For the fourth consecutive year, the Fifth Element Band has walked away with the title Junior Band of the Year. The band, led by two-time award-winning festival designer Kevin Small, copped several top prizes with their theme Protect Our Coast. Aside from Junior Band of the Year, they also won Best Community Band, took the top spots in the Environment category and Most Colourful category as well as Junior Queen of Band and Best Individual in the three to seven age category at this year’s Consolidated Finance Junior Kadooment.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY, bandleader Kevin Small revealed that this marks the band’s fifth win, in its seven-year existence; a major achievement for the Fifth Element team.
“To hold the title once again of Best Junior Band for the fourth consecutive year and fifth year in total, that, in itself, speaks to the quality of the costumes produced and the service which we provide as a team,” Small said.
“It warms my heart each and every time now, not only for the win, but actually seeing the kids on the day enjoying themselves and being able to have a grand time in a very safe and secure environment while learning… Because for me, that is one of the things we at Fifth Element seek to do – we seek to educate the arts so it was just a matter of reminding people of the importance of the coastline which we call home and being able to say ‘hey this is something we need to be proud of’,” he continued.
Although he grabbed the Festival Designer of the Year award in 2017 and 2018, Small narrowly missed this year to Blackbird Productions’ Sanka and Sonia Price. The husband and wife duo snagged the Robert Weekes Award for Festival Designer of the Year with their theme Celebrating the Arts – Barbados Future through the Orange Economy. Their theme paid homage to Barbados’ thriving cultural sector with four sections: the Performing Arts; the Visual Arts; the Culinary Arts; and the Literary Arts. Blackbird Productions also won the Topical category and placed second in Historical.
Bandleader Sanka Price said he and his wife were “elated” following the news of their win. Sonia who has been involved in costume design for over a decade, also assisted the Springer Memorial School with their theme Goodly Heritage.
“She has taken a number of schools to the Best School Band and when we decided that we would form our own band three years ago, she put all her experience and all her effort in trying to produce the best quality product because that is what we were always aiming for and we are very grateful to be recognized for that,” Price said.
Veteran bandleaders, Betty West and Gwyneth Squires, were also in the winner’s circle, with the latter receiving Best Flag Person, Best Couple, and first place in couples 13 to 18 category and couples eight to 12 category for her concept Celebrating The Seasons In Bim. West’s Once Upon A Rhyme won the top prize for Most Colourful and Fantasy.
The HIV/AIDS Awareness Award went to Xante’s Pot Holes of Our Society and the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA) Brands of Barbados Award went to Triple Force for their theme Barbados Collage.
The Best School Band and Vision 2020 Award went to St Mark’s Primary for their depiction of Gems from the East. The Springer Memorial School who participated in the competition for the first time won the Historical category for their interpretation of Goodly Heritage. [email protected]