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Exodus Rules The Region

Terry Joseph reporting from Grenada
December 03, 2001

THE EXODUS Steel Orchestra is today US$21,000 richer, for having won both categories of Saturday night’s inaugural Caribbean Panorama contest.

Plagued but not interrupted by sporadic rain, the competition saw nine bands from the Caribbean vie for prestige and prizes in a six-hour joust at Grenada’s National Stadium. Guyana North, the only eligible South American orchestra, failed to show.

The event borrowed heavily from the Trinidad and Tobago model, starting some 75 minutes late and then running for six hours. Among thousands witnessing the historic event was French ethnomusicologist Aurelie Hemlinger, who flew from Paris to continue research for her doctoral thesis: "The memorisation of repertoire by the steelbands of Trinidad and Tobago".

Also seen were Antigua’s Opposition Leader Baldwin Spence, local soul singer Mavis John, former Caribana chairman Sam Lewis, retired senior police superintendent Clyde Bertrand, Scotiatrust general manager Ingrid Lashley, ex-regiment bandmaster Edouard Wade, social worker Frank Dolly, Tuco’s Rudolph Ottley, Scherzando’s Eden "Charlo" Charles and Inncogen Pamberi manager Nestor Sulivan.

Like the rest of the crowd, they stayed the distance until shortly after 3 a.m. yesterday, when results were announced, naming Exodus the first ever Caribbean Panorama champion for its rendition of "A Happy Song", the same tune that won it the local title last Carnival.

The Tunapuna-based band also outscored Desperadoes in the "Bomb" competition by a similar route, with another Pelham Goddard arrangement, this time with the Enrique Iglesias' hit "Bailamos", which also earned them the local 2001 title.

Staged by CariPan, a regional organisation of pan bodies from the various territories, the event brought together winners of territorial Panorama competitions in St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and Trinidad and Tobago.

Despers had hoped to repeat its 1983 success at national level with Clive Bradley's musical arrangement of SuperBlue's "Rebecca" and for the Bomb competition, offered the theme from the 1955 movie "Love is a Many Splendored Thing".

Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold, who is also chairman of CariPan, opened the contest at 9.15 p.m.

He described the event as "a significant milestone in the history of pan and indeed of music at large.



1. Exodus/ T&T/ "Happy Song"/ 274
2. Witco Desperadoes/ T&T/"Rebecca"/ 268
3. GBC New Dimension/ Grenada/ "Pan is Progress'/ 260
4. Grenlec/ Grenada/ "Steelband in Town"/ 243
5. Piton Diamond Steel/ St Lucia/ "Song of Praise"/ 236
6. NCB Angel Harps/ Grenada/ "Jam It"/ 234
7. ACB Harmonites/ Antigua/ "Pan Conversation"/ 228
8. Starlift/ St Vincent/ "We Want Back We Pan"/223
9. Semi-Quavered/ Barbados/ "Pan for the People"/ 189


1. Exodus/ T&T/ "Bailamos"/ 269
2. Witco Desperadoes/T&T/ "Love is a Many Splendored Thing"/262
3. Grenlec/Grenada/ "Dancing Queen" / 230
4. NCB Angel Harps/ Grenada/ "Climb Every Mountain"/ 221
5. ACB Harmonites/ Antigua/ "Green, Green Grass of Home"/211
6. Piton Diamond Steel/ St Lucia/ "The Last Farewell"/ 205
7. Starlift/ St Vincent/ "Rondo a la Turca"/ 204
8. GBC New Dimension/ Grenada/ "The Greatest Love"/203
9. Semi-Quavered/ Barbados/ "Lady in Red" /186

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