Big numbers for Junior Monarch
By Yvette best
This year's ’s Junior Calypso Monarch Competition has attracted the highest number of entrants in four years.
Competition producer Stephen Brathwaite said 55 juniors participated at the preliminary level and almost half were eliminated.
Brathwaite attributed the large number of entrants to the workshop which is held during the Easter holidays.
“The Easter workshop was very, very well attended this year. I think that the youngsters are seeing their peers on TV and they’re seeing their peers in performance,” he said.
“They’re saying, ‘You know what? I think I can do that.’ And they’re coming to the workshop. Once they get to the workshop, then they encounter people like Sir Don, and they encounter Christal Cummins-Beckles . . . and they encounter various other calypsonians that just happen to pass through because they know what is happening. They kinda feel the inspiration to get involved and we allow them to register from then.”
According to Brathwaite, the youths had four weeks after that to prepare for preliminaries.
He said many came with their songs finished, which made the job of the judges “very, very difficult”. Four of the songs were self-penned, and one made it through to the semi-finals.
More than half of the semi-finalists are newcomers. Some of the old campaigners are either not competing or would not have made it through to the semi-finals.
Reigning 13-to-18-year group monarch Samantha Sammy G Greaves has stated her intention of retaining her crown, while competition in the eight-to-12-year category is wide open, and even without a note being sung in the finals, it is known that a new monarch will be crowned. Last year’s monarch Carrie-lynn Carrie G Grazette is seriously ill, and is being treated overseas.
This year the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is raising funds for childhood leukaemia and will be asking patrons at all the Crop Over events to make contributions for an orange ribbon.
Acting Corporate Communications Specialist Andre Hoyte explained that the NCF works with charities every year and this year chose the one dealing with leukaemia. Funds will be presented to the organization at the end of the season.