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Pan Trinbago, Panorama judging needs assessment
Posted By: J LEONARD
Date: Sunday, 23 February 2003, at 9:43 a.m.
THE EDITOR: Permit me to express my humble opinion on what I consider a gross injustice and total demoralisation with respect to the decision of the judges of Panorama Semi-Finals 2003.
Invaders, over the years, has never ever expressed by way of protest to the judges’ decision, but it would be remiss of me to let this occasion go by without comment.
Firstly, let me make it absolutely clear that I am an ex-student of Rockley’s School of Music achieving four distinctions in Grade 1-4 and missing the Gold Medal by half a mark in Grade five.
However, I subsequently went on to achieve my success up to Grade eight but never went on to achieve my diploma as a teacher, so I know music and could read music.
In event that the judges who read this article do not know of Rockley’s School of Music, it was tutored and managed by Ms Millicent Roberts who produced students like Jocelyn Pierre, Jocelyn Sealy, Robert Bailey, Monty Williams, Happy Williams, Marjorie William-smith, Joan Mc Caulin and Pat Bishop to mention a few. Incidentally, did you hear the comments of Pat Bishop on the bands’ performances?
It is absolutely clear to me that there some people who are being called upon to adjudicate and do not possess the qualifications and knowledge to properly assess the performance of steelband music.
Why was Renegades not penalised when the iron section crashed on stage? In the preliminaries, Invaders attained 270, dead-heading with Desperadoes, eight points behind Phase II and All Stars and six points behind Exodus, which placed 4th overall.
I am not a member of Invaders but I have listened to the music content of this band and several others and any properly trained music-minded individual with a proper knowledge of music could not have left Invaders out completely and I would even go on to say that they should not have been lower than 4th.
Come on, what did they do wrong to drop from 4th overall to being completely omitted from the finals and do not tell me it is because they played after Phase II because true music judges assess each entrant on their individual performances and not on how they compare to previous performances. Or is it that the judges were not familiar with the tune of choice or is it because it was written by someone outside of Trinidad and Tobago?
This compares with Peter Minshall who, when he introduced Tan Tan as the mascot for Saga Boy, it was stated that the mascot was too big, but subsequently several bands copied his standard.
At this time, Invaders has attracted several young people who along with elders gave of their time, which is money, to lend their support to the band and subsequently to the music art form and culture of Trinidad and Tobago.
Pan Trinbago, you have to stop this damn nonsense, bringing people to sit from 11 am-1.30 am the following morning and expect them to properly assess the performance of 31 bands on the run.
No one, absolutely no one, could sit and listen to music for that length of time under such conditions and truly assess these bands’ performances.
Even at Dog Shows, they have judges to judge the various breeds and a separate judge to do the Best In Show.
You are playing with people’s emotions who practise hard for two to three months to be judged by someone sitting behind a desk.
You are playing with band’s sponsorship and investments, as you are aware that it costs in the range of $200,000 and more to properly sponsor a band.
I have some suggestions for you: Spend some of the money Government has given you to fly in different professional musical judges for every stage of the Panorama competition and I bet my last dollar it would be a rude awakening for you and the steelband fraternity of Trinidad and Tobago.
For the bands who never seem to achieve a fair assessment, get together and have your own competition in Chaguaramas and leave Phase II, Despers, Exodus, All Stars, Renegades and those others who get chosen regardless of the quality of their performances and the number of players in their bands, in some cases more like 140 instead of 100.
I am going to make it my duty to approach the Management of Invaders to see their score sheet and comments because you have to be one of the above bands to have any chance to make it to the top.
Every year any citizen of Trinidad and Tobago could tell you who will be in the final.
Pan Trinbago, you are killing our culture and steelband unless you stop thinking of dollars and study the art form and stop fooling steelbands’ men, women and arrangers.
‘Teach’ Saunders, hats off to you for an excellent rendition of Elli Man, which is full of music content and melody. To the members of Invaders, thanks for your dedication and support and to a job well done and to the young lady who collapsed just prior to going on stage, I wish you well but Invaders keep the flag flying, God bless you all.
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