Pan and calypso reign at Music Festival

TT – The sweetness of TT’s music rang through Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on Friday as the first evening of the Championships of the 32nd Biennial Music Festival got under way.

Pan and calypso music held the audience hypnotised, sometimes bringing some of them to their feet while others could not help but applaud the performers loudly accompanied by a roar of voices.

The evening of ecstasy started with the Steelpan Ensemble category for the Fitzgerald Jerry Jemmot Memorial Trophy. RIPE Steel Ensemble from the north played Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba while Golden Hands from the South played Debussy’s Clair de Lune. The adjudicators said RIPE played at a good tempo and gave a spirited performance. For Golden Hands, it was a beautiful arrangement and, according to Richard Tang Yuk, “I never expected to see and hear so many colours from a steelpan ensemble, and the song chosen was not so easy to arrange.” In the end Golden Hands won the trophy.

Holistic X was the only competitor in the Instrumental Ensemble (any combination of Instruments) and they mesmerised both adjudicators and audience alike with their performance of Bobby Timmons’ 1964 hit Moanin’ and Len Boogsie Sharp’s I Music. People were actually singing while the ensemble played. The judges said it was a fantastic combination of instruments, well combined and gave pure enjoyment. Holistic X was awarded the Da Silva Cup.

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