PanoGrama: Beyond the Competition
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
The dawn of yet another year of the International PanoGrama competition is upon us. I participated in the competition since its inception in 2020, and was the 2021 winner. Although I have made a personal decision not to compete in 2022, I have had many meaningful experiences as a result of being a PanoGrama participant. Furthermore, I think that PanoGrama is a great platform for steelpan soloists to expand their skills and express themselves musically in a creative way.
Photo: Keishaun Julien moments before his winning performance of Pan By Storm at the 2021 PanoGrama
Here are some of the things I valued as a participant in PanoGrama:
Networking With Other Musicians
Building your professional network is essential to successfully navigating your field of expertise. Taking part in PanoGrama has enabled me to connect with other steelpan musicians around the world who I have been able to share ideas with on various projects outside of the competition.
Workshops Hosted By Industry Professionals
The PanoGrama team does a fantastic job at organizing workshops for the contestants. In my experience competing, I have been able to partake in workshops led by world-renowned pannists such as Liam Teague, Natasha Joseph and Stephon Campbell. I have also gotten the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 session with Victor Provost as part of my 2021 winnings. These experiences have had an impact on me as a musician for which I am grateful.
Press and Marketing
PanoGrama has managed to position itself as an international brand as it is viewed by people all over the world. Over the past 2 years of the competition being held, the team has done an amazing job at landing interviews and articles with top television stations as well as international newspaper articles.
For 2022, PanoGrama announced that they have secured a deal with One Caribbean Television to have the competition broadcast in 19 countries around the world.
This is very beneficial to the contestants as allows them to market themselves. This is one aspect of the PanoGrama I value dearly.
One of the main incentives for the competition is the amazing prizes at stake. These include travel opportunities, musical gear and cash prizes. Two motivational factors that led me to re-enter the competition in 2021 were to win that Augustus Peters Steelpan and get the opportunity to perform in Canada for the Sons of Steel Concert [more on that in a future post].
According to PanoGrama, the 2022 Champion will walk away with a brand new Perfect Steel Tenor Pan, an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas, $1000USD Cash and a private session with a world-renowned steelpannist.
Winning a competition with so many top-class pannists from around the world is no easy feat. However, it was a spotlight moment for me which opened many doors. I have had the opportunity to work with several corporate and government organizations off the merit of winning the competition. Other competitors would also gained invaluable exposure from partaking in the competition.
Entering a competition like PanoGrama puts you in the open to be critiqued by well qualified judges. These comments can be useful bits of information to help you improve and take your craft to the next level.
The judging panel for 2022 consists of Dr. Mia Gromandy-Benjamin, Professor Liam Teague, Victor Provost, Ojay Richards and Andy Chichester.
PANOGRAMA 2022 LINE-UP: WHO WILL EMERGE THE NEW WINNER?
I am truly excited to see all the talent that this year's competition would bring. New names mixed with a bit of familiar talent. Let's continue to support our fellow pannists as they battle for the top spot.
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