Ken “Professor” Philmore and his masterpiece, “Pan by Storm”.

Fonclaire’s performance of “Pan by Storm” at the 1990 Panorama finals was one for the ages.

Ken “Professor” Philmore

This remains the high point of Ken “Professor” Philmore’s career on the Panorama stage, and is definitely Fonclaire’s best Panorama outing.

As a matter of fact I happen to think that the composition and arrangement were Professor’s best Panorama work.

The original recording featured some fine tenor pan work from Professor , and great vocals from calypsonian Designer.

Ken “Professor” Philmore’s “Pan by Storm”  (vocals) featuring  vocals by Calypsonian Designer
“Pan by Storm” – instrumental version featuring Ken “Professor” Philmore on tenor pan

The Panorama performance by Fonclaire took the savannah “by storm”, and many felt that Fonclaire should have won Panorama that year.

Fonclaire Steel Orchestra – Ken “Professor” Phillmore’s “Pan by Storm” ( Panorama Finals 1990)

Fonclaire’s Pan by Storm (Panorama 1990) could probably be the best Panorama performance that did not win the competition.

This was a flawless performance of a magnificent composition and arrangement by Ken “Professor” Philmore.

There is a brief break in the performance at 2:20 (for tape change), but fortunately it does not diminish the excitement and power of the performance. (Check the audio version below for the entire arrangement if you wish )

This memorable Panorama performance has been immortalized in calypso both by the great Lord Kitchener in “Pan Dingolay “, and also by DeFosto in “The Raging Storm”.

“Pan by Storm” indeed!

After a successful performance of “Pan by Storm”, Professor makes some cogent comments about the Panorama. including the statement “Competition is Killing culture” . He also talks about young arrangers unable to get a chance to prove themselves. These are not the comments of a bitter loser, folks. At the time, before the results were announced, I’m sure he felt that he had won. His comments are just as relevant today, maybe even more so.

For those interested in the better sound quality of the audio recording , here it is –

Ken “Professor” Philmore’s “Pan by Storm” by Fonclaire Steel Orchestra  ( audio version)


Since we’re talking about “Pan By Storm” , here is my all time best calypso about the Panorama competition.

It is the story of the 1990 Panorama Finals , in which Fonclaire came second to Renegades , who performed Jit Samaroo’s scintillating arrangement of Lord Kitchener’s “Iron Man”.

The competition was of the highest quality , and notwithstanding the fact that Fonclaire Steel orchestra had their finest Panorama appearance to date , there were also many other outstanding performances.

No one has ever told the story of an actual Panorama competition like the Grand Master did , in this classic calypso , arranged by the great Leston Paul , one of the most respected and influential arrangers of the calypso-soca era of the eighties and nineties.
In this sweet , lyrical calypso composition , The Grand Master of Calypso narrates the tale of that eventful Panorama Finals competition of the year 1990 , as no one else can.

From 1991 ,here is Lord Kitchener and “Pan Dingolay”, the story of the 1990 Panorama.

And you wonder why some of us are still in awe over the talents of this legendary artist?

Lord Kitchener – Pan Dingolay ( The story of the Panorama Finals competition of 1990)


Ken “Professor ” Philmore was seriously injured  in an automobile accident on the Solomon Hochoy Highway in Trinidad on Monday , September 24, 2018.

He passed away today , Sunday September 30th September , 2018.

Steel-pan history will show that in the year 1990 he may have been cheated from achieving his ultimate career goal , a victory in the annual Panorama steel-band competition of Trinidad and Tobago.

May he Rest in Peace

3 thoughts on “Ken “Professor” Philmore and his masterpiece, “Pan by Storm”.

  1. A lovely tribute to the late Ken “Professor” Philmore, my Pan Tutor at Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive School (now called Pleasantville Secondary School) back in the early 80’s.I went on to join Fonclaire Steel Orchestra to learn advance Bass Pan technique and performance under the late Milton”Wire”Austin. Professor and others encouraged me to improvise on the Bass Pans to any genre especially Bebop and Jazz Swing. ..
    During the Thirty Eight years I became Bandleader and Musical Director on MV. HAL Westerdam in November 2008.
    Composer, Showband Percussionist, International Cruise Ship Performer (retired) Music Production Technologist, ICT Consultant, Digital Media Marketing, Computer Systems Technician and more…all because it started with “Pro and Wire” at Pleasantville…May your souls rest in peace.”

    “Fonclaire is a Heart of Love Forever ”

    Curtis “Sleepy” Marcelle


  2. An exceptional tribute to Ken, “The Pro” Philmore. I know that he must be proud and smiling also. His legacy of being an excellent musician lives on and has made a difference for so many. Those who were fortunate to know him personally, as well as those who will know him from a distance through time feel the spark of his inspiration and passion for the art form. He definitely made an important contribution to the acceptance and development of Steelpan music locally and internationally.
    May the memories of him bring us joy and continued inspiration to keep reaching for the sky in our culture and artistic endeavors.
    Rest in Power my friend.
    From Your Pleasant Ville Sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

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