National Panorama Competition

There were only five bands and the crowd was sparse but that mattered not for the enthusiastic supporters last Friday night at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium for the National Panorama Competition. After the national anthem played by students from the Carmen Renee Memorial School, it was straight down to business. Pantime Steel Orchestra from Gros Islet, the three-time defending champions, performed ‘Captain Sammy’ and set the standard high.

Next up was Pan Ambassadors Steel Orchestra with Teddyson John’s ‘Allez’. Then came Laborie Steel Pan, the most diverse band, comprising young and old, black and white. The seventy-three members put their all into a crowd-pleasing version of Arthur’s ‘Who I Am’ and impressed with their hypnotic choreography.

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(Left) Laborie Steel Pan, who placed first, put their heart, soul and dance moves into a crowd-pleasing rendition of Arthur’s ‘Who I Am’. (Right) One of the 45 members of Pan Ambassadors Steel Orchestra beating out Teddyson John’s ‘Allez’.

From Anse La Raye came West Coast Steel Band making its first appearance at Panorama. The members performed ‘One Bad Prick’ by Chippy. Finally, Pantastic Muzik, with the only female arranger of the night, boosted the party atmosphere with balloons and masks while performing Vader’s ‘Iron’.

Len Sharp and members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Band kept the crowds entertained while the judges deliberated. They assessed the bands in four categories: musical arrangement, general performance, tone and rhythm.

It was no surprise that Laborie Steel Pan scored the highest with 256 points. In second place was Pantime Steel Orchestra with 248 points. Pantastic Muzik took third place with 229 points. Pan Ambassadors came fourth with 199 points while West Coast Steel Band amassed 191 points.

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