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RC school steel bands look towards 2021

By Kaelanne Jordan
Email: mediarelations.camsel@catholictt.org
Twitter: @kaelanne1

The five Catholic primary and secondary school bands that made it to the finals of the National Schools Panorama 2020, Port of Spain are already eyeing the first-place title at next year’s competition. The finals took place last Sunday (January 26) at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah.

While none of the primary nor secondary Catholic schools won first place, each school felt they were winners by their own right, when contacted for comment last Tuesday.

The Primary category saw three Catholic school bands making it to the finals: Bethlehem Boys and Girls RC combined placed 5th with their pan rendition of Kes’ ‘Savannah Grass’; San Fernando Boys RC, 8th, V’ghn’s ‘Trouble in the Morning’; and Success RC Primary, 10th place with Machel Montano’s ‘By All Means’.

Providence Girls and Queen’s Royal College placed 3rd while Holy Cross College placed 6th in the Secondary category.

Speaking to Catholic News via phone, Standard Five teacher at Bethlehem Boys’ RC Felix Brown said that after placing last in the finals four years ago, then not placing in the finals last year, the school felt overjoyed as if they had won first place. The school band tied with Tranquility Government Primary.

Brown shared that despite the “criminal elements” and shootings which disrupt classes at the east Port of Spain school, the school and by extension, the community all share “a sense of accomplishment” on being the highest placed RC primary school. Echoing similar sentiments, Bethlehem Girls’ RC Principal Ann Marie Pierre said she is confident that Beth RC Vibes Steel Orchestra will take first place next year.

Meanwhile San Fernando Boys’ RC principal Donna Solomon acknowledged that this year was the first time the school entered the National School Panorama competition. They were also the only school to represent the Victoria district.

She said that while some of the boys felt they should have been placed higher as they believed their performance was of “a good standard”, they will examine “mistakes” with a view to improvement next year.

At Holy Cross College, OJT Anthony O’ Kieffe said that this was the school’s first time participating in the Junior Panorama competition. He shared there was not a lot of pressure on the boys “but when we passed prelims that was the first sense of pride for them”.

A January 10 release from the Ministry of Education (MoE) said that this year established a new record of 67 (22 secondary and 45 primary) registered schools’ bands.