Republic Bank’s Pan-O-Rama 2018 – a massive success

DPI, Guyana, Monday, February 19, 2018

Droves of supporters from various steel bands on Sunday, February 18, swarmed the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, filling it to capacity for the annual Pan-O-Rama Steel Pan Competition.

The crowd’s favourite, National School of Music’s Steel Orchestra performed “Tribute to the Greats”. This stirring rendition earned them first place in the large band category and captured the festivity of the Mashramani celebration.

The night’s big winner, the National School of Music’s Steel Orchestra.

West Demerara Secondary School took the small youth band category by storm, securing the first position and pumping energy into the crowd as they performed.

Reigning Large Youth Band Champions North Ruimveldt Secondary’s exhilarating presentation did not fall short and secured them the winning position again with their soaring recital.

Other winners included Bishops’ High School, Dolphin Secondary School, President’s College, Guyana Police Force Steel Orchestra, Pan Wave Academy and ten-time winner Parkside Steel Orchestra.

Minster of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton was in attendance along with Republic Bank’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Michelle Johnson and Mashramani Coordinator, Andrew Tyndall.

Conductor of the Bishops’ High School’s Band, Hanani Ben Lewi expressed his satisfaction with his group’s performance.

“It feels very rewarding, we’ve worked hard, we did our preparations, it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get first but we got second and we’re proud of our results.  We know next year we’re coming to get first so I’m really proud of my kids… hopefully, this is a lesson to work even harder, I’m very proud,” said Lewi.

Colgrain White, Conductor of the NSM Steel Orchestra, told InfoHub “…it’s amazing…, this is something we were practising for since October of last year…it’s a real good feeling to [win the competition] … the guys really worked hard and I want to say congratulations to them”.

The first leg of the competition held on Thursday last at the Theater Guild saw junior and senior solo, pan duet and Pan Jazz performances.

Vijay Sharma, Darius Austin, and Tirese Thomas copped the first, second and third prizes respectively in the Junior Solo Category While Hanani Ben Lewi secured the coveted first prize in the senior solo category.

The duet competition featured a sterling recital by Jovanka Williams and Don Johnson. The Kunjaz Ensemble remained the champions in the Pan Jazz category.

For several years, Republic Bank has sponsored this event and presented $2.8M in 2018 to the Ministry of Social Cohesion. This event forms part of the Bank’s ‘Power to make a Difference’ initiative and continues the organisation’s pursuit of the sustainable development of the Steel Pan art form.

The Pan-o-Rama competition first began in 2009 with three bands and has grown over the past 10 years into a major event on the Mashramani calendar.

West Demerara Secondary School’s steel band.

North Ruimveldt Secondary School’s conductor accompanied by two dancers.

 

By: Nateshia Isaacs

 

For more photos, click on the link to the DPI’s Flickr Page

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