By Latrishka Thomas
Antigua and Barbuda’s very own Khan Cordice emerged as the second place winner of the international pan competition known as Pan Ramajay.
Over the weekend, Cordice went head to head with 10 talented musicians from all over the world, falling only 8 points short of defeating the United States of America’s (USA), Andre White.
Nevertheless, the musician told Observer that he sees this as a major accomplishment
“I was elated. To come second to Andre White who is an amazing musician is still something that we should be thankful for; to be able to place second in an international competition with a lot of great musicians, a lot of amazing musicians,” he remarked.
The steel pan composer’s improvisational rendition of ‘Rock With You’ wowed the judges and earned him a top spot, but had he a choice, he said that that would not have been his first pick.
“Throughout the competition, just looking at some of the participants it had not been a favorite, but that’s what I was given, so that’s what I tried my best to work with… there’s a few factors in it that makes it a bit challenging, but I enjoyed it nonetheless,” he shared.
The notable pannist had topped all of his competitors in both the preliminary and semi-finals of the competition, and his semi-finals score, 370, is the highest score amassed in the entire competition.
But beyond that, Cordice had his sights set on flying the twin-islands five-colour flag high.
He therefore encourages other locals to participate in next year’s Pan Ramajay and other similar competitions.
“One of the things that we need to consider here in Antigua and Barbuda is for our people to just be a bit more motivated to enter these international or regional competitions.
“Forget about winning …you need to get your name out there; get people talking about Antigua and Barbuda; get people talking about you as an artist or as an individual ,and winning would just be a plus,” he urged.
Pan Ramajay is a steelpan event which was established in 1989 by Exodus Steel Orchestra. It is designed to feature soloists, duos and quartets using any instrument in the steelpan family.
This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the competition was conducted virtually.
In the finals, participants were required to bring their own unique impromptu style to one of 10 songs chosen at random.
The winner of the solo category, Andre White from the USA, won himself a cash prize of $2000. Cordice won $1500, while Kareem Thompson of the USA, and Domenic Lewis of Barbados – who tied for third place- won $1000.
The USA also won the duo and quartet categories.