Written by: Jodia Givans
With just under a month left before PanoGrama’s third staging, the adjudicators have shared some important tips with this year’s participants, as well as their excitement for the competition. Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin (T&T), Professor Liam Teague (T&T) and Victor Provost (US Virgin Islands) make up the main adjudication panel, while Ojay Richards (T&T) and Andy Chichester (Grenada) will be on hand as substitutes.
Dr. Mia Gormandy-Benjamin, an assistant professor of music at The University of Trinidad and Tobago is the first-ever only female adjudicator in the competition’s history, and has expressed high expectations from the contestants.
“I have witnessed the competition in the past, and know that PanoGrama attracts a high quality of pannists from various countries around the world. Ultimately, I expect well prepared performances from well-trained musicians,” she said.
Benjamin also advised all pannists to exert maximum potential, as well as attend every information session that is offered and engage in multiple activities.
She further noted that she looks forward to collaborating with PanoGrama.
“When I was asked to be an adjudicator I was elated. I knew the high standard of the competition and was happy to be a part of the process. When growing up, I had a lot of performance opportunities because of the wide variety of competitions that were available. Today, there are fewer competitions, so I feel obligated to perform my role as adjudicator but also to publicly support such (a) venture,” she shared.
Professor Liam Teague is on his second stint as an adjudicator, and he is looking forward to each participant telling their musical story in an honest manner, which will captivate hearts in a thought-provoking way.
The Professor of Music and Head of Steelpan studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU) encouraged participants to bring something to the table that is relatively unique and memorable.
Teague added that PanoGrama is a wonderful platform to showcase the creativity and talent of musicians in the steelpan universe. Therefore, he is ecstatic to be part of the event once more.
Meanwhile, Victor Provost, noted that he is looking forward to outstanding musicianship, creative compositional choices, and high level of preparation. Provost expects continued excellence in visual presentation of performance space and dress.
“I would suggest participants go with tunes that are meaningful to them, so that they can inject their personality into it,” he said.
Provost, who is also a world renowned pannist and an adjunct professor at George Mason University, revealed that he chose to be an adjudicator because he believes Nevin and the PanoGrama team have built something special that deserves investment and global recognition. The two substitute adjudicators Ojay Richards and Andy Chichester are just as excited for this year’s competition.