A number of old and familiar faces will be gracing the stage next month when the Scotiabank Junior Monarch Calypso Tents open to the public.
Over the past weeks, the juniors have been in tutoring and preparatory sessions with several mentors, musicians, arrangers and writers, including Anthony Gabby Carter, Ewatt Viper Greene, Alison Gittens, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Mark Husbands and Tito Griffith.
For two days last weekend at the National Cultural Foundation, 69 juniors – 30 in the eight to 12 category and 39 in the 13 to 18 – faced off in preliminaries to see who would be headed to the other stages of the competition. Now in the preliminaries there are 12 juniors and one reserve in each division, all fighting for the chance to be crowned king or queen in each division this year.
Cultural Officer of Music with the NCF, Ronald Davis, commented: “The songs were written within the scope of the youngsters this year and as a result they were better able to internalise and perform the songs, because they could relate to them.”
“This year is probably one with the best presentations because at least 10 per cent of the juniors have been in the competition before, so they would have gained maturity with the developmental workshops held at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed and the Barbados Union of Teachers in April. These workshops assisted with their improvement in the artform which would certainly contribute to a very high standard semifinal and final.”
Heading into the showcases, which the tents have become over past years however, it is clear that a lot of familiar names are among those chosen.
In the eight to 12s, second placed Asher Dynamo Murrell returns with My X; as does finalist Raanan Raanan Hackett – Learn to Swim; as well as familiar competitors Quinn Quinn P Prescott – Living with HIV; Princess Mighty Makeda Thomas – True Royalty; Liana Black Beauty Ifill – Moving On; Trevon Mighty King Callender – Rise Up Young People; Sarah Say Say Patrick – One Wheel in the Air and Jeanie G-Baby Graham – Why. Also on the stage will be Kymorhi The Mighty KT Trotman – Poverty; Rickardo RJ Reid – The Future of Kaiso; Daryan DJ Jordan – Stand; Keonai Ke Ke Walker – Calypso is my Passion, while Karia Star Fire Campbell will serve as reserve, with Education.
Among the seniors will also be a lot of familiar faces, both finalists and past winners, like former queens Samantha Sammy G Greaves – Successful Sammy; and Aziza Aziza Clarke – The Guardians of Calypso. Also in the runnings are known calypso competitors and finalists, Ashley Queen Ash√ Green – Cover Girl; Rabiah Small One Clarke – Pull We Back; Moesha Nubian Queen Daniel – My Pray; as Ranesha Confetti Cummins – Mr. Minister; Teri Sparkle-T Williams-Niles – Know Ya Place and T’Kayla Lil T Clarke-Weekes – Too Big Fuh Yuh Shoes have progressed into the seniors category. Charice Honesty Walrond – Respect De Disable; Chad De MC Montplaisir – Uplift the Youth of Society; Gregerson Young G Abraham – Positive Thinking; Destiny Destiny Blunte – A Daughter’s Prayer; while Kayla Kayla Bee Thorpe will be reserve. Her song is Our Diseases.
From the two preliminaries, 12 semifinalists and one reserve were drawn in each category. As usual, the 24 semifinalists and two reserves will showcase their talents for a wider audience in the two Scotiabank Junior Monarch Calypso Tents at Queen’s College on Sunday, June 16 and at the Lester Vaughan School on Sunday, June 23. Both events will begin at 6 p.m. (LB)