Sunday, January 21, 2018

Junior singers impress the President

President Anthony Carmona was so impressed with the standard of calypsoes he heard at yesterday’s TUCO First Citizen’s Junior Calypso Monarch, that he invited all 16 contestants to President’s House for lunch, at a date to be agreed upon.

The competition, held at the Queen’s Park Savannah, engaged  Carmona from its mid-morning start and by three in the afternoon—nearing the results—show hosts Ferdinand Smith and Akeil La Borde and chairperson of the Junior Calypso Committee, Thora Best, expressed gratitude to the president for having stayed until the end.

Ronaldo London, the nephew of calypsonian Brian London and pupil of the Fyzabad Secondary School copped the title of Junior Calypso Monarch to dethrone last year’s winner, Marq Pierre. As soon as his name was called  the visibly stunned London dropped to his knees and started to weep.

His uncle, Brian, ran onstage and proudly hugged his talented nephew, who delivered his calypso “Hear My Cry” more like a veteran than a junior calypsonian.

London’s song addressed the death of society’s young at the hands of adults including Amy Annamunthodo, Sean Luke and Keyanna Cumberbatch.

“Hear my cry/how many more young children must die?” London sang out emotionally.

Caleb Hinds out of the Mon Repos RC School also dealt with a similar topic in “Save the Children” as did  Caryn McCathy of the Arima Central Secondary with “Twenty Four Hours is Much Too Long”; in which she called on the police to act right away whenever a child is reported missing rather than the stipulated 24 hours.

One of the afternoon’s best performances came from Anika Collins of Oral Communications Inc whose “We Need You” really should have put her higher in placing, given her good diction and delivery of the song.

In it she celebrated the garbage collectors, seamstresses, hairdressesers, masons, whackermen —professionals who may not be doctors and lawyers but who still contribute greatly to society. Collins placed fourth.

Garve Sandy out of the Bishop’s High School, Tobago, was another strong contender who failed to impress the judges beyond her eventual tenth place. Her song “Missing in Action” was about the barrel children syndrome.

“You send me shoes, clothes, food/but you didn’t sending loving at all,” she sang; her performance emotional and dramatic.

London won $25,000.

 Prizes were also given out in 16 categories including nation-building, anti-violence, political and gospelypso. There was even a prize for best chorus group.

Guest stars at the competition included Devyn Tyson  out of New York, Jalani Kojo and Helon Francis.

The following is the full results:

1. Ronaldo London, Fyzabad Secondary School, “Hear My Cry”

2. Sasha Ann Moses, UWI Sixth Form, “A Mother’s Love”

3. Shervonne Rodney, El Dorado West Secondary, “Save the Family”

4. Anika Collins, Oral Communications Inc, “We Need You”

5. Marq Pierre, Sangre Grande Educational Institute, “Tot U Diens” (“At Your Service—Mankind”)

6. Jerrisha Duncan Regis, St Francois Girls, “Calypso Say Thanks”

7. Caryn Mc Carthy, Arima Central Secondary, “Twenty Four Hours is Much too long”

8. Rae Ann Guerra, San Juan North Secondary, “My Two Sons”

9. Tyrese J Williams, Arima Boy’s RC, “Crusader for World Peace”

10. Garve Sandy, Bishop’s High School, Tobago, “Missing in Action”

11. N’Janela Duncan Regis, Eshe’s Learning Centre, “I am Trinbago”

12.  Reshawn Goodrige, St Mary’s College, “He was a Good boy”

13. Joel Anderson Jones, Presentation College, San Fernando, “Trouble Shoot”

14. Necoda Francis , Woodbrook Secondary, “Twigs”

15. Kevan Calliste, St Benedicts College, “No Game”

16. Caleb Hinds, Mon Repos RC, “Save the Children”