Panorama Celebrates It's Golden Jubillee...
The Steelband Panorama as we know it today had its first performance in 1963, during the Carnival season, very much as we have it today.
At the time of its inception, the competition represented a significant departure from that which obtained during its life as carnival bacchanal. It now took on a more structural form which over the years experienced changes, in format and venue and most importantly to prize money and appearance fees.
The Steelband Association proudly strives to preserve this most important competition which has given rise to several areas of development. The tonal quality of the instrument, the improved approach and delivery of the arranger and the dexterity of the performers all speak of a development of the art form.
The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Steelband Panorama will provide the opportunity to reflect on the sterling contribution made by some of those steelbands whose names may have been forgotten.
One cannot help but look back on the days when the Panorama started in Skinner Park in San Fernando. Thousands flocked to “The Park”, to celebrate the opening bars of Panorama music which stated that Carnival had started. Ensuring the thrill and euphoria associated with Steelband Panorama were now energizing the crowds and the season.
The Big Yard (Queen’s Park Savannah) has always been regarded as the place to be on Semi Final Sunday and on the final night of the competition.
Today every pannist’s dream is to perform on that 240 by 60 feet Panorama stage at the savannah just to get his/her eight minutes of glory. But it was not always like that. In the beginning , it was Pan on the Move when judges were placed along the Drag and in the Grand Stand. At that time covered bleachers ran along the sides of the Drag and a huge gate was erected just before the stage.
This gate had to be opened every time a Steelband had to roll onto the stage, this was in an effort to clear the band of supporters and not pan pushers.
The steelband Panorama has become an institution which by its charismatic form has been over the years a centre of musical excellence and innovation.
Dedicated to ace pan tuner the late Bertie Marshall, this 50th anniversary of Panorama is on the way and Pan Trinbago has already completed preliminaries in the Single Pan, Small and Medium categories in Tobago, North, South and East zones.
Pannists and patrons alike are anxiously looking forward to the semi finals in the Queens’ Savannah Savannah next Saturday and Sunday. And with the addition of The Greens it will be true carnival bacchanal.
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