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Sweet steel in the Hall

Natanga Smith Hurdle

Sweet steel in the Hall

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The Central Bank-sponsored Links Of Steel in the Cathedral Plaza at the Central Bank has moved indoors to Frank Collymore Hall.
From outside the Hall, patrons could hear the sweet sounds of pan as 63 participants took to the stage to showcase their diverse repertoires.
The Pan Tuk Ensemble opened the show and the programme moved smoothly into one-man band Andre Forde with Get Up Stand Up, Moves Like Jagger and calypso tune Colours.
The pan players were divided into three groups, up from the two each year, and each student had their turn on stage.
The juniors gave the audience Grenade by Bruno Mars, Hit Rick’s Crop Over groove I Like Muhself and Sugar Bum Bum by Lord Kitchener. A show of hands from some of the 19 on stage signalled they had never played pan before the camp.
They showed their versatility by switching pan positions according to the deliveries. Smiling through each rendition, spurred on by rousing applause from the audience made up of parents and pan lovers, the juniors added antics of jumping and rocking while playing.
The next group was the intermediate, introduced for the first time in the extravaganza. These did not fit among the juniors but were not ready for the seniors. They did Jamming, an Adele medley, Mikey’s Sweet Soca tune We Loose and Mr Vegas’ Bruk It Down. The last one had their own improvisation and if Mr Vegas needed a remix, he should look right here.
The seniors started the second half and all one could see from the two big steel drum players at the back were hands moving in a blur around four pieces and tipping across to make that one tap on that extra drum. From classical jazz to reggae to pop, they set the stage on fire with Machel’s Mr Fete, Michael Jackson’s Thriller and more.
The Youth Pan Extravaganza, under camp director Kently Gill since 2002, seeks to enhance the growth of young artistes. The students were in a three-week camp, with different tutors and 75 hours of intense training.
From primary and secondary schools all over Barbados, the children put on a pan display that caused the audience to burst into applause time and again.
The evening was one of stimulating pan. None of the ensembles played the same tunes and they added one more to their playlist that they decided on their own.