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Talented juniors

Gabby posing with Junior Monarch contestants.

Gabby posing with Junior Monarch contestants.

The future of calypso is in good hands with the talent, confidence and enthusiasm of the youth who performed in the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch preliminaries over the weekend.

The preliminaries, held over two days at the National Cultural Foundation’s dance studios in West Terrace, St. James saw 69 juniors compete in two categories. Thirty entered and competed in the 8 to 12 category, while 39 faced off in the 13 to 18 category.

The youth poured their all into topical issues including substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, bullying, teenage pregnancy, as well as inspirational messages on commitment, determination to succeed and on being a force for change. Cultural Officer – Music, Ronald Davis noted that the number of competitors had increased in 2013 and that the standards had also improved, not only because they were now more seasoned, but because some of the calypso icons who had penned songs for the children were working more closely with them.

Among the seasoned calypsonians working with the juniors was Dr. Anthony Gabby Carter and Ewatt Greene, while some of the mentors such as Alison Gittens, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Mark Husbands and Tito Griffith assisted with the arrangement of songs and provided musical accompaniment.

Davis remarked, “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 percent 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,” Davis continued.

He thanked the parents for their continued support and for encouraging the children to sing songs with positive lyrics. He also called for all Barbadians to give of their full support to the juniors.

From the two preliminaries, 12 semifinalists and one reserve were drawn in each category. The list of the semifinalists in both categories is attached.

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.

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