Copyright © 2002 Terry Joseph
Savannah Party Scores
January 29, 2002
It was cheers for the 11 bands that advanced to the Carnival Saturday night final of this year’s Panorama competition and tears for more than a few that were eliminated, after the semi-final round finished around 1 am yesterday.
Dubbed the Savannah Party, the 33-band playoff started just 40 minutes late but stretched for some 13 hours. Officials of reigning champion Exodus were taken aback by not being marked although the band performed for the judges. They were not required to but simply maintained a tradition of coming to the playoff, where judges’ remarks served as guidance for the final round.
Having survived two attempts by excluded bands to stop the show through legal maneouvres Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold said the day was a success. "We have a lot of things to look at, but after looking at the outcome we are for the most part pleased," he said. "We have taken careful notes for our post-mortem."
It was not the sell-out crowd expected, but the day proceeded incident free, the largest difficulty for patrons supplied by pickpockets who seemed to be out in greater numbers than ever before.
The North Stand passed all tests for safety and security and the Grand Stand sported its new range of executive chairs (replete with cup-holders) in the box section. Downstairs, patrons sang the praises of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) for its mini museum mounted in the concourse.
Onstage, bands set up much more swiftly than at previous editions of the contest, averaging slightly over ten minutes per orchestra change and were disciplined in their movement into the holding bay. Carib Tokyo was the only band playing out of agreed position, having to switch with another orchestra after a swarm of bees attacked some of its pannists.
For Curepe Scherzando, their horror came well after performance time. On returning to their panyard, a veteran player collapsed and died. Known as Agard, the pannists sat out this season due to illness but came out to support his band on Sunday and went back with the players and instruments to Curepe, where he died.
In the sum, the Savannah Party scored, although there were still those lamenting the change from nationwide preliminaries being held at venues in each region over a period of five days and nights.
The music also improved in overall quality. At the end, just 26 points separated topscoring Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars from InnCogen Pamberi, the last of 11 bands to advance and meet Exodus at next Saturday’s final.
Of the 11, five came from the North zone, three from South/Central, two from East and one from Tobago. Exodus is also from the eastern region. Among the 22 bands eliminated is 1998 national champion Nu Tones.
National Panorama Semi-Final results
1. Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars / 466
2. Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove / 458
3. Witco Desperadoes / 456.5
4. TCL Group Skiffle Bunch / 455.5
5. Solo Pan Knights / 449
6. Tropical Angel Harps / 448
7. BP Renegades / 446.5
8. Trinmar Hatters / 444
9. Redemption Sound Setters / 443
10. Starlift / 441.5
11. InnCogen Pamberi / 440
The following bands have been eliminated:
12. Petrotrin Deltones / 437.5
13. Belmont Fifth Dimension / 434
14. BWIA Invaders / 433.5
15. Carib Dixieland / 431.5
16. Birdsong / 430
17. Melodians / 429
18. Potential Symphony / 425
19. Silver Stars / 426
20. Carib Tokyo / 425
21. Merrytones / 425
22. Fonclaire / 420
23. Tornadoes / 416.5
24. Harmonites / 416
25. Parry’s Pan School / 411.5
26. Couva Joylanders / 410
27. Nu Tones / 402
28. Our Boys / 401
29. Southern Marines / 397
30. Fascinators Pan Symphony / 395
31. Curepe Scherzando / 391.5
32. Southern All Stars / 366
33. Claytones / 391.6
Semi-Finalist for the Panorama Competition: Sun 27, Jan 2002
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