High praise for NGC Couva Joylanders

TT – NGC Couva Joylanders played its way into the history books on Sunday night, winning their first National Panorama title in the medium conventional band category. The central Trinidad outfit, led by Richard Gill, gave an electrifying performance to De Fosto’s (Winston Scarborough’s) 1993 selection, It’s My Turn, before a lively crowd at the Dwight Yorke Stadium parade grounds, Bacolet, Tobago. The band scored 285 points and received a tidy sum of $600,000.Last year’s winner, Pan Elders, did not make it the finals of the competition. Barataria band Potential Symphony Steel Orchestra, which scored 283 points, placed second with the Mighty Sparrow’s (Slinger Francisco) All Dem Tobago Gyal while former champions and hometown favourite Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, with 282 points, came in third with Merchant’s (Dennis Williams) Caribbean Connection.

They received $550,000 and $500,000, respectively.Sforzata and Curepe Scherzando tied for fourth place with 281 points. There was also a tie for sixth place between Pamberi and Siparia Deltones. Tobago bands Carib Dixieland and NGC Steel Xplosion claimed eight and ninth spots, respectively, much to the disappointment of the audience. Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille came in tenth. The bands were judged on general performance, tone and arrangement. For Joylanders’ players, several of whom cried openly, the victory was the culmination of a dream they harboured for many years.”It’s been something we have been working at for a very long time,” a visibly elated Gill told reporters, adding the band’s arranger Stefon West played an immense role in their success.”We have worked hard and we have been knocking on the doors for a really long time. So, it is really our turn now.”

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