School Panists Tuning The Future

Knolly Moses

The Junior Panorama now seems to invite more enthusiasm than the bigger pan competitions. Parents and supporters pack the stands, and elsewhere, to see these youngsters show off their musical skills. This year, the crowds were even larger than usual.

Nineteen primary schools competed at the Queen’s Park Savannah. In the end, St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican with their lively rendition of Olatunji’s Engine Room won the primary school section, pleasing their talented arranger and panist Carel Taylor.

(See them celebrate here:

Guaico Presbyterian (who won last year) placed second and San Fernando Boys R.C. came in third.

Junior PanoramaTitled Rhythms of Steel under the theme Feel It! Love it! Share it, the allday competition is an  initiative from Pan Trinbago, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts, the Ministry of Education and the National Carnival Commission of T&T.

Education Minister Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly was overjoyed. “Over the years, we have seen more and more schools that may not have been traditionally involved in the school panorama coming into the school panorama,” she told Trinidad and Tobago Television. “What that signals is a recognition that the act of playing the pan and coming together as a team, and what it engenders for school patriotism, school spirit. That is something that is very important in our nation right now.”

The Minister also applauded the bond developing between steel bands and schools. “The partnership between the existing steel bands and the schools, we are seeing that grow,” said Dr. Gadsby-Dolly. “And we want to see it grow even further so that even schools who do not necessarily have their own equipment and pans can benefit from that partnership to be a part of the competition. “

Pan Trinbago Secretary Denise L. J. Hernandez was also pleased at the outcome of this year’s spirited competition. Praising the young people who played, she said: “They are projecting that the future of pan in Trinidad and Tobago is in excellent hands. Our young arrangers, our students our young people choosing to go to the pan yards and practice to perform here today, this is exceptional. Pan is one way to deter crime.”

Newsday editorialized that Pan Trinbago should build on music education in schools and pan yards into career skills for young people.

The placing of the other primary schools are as follows:

4. St. Mary’s Government Primary

5. Bethlehem Boys’ and Girls R.C.

6. Vance River R.C.

7. The University School

8. St. Gabriel’s Girls R.C.

9. Nelson Street Boys’ R.C.

10. Couva Anglican Primary

11. Febeau Government Primary

12. St. Gregory’s Anglican