Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2016 - Page 189

Busta Steel Orchestra St. Lucia | Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Some of the students who started
Busta Steel Orchestra

Youngest Junior Panorama Players

After placing 2nd at the
Junior Panorama Competition

Playing at an event

Performing in Martinique

In Frankfurt, Germany

note, eventually results in a work
of art. Hats off to Herman “Guppy”
Brown, the world’s best tuner, who
sadly passed away December 2015.
He was the best! Guy reminisces
about some of the people who have
influenced his love for the steel
pan, namely St. Lucian Gregory
“Shinning” Emmanuel manager
of Diamond Steel Orchestra, Len
“Boogsie” Sharpe and Ray Holman,
to name a few.
Proudly, Guy says he plays all the
different pieces of instruments in his
band - double tenor, single tenor,
cello, double second, double guitar,
low bass, tenor bass and even the
drums - but his favourite is the
double tenor. He was also proud
to share that Busta Emerald travels
every year to the island of Martinique
to participate in their cultural
activities. They have also travelled
to the Caribbean islands of Grenada,
Trinidad and Antigua as visiting
members of specific bands on those

islands, during the islands carnival
celebrations.
According to Guy, the future of pan
in St. Lucia looks bright. Young
people are involved on a large scale
and this bodes well for the future of
the art form. The industry, though,
is fraught with challenges which
are mainly financial. Due to the
economic down-turn, hotels no
longer employ as many bands like
they did in the past, which served
as a source of income for the bands.
With the cost of participating in
panorama being so high - between
$25,000 to $30,000 - bands are
finding it increasingly difficult to
sustain themselves financially. But
the art form continues because St.
Lucians love steel band music and
they are determined to not let it die.
Will Guy and his band really not
participate in panorama this year,
we ask? No, he won’t budge! During
this year’s panorama competition,
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Guy and his Busta Emerald band
will be sitting in the pavilion, calmly
enjoying the sweet sounds of
Pantime Steel Orchestra, panorama
champions for the past three years,
led by Trinidadian arranger, Amrit
Samaroo. The melodious sounds
of all the other steel bands vying
for the coveted first place will be
equally exhilarating, he’s certain.
But this is Guy’s well-deserved year
to relax, while the music on stage
rejuvenates, stirring his imagination
as he mentally preps for next year’s
competition.