By Carlena Knight
For the first time in the country’s history, two Antiguan and Barbudan pannists have made it into the semifinals of the third annual Panograma competition.
Thirty-year-old Maurisha Potter and 21-year-old Malik Smith — both members of the Panache Steel Orchestra — received the nod to be listed among the top 20 pannists who advanced after showcasing their skills in the preliminaries on May 6, May 7 and May 8 via Youtube.
Three participants withdrew for personal reasons, including Antigua and Barbuda’s Jawan Henry, Kraig Bisnott of Jamaica, and Miguel Bougouneau of the US Virgin Islands.
The reigning champion, Keishaun Julien of Trinidad and Tobago, will not be defending his title.
Music lovers watched and listened intently as 24 steelpan musicians delivered songs of their choosing.
Each participating pannist played their own arrangement of their tune of choice, and was judged on criteria that included variations, execution and performance. In keeping with event rules, performances were allowed to be between three, and four and a half minutes in length.
Smith, who is the treasurer of Panache and a music teacher at the Antigua Grammar School (AGS), performed a special rendition of the song ‘Best Part’ by Daniel Caesar and H.E.R., while Potter, who is the current captain of Panache and a clerk within the Establishment Department, played ‘Say Say’ by Baron.
Smith said he was “pleased” to receive the news.