by Lara Pickford-Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org
CATHOLIC primary and secondary schools were well represented in the finals of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) First Citizens’ Junior Calypso Monarch competition held last Monday at the Queen’s Park Savannah with six of 16 competitors.
The event was open to primary, secondary and tertiary students. Participants from RC schools had songs in the nation building, family life, social commentary and even Gospelypso categories.
The defending monarch, St Mary’s College student Ta’zyah Duane O’Connor’s ‘Great Trinbago’ identified some negatives but rallied citizens, “Come along everybody, once you call yourself Trini, once blood running in your veins we can make this country great again/It ain’t take nothing at all to answer your nation’s call…”
While O’Connor, 16 years, gave a great defence, the last performer, Rivaldo London, 17 years came out on top. His song ‘My Purpose’ on the positive role of the calypsonian in the society and his emulation of veteran calypsonians like Shadow, Kitchener and others received cheers. He even sang a verse for fellow competitors telling them Calypso is their “sword” and “weapon”.
His uncle calypsonian Brian London, who penned his song as well as O’Connor’s was present to congratulate him.
Third place went to N’Janela Duncan-Regis, 15 years. Catholic schools placed fourth with Cindy-Ann Bigford, Holy Faith Penal ‘Help Our Children’; fifth, Caleb Hinds, St Benedict’s College ‘Our Nation’s Children’ urged parents to take up their responsibility socialising children; sixth place was Jalan Maughn of St Patrick’s Newtown Boys’ RC with ‘God’s Army’.
Faith Haywood, Holy Name Convent placed 11th; she gave the “remedy” for being ‘Your Brother’s Keeper’: “a dose of understanding with a dash of tolerance, a cup of forgiveness with an abundance of love”; and 12th Annalise Emmanuel, St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph dressed in all black as a tribute to the late Winston ‘Shadow’ Bailey, to perform ‘Don’t Be a Stranger’.
Trophies and cash prizes were awarded to all participants. The monarch got a trophy, $25,000 and a trip to Barbados to perform at their Junior Monarch finals.
There were also prizes for ‘Best in Category’, ‘Most Outstanding in Age Group’, ‘Best Junior Composer/Singer’, ‘Best Chorus’, ‘Zonal Champions’ and challenge trophies. The school of the monarch received $5,000.