Scores of adults and children, mostly summer camp pan players, got a treat today when the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch Tent opened for the final time at Frank Collymore Hall.
The occasion was the annual lunchtime concert for the juniors, where those expected to face off in the finals of the competition get a chance to give the public a free taste of what is in store.
And once the Junior Monarch band, led by Jerome Clarke struck up and was ready to go, what a show the youngsters in the 8 to 12 and 13 to 18 categories put on in concert hall.
MC Alff Padmore did a spectacular job of keeping the crowd entertained and interactive, especially the French children among the audience, even succeeding in causing an uproar when he responded to the music at the end of the afternoon by throwing his wig into the air.
The band as usual was in good form, as were the background vocalists in accompanying the young calypsonians, including reserve Black Beauty, alongside Raanan, Mighty King, Mighty Makeda, Mighty KT, DJ, Quinn P, Jazz-Z and Dynamo in the 8 to 12s; and De MC, Aziza, Young G, Small One, Sammy G, Sparkle T, Honesty and Mandisa among the 13 to 18s, with reserve Destiny.
Both categories gave strong representations, though among the 8 to 12s, just as in the semifinals, there were still a few occasions of off-keys heard during the presentations that will have to be tightened in the next two days.
When they face the final judges on Saturday night at 7 at the Wildey Gymnasium, Barbados will certainly be in for a show and a stiff competition, especially among the seniors of the group, as today they matched perfectly against each other.
The concert also provided the opportunity for Scotiabank to hand over its $70,000 contribution cheque to National Cultural Foundation CEO Cranston Browne, who thanked them for what is now years of support to this level of the Crop-Over Festival.
The bank would later return backstage with gift bags for the finalists as congratulatory acknowledgements of their hard work and success thus far. Included in the bags were cookie microphones they definitely found entertaining.
At the end of the three hour show, the audience, which included children from the Central Bank’s Pan In the Plaza camp, left satisfied with the lunchtime treat. (LB)