Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2017 Contents life B9
Thursday, February 23, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Members of bpTT Renegades Youth Steel
Orchestra (RYSO) made history last Sunday
(February 19) when they won the Junior Pano-
rama Final contest in the Elite category with a
rendition of Calypso Rose's Leave Me Alone. The
win gave them the only beaver trick registered
in the National Panorama Competition file, and
their tenth win.
The Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra was formed
in July 1999 but officially launched on May 10, 2000.
British Petroleum TT at once sponsored it.
The youth band got its first taste of international
stardom just a few months later,
when the French management
and touring agent Run Pro-
ductions requested a youth
steel orchestra to participate
in its programme Children
of Today, Musicians of To-
morrow. A springboard of
sorts, that 28-concert tour
helped the brand new TT youth
band build momentum.
Most band members came from
troubled communities, yet despite various challenges,
they have excelled in learning and performing pan, and
today have established a notable standard to follow.
Remembering the youth band's earlier years, RYSO's
current manager, Edmund Willis, said that at the time
of the French tour invitation, the senior Renegades
band had been preparing to go on tour and offered its
own services, but was promptly refused and advised
of the need for a youth band.
The proposal grasped the attention of then chair-
man of Renegades, the late Steve Grant, who quickly
formed the youth band, honing them for their first
international tour under arranger, the late Dr Jit Sa-
With a player-registry of 30, and a main feeder
line to the parent band, the youth band emerged in
a timely manner, becoming a key duct to steer a vast
majority of teens and pre-teens on a sustainable,
Continuously progressing, RYSO---led by 16-year-
old Emmanuel Joseph and 18-year-old Stechelle Pe-
ters---is currently steered by the management team of
their Pan Institute, and are part of a crime prevention
music programme initiated by the Ministry of Na-
tional Security in 2011 that recruits youth between
ages of eight and 21.
Chaired by Keol Newton, managed by Edmund
Willis, with music director Andrew Charles, the
team functions with a cadre of positive youths such
as Lystra Mulzac, Shontelle Rullow, Gregory Thomas
and Miguel Lopez.
While players remain mindful of their academic
progress, high priority is always placed on the national
junior Panorama competition.
The youth steelband has proven to be a musical
force to be reckoned with.
Winning accolades are attributed to Amrit Samaroo
---arranger, 2002-04; Shelton Besson arranger, 2008-
11; and current arranger, Andrew Charles, 2014-17.
Breaking its parent band's record of nine wins,
RYSO is hoping that the Renegades Steel Orchestra,
the only large band with a Panorama first-place hat-
trick, can match strides on February 25 during the
National Panorama Finals and secure a tenth win, also,
creating a scenario unmatched by any other junior
and parent steel orchestra worldwide.
If one includes all Renegades junior and senior steel
orchestra wins, the Renegades Steel Orchestras have
obtained 19 wins between their first in 1982 and their
most recent in 2017, over a 36-year period.
The Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra certainly
lives up to its motto: "Children of Today, Musicians
Willis, on behalf of bpTT Renegades, said he was
very grateful to sponsor bpTT. He also thanked all
the tuners, parents, Panorama performers, and other
contributors to the band's success. He congratulated
the other winners of the Junior Panorama Finals and
extended his best wishes to all the finalists in the
upcoming National Panorama Finals. (PRB)
BP Renegades Youth
perform their winning
Calypso Rose's Leave
Me Alone, in the Junior
category at the
Spain, on Sunday.
PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
Renegades Youths create steelband history
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