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By Latrishka Thomas

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A 20-year-old local pannist who participated in the preliminaries of the ‘World Cup of Steel Pan’ the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) Panograma, has made it to the semi-finals.

From Friday through to Sunday, 30 exceptional performers from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia, France, Canada, England, Antigua and Barbuda, US Virgin Islands, United States, Guyana, and Grenada, beat out Reggae, Soca, Gospel and R& B hits on their pans.

More than 6,000 people across the globe tuned in to the virtual event over the three days.

In the end, 20 competitors outshone the other 10 and secured their spots in the semi-finals slated for May 13.

Among the 20 was Antigua and Barbuda’s own, Kevhani Greenaway, who amassed 75 points.

He was 14 points away from the top player, Mathieu Borgne from France.

Four other Antiguans — Japhon Barthley, Maurisha Potter, Samanya Brazier and Demetre Samuel — were just a few points away from making it into the semis.

“I’m very proud of myself for all the hard work I put in and I’m very grateful to see it’s paying off, passing the first round of the competition, and I’m shocked that the rest of my Antiguan mates did make it,” Greenaway, of Upper Fort Road, told Observer yesterday.

A release summed up the competition as the “sweet pan music that left many unable to contain themselves in the online chat room. The composition, arrangement, chord progression and overall performance by the pannists were described by many spectators as immaculate.

“The competition was so intense that reigning champion Earl Brooks Jr of Trinidad and Tobago did not leave the preliminaries with the highest score.”

Brooks “displayed a smooth and melodic execution” of Best Part by H.E.R which earned him the second highest score.

The eliminated pannists did not leave the competition empty handed, as each participant received a pair of pan sticks from the Mallet Man.

The solo pan competition will be broadcast on Instagram(@pano.grama), YouTube (youtube.com/panograma) and Facebook (facebook.com/pano.grama1).

After the semi-finals, 10 pannists will proceed the finals set for May 22.