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Sion Hill, C. W. Prescod ‘steel’ pan fans hearts

Sion Hill,  C. W. Prescod ‘steel’ pan fans hearts


The Sion Hill Euphonium and the C. W. Prescod Primary School steel pan bands left Carnival City, Victoria Park on Sunday evening in a jubilant mood,{{more}} after winning the community-based bands and school-based bands segments respectively, of this year’s VINLEC Junior Pan Fest.

For the C.W. Prescod, this is the first time the school has won the competition which has been in existence for the past 20 years.

Playing the melody taught them by the band’s arranger, Kesslon Jaffa Wilson, the young pan players had the fairly large crowd dancing under overcast skies to their rendition, “We Dancing”, by Alston Becket Cyrus.

Last year’s winner, the Girls’ High School, had to settle for second position with their rendition of “Go Right Up In Dey” by well-known calypsonian Poorsah.

The St Joseph Convent Kingstown (SJCK) took the third spot with “Loving Can’t Done,” by the band Touch.

The other schools competing in last Sunday’s VINLEC Junior Pan Fest were the Adelphi Secondary School and the Troumaca Primary School.

Following the completion of the schools’ segment, it was then the turn of the eight community bands to impress the judges.

Even though the rain, which came intermittently during this part of the competition, forced patrons to have to repeatedly seek shelter, they always returned to the front of the stage to get a close look of the youngsters in action.

For the Sion Hill Euphonium, “It was a joyous and well-deserved victory,” according to their arranger, Rodney Small.

“We worked hard and I credit all the team members for their effort, because now we are all winners,” Small told SEARCHLIGHT, after they were announced community band winners.

Sion Hill Euphonium, with their rendition of Winston Soso’s “Big Bottom”, earned the judges’ nod and also seemed to be the crowd favourite, as the loudest of cheers were heard around Victoria Park following the band’s performance.

Second place went to last year’s winners, Sea Operations Starlift, playing “Tribute to Andrew”, a calypso sung by Hero.

Vita Malt Symphonix, playing “Gal ah Rush Me” by Becket, took the third position.

A surprise presentation was also made during last Sunday’s event. For his decades of contribution to the development of steel pan here, Francis “Pes” Llewellyn was presented a portrait of himself by Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation, Dennis Ambrose.

Meanwhile, Minister of Culture McKie, in congratulating the winners and participants of this year’s competition, told SEARCHLIGHT that he was pleased with the support displayed by Vincentians, who came out despite the cloudy weather to witness the young pan players showcase their talents.

“It was fantastic and very encouraging to see the support shown here tonight. This is a sign that steel pan music is alive and well in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” McKie added.(AA)