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Halcyon Steel Celebrates 40 Years

Halcyon Steel Band playing at a Sunday night party at Shirley HeightsAntigua St John's - The reigning Panorama champs, Hadeed Group of Companies/AMP Halcyon Steel Orchestra, will observe its 40th anniversary on Thursday May 5.

The band, which hails from the Gray’s Green community, was founded in 1971 by then MP for the area, Selvyn Walter.

In his campaign leading up to the 1971 general elections, Walter promised to give the residents of the St John’s Rural West constituency “a steel band that would be the national champion arising out of the most populous and talented sector of Antigua”.

This promise has since been fulfilled, with the band winning the national Panorama title 11 times between 1975 and 2010; four of these in consecutive years between 1992 and 1995, an unprecedented feat since Carnival began in 1957.


To celebrate this significant milestone, the band will be organising a number of activities and events throughout the year. The first will be a 40th Anniversary Blockorama at the King George V Grounds in Gray's Farm on May 5, starting at 7:30 pm. On parade will be a number steelbands from across the country.

The other activities planned for the rest of the year will be announced at a later date.

The theme for these celebrations is, "Forty years of Blood, Sweat, Tears and Triumph, A musical promise fulfilled."

This theme is designed to capture the experience of the 11-time champs in its 40-year journey, and to reflect on the prophetic words of its founder.

In addition to its 11 Panorama championships, Halcyon Steel Orchestra has attained other significant achievements.

These include:


*  The only steelband in the last 40 years to provide full accompaniment to a calypsonian in the Calypso Monarch finals in Antigua & Barbuda (The Mighty Wizard 1982).

*  The only steeband to win four consecutive steelband championships in Antigua (1992-1995)

*  The longest running partnership between a sponsor and a steelband in Antigua (Antigua Masonry Products/AMP and Halcyon Steel 1981-present, 30 years)

*  The longest running steelband entertainment provider at an establishment (Halcyon Steel at Shirley Heights Lookout 1981-present, 30 years).


The band thanked all of its many fans, players, benefactors, and sponsors (Y-De Lima, George W Bennett Bryson’s and Co, and the Antigua Masonry Products) for their dedicated support over the years. Of particular note, it singled out the contribution of Antigua Masonry Products and the Hadeed Group of Companies.

As a fitting gesture to its 40th anniversary, the band intends to successfully defend its 2010 Panorama title as well.

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4 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Halcyon Steel Celebrates 40 Years

#4 dalma drew » 2012-01-24 15:51

as a former member i want to congratulate the brothers for a strong commitment to the band.
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dalma drew

RE: Halcyon Steel Celebrates 40 Years

#3 dalma drew » 2011-08-05 12:29

halcyon's 2011 panorama performance was clearly dynamic...it's unfortunate that the judges decided against them winning the competition.
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dalma drew

Mr

#2 David Butler » 2011-05-18 10:55

Having tasted Halcyon First Hand twice, I can safely say, having been to many places in the Caribbean over the years, they are one of the Top Steel Bands. But where can I get your records chaps??
:lol:
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David Butler

RE: Halcyon Steel Celebrates 40 Years

#1 I Edwards » 2011-05-06 07:43

Congratulations! Halcyon has provided us with some fantastic music over the years. Keep up the good work guys!
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I Edwards

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