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Police Band snubbed at Music Awards?

Police Band snubbed at Music Awards?

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“What happened to the police band at the AMP awards?”

That is the question being asked by bandmaster Inspector Bernard Haynes, after the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force band was apparently snubbed by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Music{{more}} Professionals (AMP) at their awards ceremony last Saturday.

“Five other bands were nominated, so what are we?” Haynes questioned.

Haynes, who celebrated 35 years in the police force on the same day the event was held, made the point that the band is a nationally recognized outfit that plays quite frequently.

“My query is that the police band was not even nominated or recognized. We play at different events around the country all year,” said Haynes, who has been head of the band since 2011.

“We play at sports functions, dances and at others. At Carnival, we accompany the calypso finals and that is a national thing. The AMP awards was a national thing too, so what happened to us?” Haynes repeated.

He made the point that the police band has even played for some of the artistes who were nominated, including the president of AMP Orande “Bomani” Charles.

“It is puzzling as to why they are seemingly not considered as being a live band. They must know that the police band is active. We should have at least received an award for the best back-up band… When independence comes, we are at the Victoria Park where the whole nation comes to see the performance of the band,” Haynes stated.

The veteran musician and police officer also spoke of some of the programmes they have implemented over the years, including the police music summer programme.

“We are always in the community, so nobody can’t say that they don’t see the police band. We covered over 25 communities and even on the Grenadines. So, we have played for the whole nation and some of these artistes,” he said.

He further noted that sometimes, they are so booked out, they have played at more than three events in one day.

“I would like to even know if we could have been awarded or recognized for being the hardest working band in the country,” he laughed.

However AMP president Orande Charles says the omission of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band from their recently held awards show was an “oversight.”

“It is an oversight. They play live music. They are a band. And they do perform fairly frequently, so I think they should be included,” Charles said, adding that he would make a recommendation to the committee for next year’s event.

In an interview on Wednesday, Charles explained that most of the awards are based on actual recordings, with a few exceptions.

“What we want to do is encourage performers to record their work. We realize that not everybody does that, including some of the current bands,” Charles said.

According to him, when no recorded work exists, other areas have to be looked at for possible nomination, including frequency and type of performances, among others.

“We do recognize that the police band has been overlooked in the awards, but we want to encourage them and also others to do more recordings as well. It helps with the assessment of the performance,” he said.

Charles said that the police band has been traditionally associated with playing at State events.

“Certainly, we want to be able to include the police band in our awards, so I think from next year, we want to have the band included.

“…It hasn’t been tradition to see the police band performing outside of State events. I guess because of that culture, the committee didn’t consider them part of the commercial aspect.”

He said some of the other bands who were nominated were judged from video footage, but not audio recordings.

“We again realize that not everybody is doing that. We try to encourage the bands to go into the studio and record songs.”

The award for best live band of 2014 was won by Rodney Small & The Ultimate Band. The other bands nominated were Impac Jazz, Infinity Band, K-Netik Band and Vykins Band. The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band was launched on June 6, 1951. At present, it is made up of 27 members. (KW)

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