IT was parang, parang at St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, when the school hosted a parang extravaganza on Saturday at the compound on Abercromby Street.
A mammoth crowd turned out for the fund-raiser and parang competition, which saw talented pupils showcasing not only their vocals but also their skills in various traditional parang instruments.
Twelve groups of pupils, in both junior and senior categories, participated in the parang fest before a panel of judges who included Judy Nathaniel, Peter Ray Blood and Robert Rampersad.
Performing in the junior category were Las Chicas Dinamicas, Las Voces Bendecidas, The Parang Parade, Las Ninas Que Cantan, Lacamor, Las Parranderas de 1K and Hermanas de Parang.
The senior category featured Los Vecinos, Las Ninas Cinco, Las Pionsiettas, Las Tapas Picantes and Las Mejores Cantantes.
Earlier a teacher’s parang group with the sobriquet Los Professores de San Jose gave a memorable performance.
Student S’hain Corbin also used the platform to launch her CD titled This Christmas Season.
Dressed in white T-shirts with beautiful red, yellow and green flowing skirts, Las Mejores Cantantes set themselves apart in the competition to place first in the senior category.
Las Tapas Picantes placed second and also won best costume, while Los Vecinos placed third.
In the junior category, Hermanas de Parang placed first with their festive repertoire, while Las Parranderas and Las Chicas Dinamicas placed second and third, respectively.
A festive environment was created with the performance of Los Alumnos de San Juan and later in the evening Marcia Miranda, who did a number of her popular favourites. Among the food fare were pastelles, geera pork, bake and shark and a well-stocked soft drinks bar.
The school’s principal, Anna Pounder, said she was pleased with the success of the fund-raiser. She said the response had been phenomenal and described the event as a Christmas extravaganza.
She added that the funds raised will go towards a number of upgrade projects at the school to accommodate the further development of pupils.
“We were very thrilled with the outcome of the function and the great turnout. We felt very encouraged by the support from the students and their families. We had done some roof repairs over the holidays and we are paying for that, but we are also looking to upgrade our bathrooms. We have some multimedia rooms that are over ten years old so we want to keep current with the latest technology in education. We want to ensure that staff and students have all they n need to continue the holistic development of the young people, so these are major projects that we are undertaking,” Pounder said.
The principal said she was pleased with the performances of the pupils. “We launched the project six weeks ago and the students practised long and hard. They did all of their costumes and their movement themselves, so we are really proud of what they have accomplished. This was our first event. Because of the wonderful response, we are hoping to make it an annual event.”