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Pamberi, Scherzando denied prelim judging

By Terry Joseph
September 08, 2003

Pamberi Steel Orchestra will be judged at its San Juan Old Road panyard at 7 o'clock tonight, a development that has band members upset but left with no alternative, if they wish to participate in the preliminary round of the Republic Pan Fiesta, a contest offering some $1.285 million in cash prizes.

"This thing looks like it is turning into a Republic Pan Fiasco," was how Pamberi Steel Orchestra manager, Nestor Sullivan, described the plight of his band, after Saturday night's eastern region preliminary round proceeded without them and Curepe Scherzando, due to a collapse of the transportation system organised by Pan Trinbago.

Of 13 bands listed to perform, only 11 appeared before the judges at O'Meara Road , Arima. Several crucial instruments and players from Sullivan's San Juan based Pamberi and Scherzando were left stranded at their respective panyards, when the transportation arrangements went awry. Scherzando was scheduled for adjudication yesterday afternoon.

Pan Trinbago secretary, Richard Forteau said several problems arose with moving instruments and the only thing that could now be done was to judge Scherzando and Pamberi at their panyards, to bring them into the reckoning. Winners of each of the four Pan Trinbago regions plus eight other bands selected on merit will comprise the conventional orchestra final round on September 20 at Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

"This is a high-stakes game," Sullivan said, "so win, lose or draw, you want to feel a sense of fairness at the conclusion. We are now suffering a severe disadvantage by having to perform in a distinctly different ambience from the rest of the bands."

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