The National Cultural Centre came alive with the delightful sounds of Steel Pan on Sunday, when a capacity crowd gathered to experience the Republic Bank Mashramani Pan-o-rama Steel Band Competition 2014.
The event sponsored by the bank for the sixth consecutive year, saw the introduction of a new ‘Pan Jazz’ category. Pan Jazz Fusion is becoming a recognized form in the jazz genre, hence its introduction into the competition. A preliminary competition in the School Band category was held on February 14, 2014 due to the large amount of participating schools. This move also exposed a wider cross section of Guyana’s children to the Steel Pan, thus enabling them to appreciate a style of music that forms an important part of Guyana’s cultural heritage.
This increase stems from the continued output of the Republic Right Start Pan Minors Music Literacy Programme, another annual initiative under the ‘Power to Make a Difference’ umbrella. This programme, which commenced in 2010, teaches the necessary skills for playing the steel pan and the knowledge of the rudiments of music.
The 2014 Mashramani Pan-o-rama Steel Band Competition featured bands competing in six categories; senior solo, junior solo, pan duet, school band, pan jazz and large band.
Judging from the spirited participation and the responses by the Steel Pan enthusiasts and supporters in attendance, a great evening of metallic bliss was enjoyed by all.
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