In 2020, PanoGrama made history as the first online steelpan competition and was one of the biggest events held during the heights of COVD-19 restrictions. The inaugural event, which was created by T&T pannist Nevin Roach (Dominican-born) and streamed live on Instagram @inev88, featured 20 participants from Barbados, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, the US, St. Maarten and Antigua & Barbados. Pannists were required to perform a tune of choice from any genre, including pre-arranged/impromptu solos and variations, for the live Instagram audience, and were adjudicated by a panel of judges; Mr. David ‘Zige’ Walcott (Barbados), Mr. Ojay Richards (T&T) and Mr. Kenneth Joseph (T&T).
The event saw just over 1000 peak-live viewers (‘peak-live’ viewers refers to the maximum number of viewers watching at the same time) for the finals and reached a total of 32,000 Instagram accounts throughout the entire duration of the competition. The top spot went to Earl Brooks Jr. of Trinidad & Tobago, who played Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Barbados Power Monarch Mikey Mercer, Riddim Tribe/Monk dancer Nandi, Vincentian Groovy Monarch Hance John, and young pannist Jadon Philips also treated viewers to special guest performances, during the semifinals and finals.
Cash prizes were on offer for positions 1-3 and each finalist received an appearance fee courtesy Pan Trinbago; The World Governing Body of steelpan.
PanoGrama 2021 – The World Cup of Steelpan
This year, PanoGrama has been dubbed “The World Cup of Steelpan” and is scheduled to start on May 7th, 2021. Prelims are scheduled for May 7-9, Semis on May 13 and finals on May 16. A maximum of 30 pannists will be featured and the show’s broadcast will be expanded to Facebook, YouTube and Television. While there was no representation for Dominica last year, seasoned Dominican pannist Austin Nichols has registered his interest and is considering representing the Nature Isle among others.
What’s New this Year?
“PanoGrama will be more than just another entertaining competition. It will be an avenue where pannists can also gain knowledge and develop skills that can be used to the benefit of their music careers and personal lives” (Quote: Nevin Roach) As such and educational arm would be introduced, featuring webinars on personal/professional growth, musical development, career guidance and among other topics.
Once all goes well, PanoGrama 2021 will feature pannists from new countries such as Dominica, Canada, the UK, Grenada, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, US V.I. and St. Thomas, in addition to those from last year.
- Winner – $1000 USD, an all-expenses paid trip to perform for Sons of Steel in Canada and a one-on-one session with a world-renowned pannist.
- Second – $800 USD and a one-on-one session with a world-renowned pannist.
- Third – $500 USD and a one-on-one session with a world-renowned pannist
All finalists will receive an appearance fee. Other special prizes such as people’s choice and best dressed are up for grabs.
One of the major challenges is sponsorship. PanoGrama Entertainment (which is the business under which the competition PanoGrama is hosted) takes pride in professionalism and quality, and to execute at a very high standard requires financial support from businesses and companies. Donations would also be accepted. Interested persons can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how they can get on board.
“Providing quality entertainment goes without saying, but another major factor that sparked PanoGrama’s creation was a desire to help. Last year we were able to make a sizeable donation to Pan Trinbago’s Social Prosperity Fund, which was started to assist those facing financial hardship within the steelpan community. I intend to continue along that vein, donating to a worthy cause.”
How Can Persons Participate?
There has been a huge buzz in the international community about PanoGrama since it first took place, and many pannists are interested in participating this time around. In light of this, a cap of 30 pannists has been set and auditions will take place between February 28 and March 21, 2021, where pannists would be invited to submit a 2-minute video of them performing an original interpretation (including pre-arranged/impromptu solos/variations) of any tune in any genre. Selections would then be made by a panel to determine who would participate in PanoGrama. Interested persons should connect with PanoGrama where more detailed information would be published.
What Would Pannists be Judged On for PanoGrama?
Pannists would be judged on their variations/solos within the music performed, the execution of the music and their overall performance, inclusive of their attire and presentation. Interested persons should connect with PanoGrama where more detailed information on the criteria would be published.
Connect with PanoGrama for Updates
Instagram – www.instagram.com/pano.grama
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pano.grama1
Website – www.pano-grama.com
Email – email@example.com