The 16 finalists in the Junior Monarch competition were today lauded for their hard work and commitment to the Scotiabank-sponsored event.
The Bank’s Senior Marketing Manager Lisa Cole congratulated the finalists on a job well done throughout the season.
“The standard gets higher every year and you need to be congratulated for making it to the finals in such a highly contested and professional competition. Whether this is your first year in the competition or whether you are in the final year of the competition, we hope that you have benefited from the opportunity to develop as artistes,” Cole said.
She was speaking at a press conference this morning at Scotiabank’s Haggatt Hall, St Michael branch, where the finalists also drew for the order in which they will appear in the July 23 final at Kensington Oval.
Cole reaffirmed Scotiabank’s commitment to the programme and implored the young calypsonians to use the skills they would have developed over the years for good, as they continue on in life.
“We really do believe the Junior Monarch programme is the springboard for young calypsionians going on to the
Pic-O-De-Crop [senior] competition, like Sir Ruel, Sammy G and Ah-Dee-Lah, and for some who become full-time musicians. We see it as an investment in our country’s cultural heritage. By participating in this programme, you are ensuring that this art form is kept alive for many more generations,” Cole added.
She also revealed that patrons at this year’s final would be in for a special treat, as six former Junior Monarchs will be featured at the show.
“I know the talent of this year’s finalists is enough to draw the crowd, but with the added bonus of talent from past years, such as Sir Ruel, Keisha, Tiffany G, Mandisa, Sammy G and Little Richie. We are very excited about this year’s finals,” she said.
Cole also announced that this year’s Junior Monarch semifinals will be broadcast on CBC TV8 on July 17 from 4 p.m.
“We are sponsoring the televizing of Junior Monarch. We know it has its loyal followers, but there are others who don’t get out to the tents who would be bowled over by the talent, and so we are broadcasting the semifinals for their enjoyment,” Cole explained.
Co-producer of the competition Anthony ‘Uncle Sarge’ Sargeant also touted the quality of junior talent on the island, while telling the finalists that “when the critics start to point at the young people, you then can refer to yourself as one of those persons who have remained positive.
“It’s not only about winning and being better than others; it’s also about growth and positivity,” he said.
Sargeant, who has been associated with the Junior Monarch programme since 1986, said the juniors gave him the inspiration and encouragement to continue and it was a joy for him to see them doing good things even past the competition.
“The majority of the young people are still very focused. They are focused on calypso and a lot of other wholesome activities. So we have no reason to be wondering what is going to become of our youth,” he added.