St Francois Girls’ College successfully defended their Secondary Schools’ title at the National Schools’ Panorama finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
The Belmont-based school, playing Crazy’s Pan Break, amassed 283 points to beat Naparima Girls High/Naparima College and St Joseph’s Convent (St Joseph) into second and third respectively and earn their sixth overall title.
Speaking afterwards, captain Krisana Mitchell said she was happy with the win since this was her last time playing and last year at the school.
“This will be our sixth win. It is my only time being captain. I have been with the band since 2012 when I started at the school,” the Upper Six Form student said, noting she is heading abroad to study when she graduates later this year.
Mitchell was all smiles as she held the trophy high for her band-mates who were waiting for her to leave the stage after the presentation.
“I am very glad, I had to come home with a victory before I left,” she said.
Naturally, not all the schools were happy with yesterday’s results, with some players being openly heard saying: “They always giving it to St Francois.”
St Margaret’s Boys Anglican School also defended their Primary School title for an 11th lien on the trophy overall.
Speaking afterwards, band manager Kurt Abraham, who noted they had run off eight titles in a row between 2006 and 2013, credited the success to the school’s steelpan programme, which was established by his wife Rosemarie in September 2002.
“We were in 15 Panorama finals and did not take part in 2005 in the primary school division and that year we entered the secondary school competition and won, which was open at the time,” he said, noting the competition was subsequently revised to allow only secondary school to compete in the category.
The school played Peter Ram’s Good Morning to beat out 11 other schools with 278 points. Tacarigua Presbyterian, playing Ultimate Rejects’ 2017 Road March We Jamming Still, were a close second with 272 points while Guaico Presbyterian and St Mary’s’s Government, who played Lord Kitchener’s Toco Band and Chris “Tambu” Herbert’s Free Up, were one point behind them in third.
“We are totally excited and we are glad to show and come out and give the other bands a challenge. Our programme starts at infants and the teachers are involved and past students who do the arranging. Everything is in-house, the programme is a success,” Abraham said.
The students wowed the crowed yesterday by playing several types of choreography and using entertainers such as Crazy, Ultimate Rejects and Nailah Blackman as their stage support. Many of the schools also had their own cheering sections.
A proud Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said afterwards that they plan to develop a steelpan curriculum for the nation’s schools.
“I feel elated because pan is ours and part of our culture. It is the only musical instrument that was invented in the 20th century. The Ministry of Education and the Government are committed to the development of the steelpan,” he said.
He said pan tuning and other aspects of the steelpan were being taught the students.
“As part of the curriculum in secondary schools we have a pan tuning exercise and our students in schools are being taught to tune pan and introduced the manufacturing aspect to it. As soon as the curriculum is developed we will move forward in secondary schools,” he said.
1. St Margaret’s Boys Anglican (278 pts) Good Morning
2. Tacarigua Presbyterian (272) We Jamming Still
3. Guaico Presbyterian (271 ) Toco Band;
St Mary’s Government (271) Free up
5. St Paul’s Boys Anglican (270) Poom Poom
6. Point Fortin Anglican Primary (268) Full of Vibes
7. Malabar RC (263.5) Hulk
8. Bien Venue Presbyterian (262) Dis Feeling Nice
9. Fifth Company Baptist (258) Buss Head
10. Rosary Boys RC (254) Far from Finished
11. Couva Anglican (247) Good Morning
12. Carenage Boys’ Government (244) We Jamming Still
1. St Francois Girls College (283) Pan Break
2. Naparima Girls High & Naparima College (268.5) Fallin
3. St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph (264) Free Up
4. Providence Girls’ & Queen’s Royal College (262) Far from Finished
5. South East Port-of-Spain Secondary (260) Buss Head
6. Trinity College Moka (255) Year for Love
7. East Mucurapo Secondary (246) Free Up
8. Bishop Anstey High/Trinity College East (244) King & Queens
9. Goodwood Secondary Tobago (234) This Melody Sweet
Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Camille Clarke)