Young pannists take stage at steel pan contest

Steel bands from all over Brooklyn competed for the title of the best steel pan group at the Panorama Steel Pan competition at the Brooklyn Museum on Sept. 3.

The annual competition crowns a band after each band knocks out its best covers to popular songs. Up for competition this year were 10 bands, many of them with young members highly committed to the beloved instrument, said one local mom who joined her 10- year–old daughter in the excitement.

“We had a lot of fun — the kids were excited when we got on stage with them,” said Carlene James, whose daughter Andrea is a member of the Crossfire Steel band, and placed third.

“She was very excited. We had to skip a lot of vacations and she missed many vacations because she is very dedicated to the steel pan.”

During Crossfire’s performance of the popular Soca hit song “Scene,” the song’s artist, GBM Nutron, made a cameo.

“While they played the song, he was actually in front of them performing,” said James. “Simply being on the stage with the energy and the excitement was so awesome.”

The New York Panorama Steel Band competition was created in 1973, and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association has been hosting the event exclusively since 1974. The competition gives prize money and trophies to the champions of the competition. For the third year in a row, the D’Radoes Steel band took the first place spot playing carnival song “Different Me,” and that was all due to hard work, said the manager for the 100-memeber band.

“The tune was played as well as they could play it,” said Tom Montvel–Cohen, D’Radoes Steel band manager. “They got up there and played with intensity, positivity, and unity — the vibe in that yard was so high because the music was so good and we have very good players.”

D’Radoes Steel band received a cash prize of $20,000 and their third trophy.

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