by Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): PanoGrama 2022 is set to kick off with the Preliminary Rounds this weekend (May 6-8). Organiser, Mr. Nevin Roach told WINN FM in an exclusive interview that plans are in place to welcome participants from nine countries. The virtual international steel pan competition will see representation from St Kitts and Nevis and Belize for the first time. Both countries will be represented by Aaron Mentos and Alexander Evans respectively.
Roach expressed his desire to see more pannist representing St. Kitts and Nevis at PanoGrama.
“It is my hope that in the future competitions we will have more people from SKN coming into the competition. It’s not just about the competition, it’s not just about winning. It provides an entire experience that will help you [participants] grow on a personal, a professional, and a musical level.”
Other islands to be represented at Panograma are Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, France, Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The adjudicators for the event are Professor Liam Teague and Dr. Mia Gormandy- Benjamin from Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Professor Victor Provost from the US Virgin Islands.
Roach revealed that the competition just like any other event has had its challenges. Some of the challenges in the first year as noted by Roach were internet connectivity, as well as audio visual challenges – having streamed only on Instagram. “Sponsorship is always a challenge,” said Roach. He extended an open invitation to businesses around the world to be in partnership with PanoGrama, promising great marketing opportunities for businesses. However, in 2021, there were some significant improvements in operations and again in 2022, where televised coverage of Panograma will be available in several countries.
“In 2021 we improved on our operations. We were able to expand to YouTube, Facebook and we also debuted on CBC TV in Barbados. I am so happy that this year, Panograma was able to secure an international television deal that will see PanoGrama 2022 air throughout the Caribbean, in the United States and in Canada; over 19 countries.”
PanoGrama was born in 2020 during the Pandemic. Roach indicated that being stuck at home during lockdowns watching live streams one after the other, he came up with the idea to bring about a “Panorama vibe” entertainment on Instagram. The fusion of the two words pan and Instagram birthed the name “PanoGrama.” Roach said 20 pannist participated in the inaugural competition, with over 1,000 viewers. He also told WINN FM that his intention is to have a live, “on land” performance in the future, bringing all competitors together.
As a prelude to the competition, the competitors had an opportunity to participate in a series of workshops spearheaded by PanoGrama Entertainment from March 19 to April 2. These include a career guidance workshop, a personal and professional development workshop and musical sessions covering various tools and techniques for musical arrangement.
The PanoGrama 2022 winner will receive a brand new tenor pan from Perfect Steel, a US$1,000 cash prize, a trip to the Bahamas and private sessions with a world renowned steel pannist.
The competition will get underway on Friday, May 6 for three consecutive nights, giving online audiences an opportunity to see performances from 25 pannists.
“We have the preliminaries on May 6th, 7th and 8th; the semi finals on May 29th and the finals on June 12th. All shows start streaming on YouTube from 8 p.m. EST and any person out there can subscribe on our website, www.pano-grama.com to receive links to the shows and also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for updates.”