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Miami Broward Carnival Panorama Competition

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Written by John Beckford | Published in junior carnival feature

Every year, the Miami Broward Carnival brings together hundreds of people to celebrate Caribbean culture in South Florida. One of the largest draws of this annual event is the Panorama, the steel drum competition. Each year several teams compete for title of best band of the year. Current champions Lauderhill Steel Ensemble are putting in the extra hours practice to keep the title in Sunrise, “In September we practice about 4 to 5 times week. We are working hard to hold on to the title we achieved as Champions of the Panorama last year,” said Dr. Selvon Nanan, president of the Lauderhill Steel Ensemble.

The Panorama competition is held every friday of The Miami Broward Carnival. In 2016 Five bands competed in front of a live audience at the Cricket Stadium in Broward Regional park “I like seeing how the crowd gets hyped and how they like the sound that I am playing. It influences the culture” said Talia Hardware, a 16 year old steel drum player of Mello Groove Orchestra. Steel drums has been a vehicle to deliver the sounds of the caribbean for over 80 years. This instrument originated from Trinidad and Tobago and crossed over to different parts of the world. Today it is an intrical part of Carnival Season.

The Lauderhill Steel ensemble has been around since 2003. It’s a Community band that was started in collaboration with the City of Lauderhill Parks and Recreation. Its one of the longest existing steel drum bands in South Florida, “A lot of band come and go but we have been around since we started. Our mission is to cultivate cultural awareness of  the sound of the caribbean with people in the local community” said Nanon. The ensemble preserves and advance the Caribbean culture in the community by hosting musical classes on how to play the steel drum. They teach people of all age starting from children to seniors. The classes are instructed by Carl Stanley. The ensemble has also performed at Colors of the Caribbean in Hollywood, Fl and at the Perez Art Museum in Downtown Miami.

Judges for the panorama has a 100 point criteria that they use to critique competing bands. Bands in the panorama are judged off of visual impact, creativity, craftsmanship, relation to the current theme, portability and presentation. Lauderhill Steel Ensemble excelled in those categories and scored high in the 2016 competition,“Based on the choice of tune and how accurate you play the original melody is what we were looking for,” said Alvin Daniels, judge of the 2016 Panorama. “Sometimes we find bands that don’t get it right in terms of getting the melody right as it was composed. We found Lauderhill to be more accurate in that area” said Daniels. The band currently has 30 members. To get each instrument insync with the song and make it sounds familiar to audience and the keen ear of the judges was not an easy task. Today the Ensemble is practicing deligently to have another dominate performance in this year’s panorama.

 Miami Broward Carnival Panorama Competition
Friday, October 6, 2017
Location: Central Broward Regional Park-3700 Northwest 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311
Time:8pm-11
Cost:$30 online and $35 day until 6pm and $40 after that

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