Fine-tuning Pan Excellence For The World

Judging Panorama
By ORVILLE WRIGHT
Panorama 2011 is going to be a significant season for a number of reasons.
• It will be the first Panorama under the People’s Partnership.
• It is the first Panorama under a Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism who is an artist with performing credentials-all due respect to the previous Culture Ministers who performed creditably in office.
• It is the first Panorama since T&T was officially given patent approval for the G-pan.
• Most important of all, it is the first time since 2006 that the Executive of Pan Trinbago, has taken a significant step towards addressing the process of adjudicating Panorama by reviewing and changing the criteria used in judging the biggest steelband competition in the world.
Panorama and the National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago are inextricably linked. In spite of the comment from the current Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism reported in the Trinidad Express on November 21st that “the annual steelband competition, has ‘killed’ the steelpan and its scope has to be broadened,” the competition will happen in 2011.  The Minister’s statement was unfortunate, especially given that he did not elaborate on how he had arrived at this view. What could have been a starting point for a serious discussion about Pan, degenerated into an emotionally-charged row between him and the thousands of pan players whose creativity, skill, passion and sheer hard work bring the country alive at the annual Panorama event.
The evolution of the instrument and the evolution of the competition-in spite of the bond between the two-have not paralleled each other. Even before 1963, one could look at each decade and see the different manufacturing processes (making, tuning, chroming) of the instrument culminating with the work of Dr. Brian Copeland and his team on the development of the G-Pan at the University of the West Indies. However, the same cannot be said of the competition and of the manner in which the competitors have been assessed over the years.
The whole story of Pan has been one of trial and error- including the judging criteria. Case in point is the way in which the lead pan came to be christened the tenor pan. The person who called what is now clearly recognised as the lead pan, a tenor pan, was probably not a musician. He was a craftsman, and having come up with this gem from an oil drum, and being a male, he probably thought of his own voice, and voila, the tenor pan was born.
Similarly with the criteria for judging Panorama. I have a copy of the criteria used to assess Panorama performances in 1992, however, I am not sure how long prior to 1992 this criteria were used. In George “Sonny” Goddard’s Forty Years In The Steelband 1939 – 1979, there is quite a bit of information on all the politics and behind-the-scene goings on regarding the first Panorama, but it contains nothing on the judging criteria.  So while the making of the instrument evolved, it is possible that between 1963 and 1992 the criteria remained the same.
Here are the criteria used prior to 1993:
Arrangement – forty points (40); Tone – fifteen (15) points broken down into quality of sound, quantity control, color, blend and balance; Rhythm – ten points (10) broken down into life, freedom, steadiness and continuity; Phrasing – fifteen points (15) broken down into shape, flow and melodic line; and Interpretation – twenty points (20).
These criteria will be referred as Exhibit 1.
I left Trinidad in 1970 to study in the United States and because of classes during Carnival time and the subsequent teaching position I held, while I returned home several times, it was not until 1992 that I was present for Panorama Finals.  Having sat through the finals that year after an absence of 22 years, two issues stuck with me.  The first was that there was an incredible amount of great music coming from the bands, and secondly, I was shocked that there were discrepancies with the scoring process because of the use of the good old pencil/pen and paper in tallying the points. Somebody messed up and there was a bit of brouhaha.
When I eventually saw the criteria (Exhibit 1) used in assessing the competition, I was immediately moved to write Owen Serrette, then President of Pan Trinbago. I pointed out the deficiencies with the tool used to assess the competition, and Owen made a bold move by inviting me down to conduct workshops. The result was a drastic change in criteria.
In analysing the criteria, I argued that words like life, freedom, steadiness and continuity, quantity control, shape and flow were difficult to put in the context of a musical competition.  Furthermore, there was no definition of these so-called terms, so I wondered how the adjudicators applied them to the performances.  Having acquired so much information in school relevant to indigenous music in Trinidad, and being in a position where I was talking, breathing and eating music from a teaching perspective, I was eager to contribute to the competition and the way it was assessed.  I also recommended the use of computers and a spreadsheet to tally the scores.
The following criteria were a result of the meetings and workshops I conducted in 1992 and will be referred to as Exhibit II.
ARRANGEMENT 40 points
INTRODUCTION:  The ability of the arranger to compose an appropriate introduction for the calypso chosen as the prepared piece.
RE-HARMONIZATION:  The ability of

Judging PanoramaFINE-TUNING PAN EXCELLENCE FOR THE WORLD
By ORVILLE WRIGHT
Panorama 2011 is going to be a significant season for a number of reasons.  • It will be the first Panorama under the People’s Partnership.• It is the first Panorama under a Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism who is an artist with performing credentials-all due respect to the previous Culture Ministers who performed creditably in office.• It is the first Panorama since T&T was officially given patent approval for the G-pan.• Most important of all, it is the first time since 2006 that the Executive of Pan Trinbago, has taken a significant step towards addressing the process of adjudicating Panorama by reviewing and changing the criteria used in judging the biggest steelband competition in the world. Panorama and the National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago are inextricably linked. In spite of the comment from the current Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism reported in the Trinidad Express on November 21st that “the annual steelband competition, has ‘killed’ the steelpan and its scope has to be broadened,” the competition will happen in 2011.  The Minister’s statement was unfortunate, especially given that he did not elaborate on how he had arrived at this view. What could have been a starting point for a serious discussion about Pan, degenerated into an emotionally-charged row between him and the thousands of pan players whose creativity, skill, passion and sheer hard work bring the country alive at the annual Panorama event. The evolution of the instrument and the evolution of the competition-in spite of the bond between the two-have not paralleled each other. Even before 1963, one could look at each decade and see the different manufacturing processes (making, tuning, chroming) of the instrument culminating with the work of Dr. Brian Copeland and his team on the development of the G-Pan at the University of the West Indies. However, the same cannot be said of the competition and of the manner in which the competitors have been assessed over the years.The whole story of Pan has been one of trial and error- including the judging criteria. Case in point is the way in which the lead pan came to be christened the tenor pan. The person who called what is now clearly recognised as the lead pan, a tenor pan, was probably not a musician. He was a craftsman, and having come up with this gem from an oil drum, and being a male, he probably thought of his own voice, and voila, the tenor pan was born. Similarly with the criteria for judging Panorama. I have a copy of the criteria used to assess Panorama performances in 1992, however, I am not sure how long prior to 1992 this criteria were used. In George “Sonny” Goddard’s Forty Years In The Steelband 1939 – 1979, there is quite a bit of information on all the politics and behind-the-scene goings on regarding the first Panorama, but it contains nothing on the judging criteria.  So while the making of the instrument evolved, it is possible that between 1963 and 1992 the criteria remained the same.Here are the criteria used prior to 1993:Arrangement – forty points (40); Tone – fifteen (15) points broken down into quality of sound, quantity control, color, blend and balance; Rhythm – ten points (10) broken down into life, freedom, steadiness and continuity; Phrasing – fifteen points (15) broken down into shape, flow and melodic line; and Interpretation – twenty points (20).  These criteria will be referred as Exhibit 1.I left Trinidad in 1970 to study in the United States and because of classes during Carnival time and the subsequent teaching position I held, while I returned home several times, it was not until 1992 that I was present for Panorama Finals.  Having sat through the finals that year after an absence of 22 years, two issues stuck with me.  The first was that there was an incredible amount of great music coming from the bands, and secondly, I was shocked that there were discrepancies with the scoring process because of the use of the good old pencil/pen and paper in tallying the points. Somebody messed up and there was a bit of brouhaha. When I eventually saw the criteria (Exhibit 1) used in assessing the competition, I was immediately moved to write Owen Serrette, then President of Pan Trinbago. I pointed out the deficiencies with the tool used to assess the competition, and Owen made a bold move by inviting me down to conduct workshops. The result was a drastic change in criteria.  In analysing the criteria, I argued that words like life, freedom, steadiness and continuity, quantity control, shape and flow were difficult to put in the context of a musical competition.  Furthermore, there was no definition of these so-called terms, so I wondered how the adjudicators applied them to the performances.  Having acquired so much information in school relevant to indigenous music in Trinidad, and being in a position where I was talking, breathing and eating music from a teaching perspective, I was eager to contribute to the competition and the way it was assessed.  I also recommended the use of computers and a spreadsheet to tally the scores.The following criteria were a result of the meetings and workshops I conducted in 1992 and will be referred to as Exhibit II.
ARRANGEMENT 40 pointsINTRODUCTION:  The ability of the arranger to compose an appropriate introduction for the calypso chosen as the prepared piece.RE-HARMONIZATION:  The ability of arranger to re-harmonize the calypso chosen as the prepared piece.  After the original harmonic statement has been made, the re-harmonization could be applied to the remainder of the arrangement, or could be limited to one specific section.

MELODIC DEVELOPMENT:  The ability of the arranger to embellish/solo on, and utilize rhythmic variations of the melody.

MOTIVIC DEVELOPMENT:  The ability of the arranger to take a melodic motif(s) of the calypso and effectively utilize it (them) during the arrangement.

GENERAL PERFORMANCE 40 points

INTERPRETATION:  The ability of the arranger to take the calypso and suitably adapt the piece for the arrangement.  This includes the initial appropriate melodic and/or harmonic statement of the calypso, and development of the arrangement to climatic points.

DYNAMICS:  The effective use of crescendos, contrasts, phrasing, and other musical expressions in the arrangement.

CREATIVITY: Creativity is defined by the overall use of the arranger’s coupling of ideas to produce an effective arrangement.  This includes the manner the performance transmits the mood of the calypso.

BALANCE:  The ability of the arranger to effectively use the instruments of the steelband in the arrangement so that any section with a prominent role during the arrangement, projects well.

TONE 10 points

BLENDING OF PANS:  Blending is the overall tone/colour of the pans, including the consistency of tuning within the steelband.

RHYTHM 10 points

APPLICATION OF RHYTHM SECTION:  The ability of the arranger to effectively utilize the drum set, congas, iron-beaters, and applicable percussion instruments during the performance, and the ability of the entire steelband to maintain a steady rhythmic flow throughout the performance.

Exhibit II remained in existence for a number of years and sometime between 1993 and 2006, a change was made resulting in Exhibit III where there was a slight change in the General Performance criterion to include ‘Creativity’.  The change is presented here as Exhibit III.

GENERAL PERFORMANCE 40 points

INTERPRETATION:  The ability of the arranger to take the calypso and suitably adapt the piece for the arrangement.  This includes the initial appropriate melodic and/or harmonic statement of the calypso, and development of the arrangement to climatic points.

DYNAMICS:  The effective use of crescendos, contrasts, phrasing, and other musical expressions in the arrangement.

CREATIVITY: Creativity is defined by the overall use of the arranger’s coupling of ideas to produce an effective arrangement.  This includes the manner the performance transmits the mood of the calypso.

BALANCE:  The ability of the arranger to effectively use the instruments of the steelband in the arrangement so that any section with a prominent role during the arrangement, projects well.

Leading up to the carnival season in 2006, an unknown “high music person” in Trinidad-as described by Richard Forteau on January 29, 2006 at a workshop at Normandie Hotel- made a recommendation to Pan Trinbago to change the criteria.  In doing so, intonation had to be assessed as part of the judging process. That year I had the opportunity to serve as the drill man for Renegades, and upon arrival at the meeting and reading the criteria, the attempt to judge intonation on a pan was quite puzzling.

I drew attention to the fact that intonation could not be assessed on a pan and in spite of the fact that a recommendation was made to remove that specific nuance from the score sheet during the meeting, Pan Trinbago did not budge because, I believe, hundreds of score sheets were already printed in preparation for the Carnival season.  I have said before, and I will say again that every adjudicator who sat and awarded points to a band for intonation during the 2006 season should offer an apology to every arranger/band.

It is impossible to assess intonation on fixed pitched instruments like the piano, marimba, vibraphone and steelpan.  With instruments like piano and steelpan, they are either tuned, or they are not tuned. So from my perspective, when this was presented to the steelpan community weeks before Carnival 2006, the adjudicators who were present should have stood en masse in opposition to intonation being assessed. There was no interaction with the arrangers and adjudicators regarding the criteria prior to this meeting and as a result, presentation of the new criteria obviously led to a great deal of dissatisfaction among the steelpan community.

A major flaw with the recommended criteria from this “high music person” used from 2006 – 2010 was the stratification of points for all the sub-categories on the score sheet- given that when an adjudicator hears an arrangement for the first time, it is impossible to ascertain in the Arrangement section that re-harmonization, whether there was re-harmonization or not-should get 30% of the points. In my opinion, this was detrimental to the psyche of an arranger.

If on one hand an arranger utilized re-harmonization techniques in the arrangement, the band could get some or all of those points based on the adjudicator’s objectivity and the ability to quantify and qualify the amount of re-harmonization. On the other hand, if an arranger knew going into the competition that no re-harmonization was utilized, it sets up a what if situation that is unhealthy for the arranger and the adjudicator.  The real down side of the stratification was that if an adjudicator gave a band ten out of the twelve points for re-harmonization and the arranger knew there was no re-harmonization in the arrangement, that adjudicator-in spite of the fact that the points could have benefitted the arranger and band-would have lost credibility through the prism of the arranger.

In addition to the stratification of points on the score sheet, there were arranging techniques and language like melodic/harmonic strategies placed in the performance area of the score sheet, and as one who studied arranging, strategy is a word that none of my teachers used in an arranging class. Sadly, I deduced this “high music person” who recommended these criteria to Pan Trinbago knew nothing about arranging.  An adjudicator is supposed to listen to an arrangement, recognize to the best of his/her ability all these nuances, and mark a band accordingly.

Here now is the criteria used from 2006 – 2010, which will be referred to as Exhibit IV.

Criteria MAX Pts.

Arrangement 40

a. Introduction. The count should be clear, demanding attention and the right tempo, execution flawless, good balance 8

b. Re-harmonization 12

c. Melodic development 10

d. Motivic development 10

GENERAL PERFORMANCE 40

a. Interpretation

Ability to creatively execute arrangement and all nuances. Leads should be clear and embellishments supportive. 12

b. Dynamics

I Colour – Instrumentation should be varied to achieve continued interest. 5

ii Texture—Use of melodic/harmonic strategies to compliment expressiveness and style. 5

c. Creativity.

The artistry and skill with which the arranger modifies the melody. 10

d. Balance

Distribution of parts of arrangements to all sections of the orchestra. All aspects of the arrangement must be audible throughout the performance. 8

Tone 10

a. Blending of pans/Consistency 5

b. Rich quality of Sound 5

Rhythm 10

a. Tempo

Maintain consistent speed throughout 4

b. Cohesive

Ability to play together

with precision and balance 3

c. Effective application of instruments in rhythm section 3

Total Points 100

Now that the criteria has changed through a process that mirrored what had happened in 1992, it is important to credit the President, Keith Diaz for taking the initiative.  When Keith assumed the presidency, he took a page/word out of Barack Obama’s campaign-change. In an article published in the Express on November 1, 2009, he declared, “I really wanted to have some change.” This initiative is small, but he is following through. The workshop, concluded on December 11, 2010 yielded tangible results and there was quite a bit of exchange between the arrangers and the adjudicators. Now that the process has produced new criteria, it is now up to Pan Trinbago to implement it for Panorama 2011.

During the workshop, there were a couple of recurring themes that came from the arrangers and to a lesser degree, from a few of the adjudicators.  The first was the disparity in scores from some of the adjudicators and the second was the level of competency, or lack of competency on the part of some of the adjudicators.  The concerns raised were contentious, and I believe the executives from Pan Trinbago who were present heard for themselves the shortcomings of the adjudication process, in addition to the misgivings of the arrangers.

One other issue discussed at the workshop was the use of benchmark scores. This issue raised the ire of one arranger who brought composite scores from a previous competition to make his point.  In my opinion, benchmark scores will never improve the disparity if you have adjudicators who are hearing the music, but are not listening to, and understanding the music.  It is my view that incompetent adjudicators-those who have been so identified by the arrangers-will hide behind these so-called benchmark scores. If an adjudicator has to determine whether an arrangement is fair, good, very good or excellent as delineated by benchmark standards, listening and analysis has to take precedence. It should not be done with an arbitrary number concocted by anybody.

Based on an analysis of adjudicators’ scores I did last year, one adjudicator used the phrase fairly good seven times on one band’s score sheet, and the narrative that focused or should have been focused on the music being played was spotty at best.  If this is the standard by which an arranger’s creativity and work are assessed and addressed, then it is a major regressive step.  My contention is that all adjudicators are not created equal, and they will never be created equal, but if there is a better understanding of what is being heard, the disparity will surely be reduced.  Let me say that I strongly believe all the adjudicators appreciate what the arrangers are doing, but a plurality of them do not understand what they are hearing.  This understanding can only be achieved through education, training and evaluation.

I predict at the end of the finals on March 5, 2011, effusive fans, arrangers and pannists will not be happy with the results.  The adjudicators, the Executives of Pan Trinbago, and a minority of people in Trinidad will be satisfied with the results because the process would have been completed.  Make no mistake about it, changing the criteria will not eradicate the amount of rancour and disparity in scores at the end of Panorama, but it is one step among many to be taken if indeed the deeply embedded negative elements of Panorama are to be eradicated.

Keith Diaz must take a few more steps. The first is that adjudicators must undergo extensive training annually and be evaluated by an independent entity before they are seated on a panel. The entity could be a pool of academicians/musicians/arrangers (steelband arrangers included) who understand what the arrangers are doing and are respected by both arrangers and adjudicators. Secondly, the arrangers must have more of a role in selecting the adjudicators. Thirdly, there has to be an increased level of transparency when Executives of Pan Trinbago select adjudicators for the competition, but more importantly and ultimately, the Executives of Pan Trinbago have to be out of the business of selecting adjudicators for any stage of the competition.

The issue of choosing adjudicators for the competition is one that is rife with nebulosity.   If you were to ask an arranger/pannist who is responsible for choosing adjudicators for the competition, you would not get a definitive answer.  Based on information I have received, it would appear that the process involves the regions of Pan Trinbago getting together and/or recommending adjudicators, following which adjudicators are somehow selected.

Nobody I spoke to was able describe the entire process. This issue was raised at last month’s workshop, but the individual who raised the issue did not get a response to his query. One arranger shared a story with me about a recommendation made to Pan Trinbago and this arranger was very dissatisfied with his experience.  Since there are executive members of Pan Trinbago with high profile positions in bands participating in the competition, it is very likely that when an adjudicator is called by that executive to judge the competition, the perception is the adjudicator will inevitably be biased towards the executive’s band. Since perception is as important as truth in the judging process, and regardless of how long this has been going on, it  should not be allowed to continue if the world’s premier steelband competitions is to improve.

Having interviewed a number of arrangers who have been involved in the competition, all of them have had negative comments on the qualifications, credibility and deliberations of some adjudicators.  Because of this, there is absolutely no trust between arrangers and adjudicators. The arrangers are very aware of the required composition of a panel of adjudicators, and when they see someone with no formal musical training seated on a panel- someone who has never played a pan, who does not know and understand what re-harmonization is, who cannot go into a pan yard with a lead sheet and within a couple hours put down a verse and chorus, who cannot do what they do as arrangers sitting in judgment of their craft (as an arranger)- it’s easy to understand why the level of frustration on the part of the arrangers is so high.

In past interviews with the T&T Review, here’s what one arranger had to say about the adjudicators: “Pan Trinbago needs to start recognizing that you need to have qualified people adjudicating.  It’s unfair that you have all these people-again I respect everyone-but you can’t have people that specialize in-say just voice-judging pan, people who don’t understand complex rhythms and percussive idioms.  It’s ridiculous.”

Here’s another: “I have had, umm, my thoughts with respect to the ability of the judges to properly adjudicate on the performances and I say this because I don’t think they can hear everything because there is a lot of music going on in eight minutes-especially if you have to listen to seventeen bands in the large band category… There is not another way to judge a band except to have really good people there, but I am never convinced that the judges-I don’t want to call names for this interview-but there are some judges in my mind who are not as capable as I would hope to efficiently adjudicate on all the music. I heard of one judge who made reference to a minor section in an arrangement, and there was no minor part of the arrangement.”

Both comments speak volumes on issues raised at the workshop.

The following is a template of minimum standards which I believe an adjudicator should meet in order to be seated on a Panorama (competition) panel:

• Must have excellent hearing/listening/aural skills with the ability to articulate with clarity what is musically being heard;

• Must have a demonstrated aural ability to objectively analyze and constructively critique musical performances-not limited to steelband performance;

• Must have the ability to aurally and analytically compare an arrangement of a calypso done for Panorama to the original/vocal version, and/or other compositions not germane to the calypso idiom;

• Must have excellent communicative (writing/narrative) skills; in addition to an ability to appropriately notate rhythmic passages/phrases/motifs heard in arrangements;

• Must have a thorough understanding of the steel-pan family of instruments; an ability to play would be an asset;

• Must have some arranging skills;

• Must have some ability to improvise on an instrument;

• Must have attained the minimum of Grade VIII theory and practical from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and/or Trinity College of Music; or, a music degree from an accredited institution of higher education, and/or, the equivalent of a minimum of 10 years experience as a musician;

• Must have experience judging or critiquing musical performance;

• Must exhibit an openness to creativity and risk-taking in music;

• Must be prepared to declare in advance of being seated on a panel, any conflict of interest;

Finally, here are the criteria that came out of the recently concluded workshop and which will be referred to as Exhibit V.

ARRANGEMENT 40  points

INTRODUCTION: The ability of the arranger to compose an appropriate prelude for the calypso chosen as the prepared piece; symmetrical or related to the tune, the length of which should be left to the arranger’s discretion.

HARMONIZATION & RE-HARMONIZATION:  The ability of the arranger to harmonize the calypso chosen as the prepared piece.  After the calypso has been played in its original form (harmonically) the re-harmonization (different chord progressions applied to the theme) could be applied to the remainder of the arrangement.

MELODIC DEVELOPMENT: The ability of the arranger to embellish and utilize variations of the melody in the arrangement.

MOTIVIC DEVELOPMENT: The ability of the arranger to take a melodic and rhythmic motif(s) of the calypso and effectively utilize it (them) during the arrangement.

TEXTURE: Texture refers to the way the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic materials are combined in an arrangement thus determining the overall quality and density of sound of a piece. The texture is affected by the number and character of parts playing at the same time.

GENERAL PERFORMANCE 40 points

INTERPRETATION: The ability of the arranger to initially state the composer’s musical intentions, and the skill of the steel orchestra in executing the arrangement and all the articulations therein with precision.

DYNAMICS:  The effective execution of gradations and contrasting volumes, and other musical expressions in the arrangement.

BALANCE:  The ability of the band to distribute their instruments on stage so that all aspects of the orchestration of the arrangement will be audible throughout the performance.

TONE 10 points

BLENDING OF PANS: Blending is the overall tonal quality of the pans, including the consistency of tuning within the steel orchestra.

RHYTHM 10 points

APPLICATION OF RHYTHM SECTION:  The ability of the arranger to effectively utilize the drum set, congas, iron-beaters, and applicable percussion instruments during the performance. This should include grouping of notes into beats, grouping of beats into phrases, consistency in tempo, and good tight ensemble playing.

I believe these criteria are a better tool for the adjudicators to work with.  Coming up with the text was difficult because there were about thirty people in the workshop (myself included) trying to be linguists.  One of the important statements the President made at the workshop on December 11, 2010 was that the outcomes were a paradigm for the world to follow with regard to judging steelband competitions, and I wholeheartedly agree with that.  Now that I have stepped back from being involved in the process and entertained the thought of sharing the criteria with my North American colleagues in academia, there are places where I believe the criteria can use some tweaking.

Having done some reflection on the criterion Tone, I believe that particular criterion should be changed to Tuning.  Here is my rationale.  In spite of the fact that the adjudicators (myself included) have been assessing tone at Panorama for probably twenty-five years or more, I believe the tuning of the instruments is really what has to be assessed. If I were to make an analogy with a Stradivarius violin, it is expected that a Stradivarius violin-because of the mere name it carries-will have a beautiful tone.  Musicians will either like the tone of the specific violin, or, they might prefer the tone of another Stradivarius violin.  I don’t believe adjudicators can really assess that tone.  If a violinist goes on stage with a Stradivarius violin and attempts to play one of Vivaldi’s violin concerti and does not tune the instrument properly, the performance will be terrible. The same can be said of a steel orchestra with un-tuned instruments.

Every band participating in Panorama has their instruments blended either the day of, or one day before various stages of Panorama competition.  Since it is extremely difficult to discern the tuning of three or four instruments within the steel orchestra during a Panorama performance-especially because these are percussion instruments-I would prefer to see Tuning carry five points.  Unless an adjudicator can hear tuning malfunction, the band should automatically get those five points.  The remaining five points should be shifted to the Arrangement criterion because that is where the bulk of the arranger’s creativity is expended.   This would also eliminate the notion of some adjudicator awarding .5 of a point for this particular criterion.  Again, having analyzed a number of score sheets last year, I was shocked to see several adjudicators who awarded .5 of a point for sub-categories under the criterion, Tone.  This was appalling.

As I said earlier, there is a lot more to be done with the adjudication process, but the fact that the stratification has been removed from the previous criteria/score sheet is a major accomplishment. There now has to be some synergy developed between the primary stakeholders of this competition-Pan Trinbago, the performers and the adjudicators-not necessarily in that order.

Leave a Reply