West Terrace Primary School student Anastasia Annie Bless Callender copped the first position in the Beacon of the North Calypso Competition 2023 held at the Half Moon Fort Primary School, St Lucy, on Friday.
The 11-year-old jumped for joy when it was announced that her rendition of Biggie Irie’s Need Ah Riddim earned her the highest score, 250, in the competition that was contested by 10 students from primary schools in the north of the island.
Second position was won by Jade Roach of All Saints Primary who scored 241 points with her delivery of Edwin Yearwood’s Party ah the Year. Kaleb Master K Scott of Half Moon Fort Primary, who sang Barbados Nice, was third with 206 points.
Callender impressed the judges with her clear diction, delivery, stage presence, drumming capabilities, and overall presentation.
She told Barbados TODAY that even though she put much time and effort into preparing for the competition, she was shocked that she won.
“I have been preparing with the help of my mother and my teacher and a lot of other people helped. I feel shocked and really happy that I won and I give thanks for my trophy and other prizes. I also feel proud that I have been able to do this for my school,” said Callender who has been drumming since the age of six with the Haynesville Youth Club.
Class 3 teacher at Half Moon Fort, Kirk Roach, who organised the competition last year and again this year, said he was pleased with the growth of the competition. Last year, seven contestants competed for the title.
“The main goal of the competition is to just involve the children in cultural events. We find that children are not particularly involved in culture and there is a major gap between the calypso arena from children to the adults, so we are just trying to bridge that gap with this competition,” Roach said.
The teacher also expressed gratitude to corporate Barbados and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) for supporting the initiative.
Member of Parliament Peter Phillips who attended the event commended the contestants.
The panel of judges included Mac Fingall, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles and Derek Marshall.