Bandleader Milton "Wire" Austin, 2005
Hailing from San Fernando, Fonclaire was formed in 1965 by a group of people that included Milton "Wire" Austin, Kenneth "Sharkhead" Arthur, Hatim Lalla, Mervyn Scott, and the Swanson brothers. The band adopted its name from two adjoining streets in San Fernando: Fonrose and Claire. From 1965 to 2006, Fonclaire had four sponsors: Joseph Sabga & Sons, Ltd; NBC; Vat 19; and NLCB. The band made its impact on the steelband music scene in the 1970s with Rudine Austin as arranger. Ken Philmore assumed this position from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s and led the band to many Panorama finals. Fonclaire finished among the top three steelbands in the following significant competition:
1975 Panorama 2nd Tribute to Spree Simon (Lord Kitchener) Rudine Austin
1986 Panorama 3rd Pan Here to Stay (Lord Kitchener) Ken Philmore
1989 Panorama 2nd (Tied) Fire Down Below (Lennox Sharpe) Ken Philmore
1990 Panorama 2nd Pan by Storm (Ken Philmore) Ken Philmore
1991 Panorama 2nd (Tied) Pan Ecstasy (Ken Philmore) Ken Philmore
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit