TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Single pan off to melodic start - EntornoInteligente / TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Single pan off to melodic start / News day / The action kicked off at 7 pm with a minute’s silence for fallen pan icon arranger and composer Dr Jit Samaroo.

According to the region’s chairman Gerard Mendez, “This is the largest turnout we have had in the last three years.” Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly was on hand for the start of the event and seemed to have enjoyed what she heard.

Single Pan steelbands are permitted to perform with a maximum of 35 players and a minimum of 25; 29 bands were listed to perform but two did not put in an appearance.

Judging from what transpired, the key to success is having a full complement of players and a good arranger. The evening began with some top named arrangers like Seion Gomez (Newtown Playboys), Carlton “Zanda” Alexander (La Famille), Yohan Popwell (La Creole Pan Groove), Clive Telemaque (Nostrand Symphony), Brian “Bean” Griffith (Belmont Hi Larks) and Michelle Huggins- Watts (Woodbrook Playboyz) all producing some very good arrangements to songs of the past.

The audience was given a musical treat in the first half of the programme which was rounded off by the TT Fire Service playing Superblue’s “Rebecca” with BJ Marcelle at the helm and UNI Stars’ rendition of “The Jammer” arranged by Kareem Brown.

Somehow, pan shows can never finish under the five hours mark, try as they may the officials and marshals are always faced with slow moving bands which take an inordinately long time to set up.

The second half continued with St James Tripolians but it was Free Lancers Pan Groove which shocked everyone with their choice of song. They played Chalkdust’s “Ash Wednesday Jail”. Sea Lots One Love was a much improved unit from their 2015 showing.

Playing in position number 25, TT Defence Force with a full complement of players proved to be a musical force with their version of Swallow’s “Doh Stop this Party”.

At 12.30 am the smallest band of the night, Belmont City Kids International, took the longest to set up and when they got going with Dr Will B’s “Somebody Sitting Deh” it turned out to be one big rhythm section. Strangely though, they got the loudest applause for the evening. The penultimate band of the evening D’Original Woodbrook Modernaires produced a very musical arrangement of Ronnie Mc Intosh’s “On the Road” arranged by Ankoma Bobby Paul.

Brimblers brought the curtain down with “The Party Hot Hot Hot” ending a long night of pan.

The Single Pan category continued last night with steelbands in the South/Central region and will continue today with the eastern region at Arima Velodrome. Tomorrow, steelbands in the Tobago region will face the judges.

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