Sweet, sweet pan music!

· PanoGrama prelims leave adjudicators with tough decisions

Written by: Tamoy Ashman


Mathieu Borgne of France in prelims action

The preliminary round of the NLCB PanoGrama 2021 virtual event came to an end on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 9 after the last 10 competitors pulled out all the stops to ensure their spot in semifinals, which will be held on May 13.


The exceptional talent on display throughout the preliminaries left adjudicators with the tough task of allocating just 20 semifinal spots from a field of 30 exceptional pannists who participating in the preliminary rounds of the competition. This was evident when the results were revealed on Sunday, which showed some pannists being as close as point four points away from each other.


The preliminary rounds of the competition took place between Friday May 7 and Sunday May 9 starting with a 15-minute prelude at 7:45 pm each night, officially commencing at 8 pm AST, with more than 6,000 people across the globe tuning in. The three-night segment featured 10 pannists each night whose performances were nothing short of outstanding, covering genres such as Reggae, Soca, Gospel and R&B. The international event featured pannists from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, France, Canada, England, Antigua & Barbuda, US Virgin Islands, United States, Guyana, and Grenada.


The final night of the preliminaries, fittingly aired on Mother’s Day was a treat to many mothers who filled the chat with encouragement for their children who were participating. Throughout the event special thanks and acknowledgement was given to these mothers as they cheered and watched in anticipation of the results. Host and founder of the NLCB PanoGrama, Nevin Roach labeled the preliminaries a success, stating that ‘he was very happy that everyone enjoyed the production.


Over the course of the 3-day competition, adjudicators and spectators were treated to some sweet pan music that left many unable to contain themselves in the online chat room. The composition, arrangement, chord progression and overall performance by the pannists were described by many spectators as immaculate. The competition was so intense that reigning champion Earl Brooks Jr. of Trinidad and Tobago did not leave the preliminaries with the highest score.


After the closing performance of Brooks, who displayed a smooth and melodic execution of Best part by H.E.R, there was a brief musical intermission by Penthouse 2.0 which left many on the edge of their seat and anxious to hear the results.


When the intermission ended, it was Roach, who revealed the scores. At the end of 3 nights, the top 3 of the NLCB PanoGrama 2021 preliminaries moving to the semifinals were Mathieu Borgne (France) taking the lead with a master’s sheet of 89 points, Earl Brooks Jr. (T&T) with 87.6 points and Shaquille Forbes (T&T) with 85.4 points.


Other pannists qualifying for the semifinals are Carlon Lyons (T&T) with 85 points, Dejean Cain (T&T) and Tyeesha Alexander (T&T) tied with 83.8 points, Deja Cain (T&T) with 83 points,Leroi Simmonds (US VI) with 82.4 points, Jamel Cadette (T&T) with 81.4 points, Andre Forde (Barbados) with 80.8 points, Detroy Dey (Guyana) with 80.4 points, Hanif Goodridge (T&T) with 80.2 points Douglas Dallaway (England) with 79.8 points, Charlton Alfonso (T&T) with 79.4 points, Kion Robinson (T&T) with 78.8 points, David Yundi (US) with 78.4 points, Megan-Leigh L (T&T) with 77 points, Keishaun Julien (T&T) with 76.4 points, Mikiel Smith (Grenada) with 75.6 points and Kevhani Greenaway (Antigua) with 75 points.


With the scores being this close, it is clear that the judges have their work cut out for them in the semifinals as the competition is sure to intensify. After announcing the results, Roach encouraged the contestants to bring their A game for the semifinals. He also stressed how important is it for contestants to enjoy the event because the NLCB PanoGrama is more than just another competition. This message ties perfectly with the tagline for the event “Live, love, play and enjoy”. Roach also did not shy away from showing gratituted to the National Lotteries Control Board of Trinidad & Tobago, Pan Trinbago, Augustus Peters Steelpans, R Smith Creations, Emineo Caribbean, Co-operators General Insurance Ltd, Sons of Steel, Pan Arts Network, E-Pan, #1 Steepan App GOLD, iNev88, Music Jym, Pan Podium, Run246, Perfect Steel, Leetech, EnSoul Music Designs, Mallet Man and Penthouse 2.0.


The eliminated pannists will not leave the competition empty handed as each participant took home a pair of pan sticks from the Mallet Man. The semifinals of the NLBC PanoGrama will take place on May 13 at 8:00 pm AST, streaming live on all social media platforms from 7:45pm AST. These include PanoGrama’s Facebook page (facebook.com/pano.grama1), YouTube channel (youtube.com/panograma) and Instagram (instagram.com/pano.grama).


Full Results:

1. Mathieu Borgne (France) – 89 pts

2. Earl Brooks Jr. (Trinidad & Tobago) – 87.6 pts

3. Shaquille Forbes (Trinidad & Tobago) – 85.4 pts

4. Carlon Lyons (Trinidad & Tobago) – 85 pts

5. Dejean Cain (Trinidad & Tobago) – 83.8 pts

5. Tyeesha Alexander (Trinidad & Tobago) – 83.8 pts

7. Deja Cain (Trinidad & Tobago) – 83 pts

8. Leroi Simmonds (US Virgin Islands) – 82.4 pts

9. Jamel Cadette (Trinidad & Tobago) – 81.4 pts

10. Andre Forde (Barbados) – 80.8 pts

11. Detroy Dey (Guyana) – 80.4 pts

12. Hanif Goodridge (Trinidad & Tobago) – 80.2 pts

13. Douglas Dallaway (England) – 79.8 pts

14. Charlton Alfonso (Trinidad & Tobago) – 79.4 pts

15. Kion Robinson (Trinidad & Tobago) – 78.8 pts

16. David Yundi (USA) – 78.4 pts

17. Megan-Leigh Langton-Attang (Trinidad & Tobago) – 77 pts

18. Keishaun Julien (Trinidad & Tobago) - 76.4 pts

19. Mikiel Smith (Grenada) – 75.6 pts

20. Kevhani Greenaway (Antigua & Barbuda) – 75 pts

21. Japhon Barthley (Antigua & Barbuda) – 74 pts

22. Gabriel Chartrand (Canada) – 73.8 pts

22. Maurisha Potter (Antigua & Barbuda) – 73.8 pts

24. Aquila Pereira (Trinidad & Tobago) – 72.8 pts

25. Samanya Brazier (Antigua & Barbuda) – 72.6 pts

26. Shovon Brown (Trinidad & Tobago) – 72 pts

27. Vivian Williams (Trinidad & Tobago) – 71.4 pts

27. Demetre Samuel (Antigua & Barbuda) – 71.4 pts

29. Al Alexander (St. Lucia) – 70.2 pts

30. Matthew Kiser (USA) – 65.2 pts