Melissa Doughty - Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
THE first ever Panograma has named its 15 semi-finalists following prelims held on April 24 and 25. The semi-finals will be held on April 30.
TT pannist Nevin Roach is the founder and organiser of the event. As artistes and entertainers around the world have been finding novel ways to host events given the covid19 pandemic, Roach was inspired to put on Panograma to help pannists earn some revenue.
Although there were some sound problems, the event saw hundreds of people log on to Roach’s live Instagram feed to view the performances and to support their favourite pannist. Panograma saw 20 solo pannists from around the region and internationally compete for a spot in the semi-finals. Pannists from Jamaica, US and St Martin took part in the competition.
Ten pannists will compete in the final on May 3 for the top prize of US$500 and an online session with a world-renowned pannist. The second place gets US$200 and a session with the world-renowned pannist and third place collects US$100 and three pairs of pan sticks. "Gates" will open from 6.45pm but showtime is 7 pm.
Roach said to Newsday in WhatsApp responses that he is working to improve everything he can after each session of the competition. He said some of the connectivity issues were on the performers' end and something he was unable to control.
“But I will be trying my best to improve on the production all-round for the semis. Not only giving tips to the performers to help make things better from their end, but tweaking some things from my end as well,” he said.
One viewer suggested Roach should seek sponsorship from local internet providers. However, Roach said he has already started looking into that possibility.
Many of the Panograma’s viewers digitally recreated being at a physical event. Some pretended that there were nuts for sale, corn soup and some of the other things found at a physical Panorama event.
Viewers were also invited to drop flames if they liked the given performance. Each pannist was given three minutes to perform. The selections ranged from Kes’ Savannah Grass to Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come. Roach would play each selection before the pannist played.
Roach began playing pan in 2004 at secondary school and has since played at many regional panoramas as well as for various bands in TT including Katzenjammers. He is sports co-ordinator at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, Barbados.