Antiguan pannist tuning up for international contest finals – on Instagram

Antiguan pannist Amarni Gomes
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By Machela Osagboro

With the wave of innovative musical concerts being streamed online, there is a new take on the annual Panorama festivals in the form of a new competition being broadcast on Instagram.

Trinidian event organiser Nevin Roach told Observer that ‘Panograma’ participants had been giving some great performances online and proved a hit with international audiences.

Panograma organiser Nevin Roach

“As the rounds progressed, they each added a bit more to the performance. Viewers have been having a fantastic time, according to the comments, and I’m happy that PanTrinbago came on board to sponsor appearance fees of US$100 for each finalist.”

The event, which started on April 24, will see young Antiguan pannist Amarni Gomes competing in the final stage on Sunday against competitors from all over the world.

Gomes, who is on a hiatus from his studies in marketing and music at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, told Observer that he took part because he wanted to remain active in his music and it paid off.

“I am just happy to be in the finals and represent Antigua,” he said.

Gomes said he found out about the event two weeks ago and, though nervous, thought it would be a perfect opportunity to compete on an international stage.

“It was only until the last day of registration I was able to select a song and say, yes I am going to do it, and I am glad I did. I took the chance and within two days I was in the preliminary rounds. I was able to create an arrangement for myself and do something I have never done before,” he said.

He added that he was surprised to be selected among some stalwart musicians who represented themselves well in the beginning stages of the competition.

Gomes has been playing pan for 10 years. He has played with Hells Gate steel orchestra and the St Joseph’s Academy Rhythm Masters band among others, and performed on five Panorama stages, the most recent one last year.

The competition has seen participants from countries also including the United States, Cuba, Jamaica and Barbados.

Ten pannists will compete on Sunday for a top prize of US$500 and an online session with a world-renowned musician.

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