International News

Sep 21, 2017
T&T - At one point, Norman Christie, bpTT’s Regional President, couldn’t get more than a sentence out about “our band” before the audience exploded into lusty applause and catcalls of appreciation. He was at the podium offering welcoming remarks at the first official screening of To be a Renegade, a documentary his company funded to record the successes of the steelband Renegades, which it began sponsoring in 1970.

Sep 19, 2017
T&T - BP Trinidad and Tobago will increase its support for the Renegades Steel Orchestra in 2018. In commemoration of the Junior Renegades' tenth win of Junior Panorama in 2017 and the steel orchestra's 70th anniversary to be celebrated next year, the company announced a new annual scholarship for one qualifying Junior Renegades band member each year. The announcement was made at a private screening of the 'To Be a Renegade' documentary held for the band at the Government Campus Plaza Auditorium. Norman Christie, BPTT Regional President announced the new bursary by saying, "One of the most powerful levers for change is education. To this end and in commemoration of the fourth consecutive Junior Panorama title won by the Junior Renegades, it is my pleasure to announce the establishment of the BPTT Renegades Bursary. This annual bursary will be offered to a member of the Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra who has been accepted to pursue tertiary level education at an accredited institution."

Sep 18, 2017
T&T - Emmanuel Joseph is having a great year. The captain of the Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra helped lead the band to success in this year’s 2017 Junior Panorama Championships. He was successful in his CSEC exams this year and after five excellent years at Hillview College, he is now a sixth form student of St Mary’s College. As if those weren’t reasons enough to make 2017 stellar for young Emmanuel, on September 22, he officially becomes a star. Emmanuel is the voice of the future in the To be a Renegade documentary that will debut at the T&T Film Festival later this month. “Words cannot describe the emotion and pride we feel,” he says describing his fellow pannists. “This is not a band, the Renegades is a family.”

Sep 14, 2017
T&T - “Pan is de man!” Without question Woodstock, Illinois believes so, after witnessing the groundbreaking production of the Cousoumeh Caravan 2017 Tour, a 37-member ensemble of the Siparia Deltones Institute of Steel Drums and Music. A riveting tale of personified genres of music that all started with drum, an African slave woman who gives birth to jazz and calypso, whose progeny becomes steelpan. Gripping the sold out audience of the Woodstock Opera House with elements to play on the senses, the narrator sets the scene with imaginative openings, as the ears found meaning with songs that found synchronicity throughout the tale. While the orchestra played, an overhead projector forced the eyes to digest the reality of steelpan’s story; from the oppression of slavery, the triumph of the African spirit found its way through music.

Sep 14, 2017
T&T - On September 16 and 18, the sounds of steelband and orchestra will be heard in the concert hall when the Northern Illinois University Steelband will once again embark on a boundary pushing collaboration, this time in a series of concerts with the famed Chicago Sinfonietta which, hailed by many, has been called by the Chicago Tribune Chicago’s “hippest orchestra.” The concert will feature the Northern Illinois University Steelband performing one of Mozart’s best-known works Rondo alla Turca arranged by Yuko Asada.

Sep 13, 2017
T&T - Dear Kenny, After celebrating fifty-five years of Independence, one would have believed that the peoples of this twin-island nation had developed a sense of unity and appreciation for all things Trinbagonian, and would unite to support, encourage and defend our national heritage, especially our arts and culture, under the watch words of DISCIPLINE, PRODUCTION and TOLERANCE. But today, it is very clear, how far we are from nationhood, and that nothing is sacred in the eyes of some people except obscene profits to which they believe they alone have an entitlement. Because of the selfishness and greed of those who continue to control the commanding heights of this twin-island nation’s economy, and their belief that all others must know their place, and stay in their place, this nation would always be in conflict within itself.

[Pan Trinbago]
Sep 11, 2017
T&T - Steelpan Recollections is Sherman Fyfe’s latest book, one in which he gives an account of his life and experience in the pan world. Fyfe takes the reader through the movement from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s to present day, but admitted in the book that the events are not chronological. He also said some of the content was told to him by others who grew up with him. This is Fyfe’s fifth book, one which is completely different from the first four. He describes the others as instructional books on the tenor pan, the double tenor, the double second and advance pan (notation).

Sep 7, 2017
T&T - Saturday night’s Brooklyn Panorama had to be postponed because of rain and in the end the seven bands were not judged but rather played their hearts out for enthusiastic pan fans on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Sadly, Philly Pan Starts could not perform with the delay and many of the bands had players who could not attend. The bands ended up performing on the side of the stage, allowing the audience to hear fabulous acoustic pan music up close. What was to be a heated competition became an outstanding concert. Two of the steelbands had arrangers who have collaborated regularly over the past few years: Odie Franklin, the arranger for Despers USA for the last several years, and Kendall Williams, currently the arranger for Brooklyn’s CASYM orchestra and formally the arranger for CrossFire for several years. Indeed, they are two-thirds of a trio of arrangers who have been making quite a name for themselves collaborating on Panorama arrangements not in Brooklyn but in Trinidad and Toronto.

Sep 3, 2017
USA - Among the festivities that lead up to Monday’s popular West Indian Day Parade was Saturday’s annual Caribbean musical competition. Despite rain, large crowds turned out to Crown Heights for Panorama 2017, a steel pan band competition. Over 30 bands gathered to compete for the title, including ten from the New York City area. The bands played into the late night, spreading sounds of a culture they love.

Sep 1, 2017
UK - The St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra (SMA3SO) repeated last year’s success scooping ‘Best Conventional Steelband on the Road’ for their interpretation of Sinatra’s Impossible Dream. They came joint first in the ‘Best Youth Steelband on the Road’ category with Teddy Bears Picnic.

[Kilburn Times]

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