TT – Captain of San City Steel Orchestra Aquil Arrindell has written to Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore suggesting that she cut the Panorama prize money for 2019 so players could be paid a stipend.
Some bands have already said, without the promised stipend, they were finding it difficult to field a full quota for the national competition. Large bands have a complement of 100, smaller bands up to 75 players and small bands over 35.
The president disagreed with the suggestion. She has made it clear no stipend would be paid to players participating in the 2019 and 2020 competitions because of a cut in the allocation. But in his letter, shared with the Newsday, Arrindell said, in 2015, there was consensus that with a $30 million budget, the organisation would have been able to pay $1 million to the band placing first and $1,000 for every player.
He argued, “Whatever percentage the new budget is reduced by, all monies to bands and players should be cut at that percentage.
“For example, it was reported that PanTrinbago has a $20 million budget, that is one-third less than the $30 million budget for 2015. It would mean that all the monies given to bands and players would be cut by one-third, which means the winning band would now receive $667,000 and pan players, $667.