division of the Secondary Schools Panorama finals.

According to the manager of the band, Edmond Willis, the band celebrated its seventh win in the Junior Panorama Competition on Sunday last. Willis said the win was, in part, inspired by founder of the Junior Renegades, Jit Samaroo, who despite recent illness celebrated his 64th birthday yesterday. The Junior Renegades manager said when he was talking to the band before they went on to perform on Sunday he told them to “Win this one for Jit”.

Junior Renegades’ selection was “Happiest Man Alive” by Machel Montano. The tune was arranged by former member of the band, Andrew Charles. Willis described the band as “vibrant” and said they got their inspiration from the senior band, bp Renegades, for their energy and great performance. Willis gave kudos to the arranger for his insight in selecting the winning song.

“Usually, the arrangers and I are on the same page when selecting the song for the competition, but this time I didn’t really like the song” Willis said. This was confirmed by arranger, Andrew Charles. He described the song as unorthodox, but he still felt that he could have arranged the three chord song into a winning rendition of the Soca hit. “I didn’t want to go to the typical pan song,” said Charles. “I wanted something that the youths could really connect with.” Willis also said the costume design, props and even the Machel Montano look-alike that was performing along with the band, was all part of Charles’ vision that went along with the arrangement of the tune. Charles said it was a team effort in bringing his vision to life.

Asked what brought the ideas of the costumes, Charles said “I simply thought about where I could find some of the happiest people alive, and that is where I got the idea of clowns, and the circus theme.” Willis said the Junior Renegades began their hard work from January 13 last, which was around the same time schools had re-opened. He made a point to thank everyone connected to the junior band, and said it was thanks to the involvement of all, including the parents and costume designers, that the Junior Renegades have this addition to their previous win. Willis said this year’s junior band has seen the highest number of children under the age of 15. “Usually the average age of the band is around 16 or 17” the Junior Renegades manager said. “This year, about 80 percent of the band was around 12 or ten years old,” he said.

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