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2 Tobago bands make cut for Panorama semis

Corey Connelly NLCB Buccooneers. File photo/David Reid
NLCB Buccooneers. File photo/David Reid

TOBAGO’S two large conventional steelbands – NLCB Buccooneers and RBC Redemption Soundsetters – have made it to the semi-finals of the national Panorama competition.

The bands are among 14 announced on Thursday after the large band preliminaries ended on February 1.

The semi-finals are being held on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. Reigning Panorama champion Desperadoes is in the line-up.

Redemption Soundsetters’ tune of choice is Aaron St Louis' (Voice) Out And Bad, while Buccooneers is playing Leroy "Black Stalin" Calliste’s Bun Dem, in tribute to the late calypso icon. The piece was arranged by Seion Gomez.

RBC Redemption Soundsetters.
RBC Redemption Soundsetters. File photo/David Reid

Buccooneers’ executive secretary Stacy Solomon said excitement is building among the players.

“We are ready to head to the semi-finals and do the best that we could to get us through to the finals. We are hoping that our performance will take us through to that other leg of the race,” she told Newsday.

Solomon said reaching to the semi-finals is an amazing accomplishment.

“All things considered, the season is very short and for the fact that we are more a tight unit, more on the weekends, so we are at a disadvantage rather than an advantage.”

She said the band basically had about two weekends and a day to put the song together. “So we are definitely excited to move forward.”

Redemption Soundsetters’ captain Marie Toby said she was pleased with her band’s performance at last Sunday’s judging in the preliminary round of the competition.

Saying there is still room for improvement, she assured the band will be in top form heading into Sunday’s semi-finals.

In other Carnival news, 11 young calypsonians from Tobago have also made it to the semi-finals of the Junior Calypso Monarch semi-finals on Saturday.

They are Ajani Douglas (Black Rock Government); Atiya Lynch (Pentecostal Light and Life); Clorysa Gill (Signal Hill Secondary); D’Ashe Saul (Parlatuvier Anglican); Deja Moore (Scarborough Secondary); Khalea Alfred (Scarborough RC School); Koquice Davidson (Bishop’s High School); Naomi Waldropt (Signal Hill Secondary); Nataki Thompson (Scarborough Secondary); Nickale Farmer (Black Rock Government); and Olu Holder (Scarborough Secondary).

The competition is being held at the Kaiso House Calypso Tent, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.