Junior calypsonians tuning up for competition

The 25 Scotiabank Junior Monarch semi-finalists are tuning up to compete.

That was announced on Wednesday morning during the media launch of the contest at Scotiabank, Warrens, St Michael, where the contestants drew their numbers.

National Cultural Foundation (NCF) producer, Kevin Moore, promised that the two upcoming tents and the semi-final were set to be an amazing display of vocals and performances from some of Barbados’ most talented young people.

“We attracted over 60-plus entrants this year, with 40-odd opting to do calypso and 20 soca. This shows that calypso as an indigenous art form in Barbados is still well alive and we at the NCF are committed to its development,” Moore said.

He recalled that the soca category was introduced last year, and following its success, would be making a return as they continued to enhance the competition.

“For the very first time in Scotiabank Junior Monarch history, we had a plethora of fresh soca music from our youngest practitioners. Not to be outdone, the calypso category held its own with strong social topics, passionate performances and classic kaiso phrasing and delivery.

“The success of last year’s production has led to us continuing on this trajectory, and the contestants have not disappointed. The offerings this year are of a high calibre and promise to improve on the quality presented last year,” he said.

During the launch, Scotiabank presented the NCF with a $74 000 cheque.

The bank’s contribution to Junior Monarch 2023 totalled over $80 000 as they would be donating prizes and were staging development workshops for the contestants.

Retail and Small Business Lead at Scotiabank, Carla Boyce, said they were pleased to support the contest for over 25 years.

“The Scotiabank Junior Monarch helps our young people learn and enhance their skills. Participants are exposed to more than just the competition aspect of the programme but also benefit from mentorship and vocal training through scheduled workshops. We’re also hosting financial planning workshops where they learn the importance of saving, budgeting and investing. The programme truly aims to help our young people become well-rounded,” Boyce said.

The 25 semi-finalists across the two categories, will present their material in two tents before facing the judges at the Scotiabank Junior Monarch Semi-final. The tents will be held on Sunday, June 18 and Sunday, June 25 respectively. Both tents will take place at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed and commence at 6 p.m. (TG)

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