Preparations have begun for the 2013 Junior Calypso Monarch competition and the chief officer responsible from the National Cultural Foundation says it is shaping up to be a tough fight.
With as many as 40 children participating in workshops that began two weeks ago, Cultural Officer responsible for music education, Ronnie Davis, told Barbados TODAY during rehearsals this weekend that while there will be a finite number going through to the semis and finals, they have measures in place to ensure others do not fall through the cracks.
Davis said while there is an elimination process, the competition is not the end for those interested young people who might not make the cut.
“These youngsters are still within the school system, so it is not like you have all that free time because the curriculum is so heavily packed right now that the children don’t usually have enough time for extra-curricular activities such as the same calypso. So those children because they are new to the process, I think next time around, because we are a bit seasonal as a result of all the other things they have to do, so it is only when the season comes around that you find we are focused on calypso again.
“Certainly, we wish we were in a position to work with them all through the year because certainly by the time the junior monarch rolls around again the children would be right up there and ready to roll.
“There are parents that still call through and what we do is have voice training workshops and the response has been phenomenal because we have 35 people or so currently involved in that workshop,” he said, adding that there were other workshops as well for them to get involved with.
He said the NIFCA arts programme where tutors go into the schools early in the year to set up music programmes was often a launching board for the talent seen around Crop-Over.
Davis added that there were a number of established artists, like John King who had spoken to the young people on structuring songs; Mark Husbands, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles and Alison Gittens, all of whom made presentations on different aspects of music.
“The children are very enthusiastic and showing a lot of interest in the show. What is a good thing this year, listening to some of the songs you can tell that the songs will be easier for the participants to internalise the songs because they are written within their scope. Sometimes those songs written by adults wholesale are way above the heads of the youngsters and as a result they cannot fully internalise them. Obviously if you cannot internalise, you cannot deliver with a measure of impact,” he stated.
With the help of these artistes and more, Davis said the children were getting all the assistance they could give and even more as they began the long road towards preliminary eliminations. (LB)