SCOTIABANK JR MONARCH SEMIFINALISTS, ON THE WAY UP

The journey to the top can be filled with disappointments, but your eventual success will be all about ‘the get up,’ or how you choose to colour your glasses in these situations. The key is to never give up, it is not all about winning, these are but stepping stones with valuable lessons to be learnt and a lot to be gained that will have a significant impact on your future. With these words of wisdom from past Junior Monarchs in the give back sessions at the developmental workshops held prior to the start of the season, each of the 51 enthusiastic entrants walked confidently on to the preliminary stage of the 2016 Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch Programme in association with IGM Stage Lighting.

The development of these young Calypsonians who represent the future of the art form is priority number one for the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and its sponsors Scotiabank and IGM Stage Lighting, hence the reason why Junior Monarch continues to be labelled as a programme and not a competition. Its many facets are designed to aid in the academic and personal growth of the many young Calypsonians who have participated in and graduated from the programme over the years – like recent graduates ‘Mandisa Aisha Butcher, who taught voice training in this year’s workshops; along with ‘HonestyCharice Walrond and ‘SammyGSamantha Greaves, who offered some sound advice citing their own experiences on the way up to the top.

The workshops also provided helpful tips on and off the stage, like the pointers on preparing for a healthy financial future given by Ryan Bascombe of Scotiabank; guidance on personal and professional growth from Actor and Public Relations Consultant, Antoine Williams; cues on the dos and don'ts of lighting for stage performance by Stephen Brathwaite representing associate sponsor IGM Stage Lighting; and finally, training in the areas of songwriting, voice and other performance preparation techniques offered by stalwarts in the industry like presenters Stedson Wiltshire (RPB), Adonijah, Adrian Clarke, Don Marshall (Sir Don), Former Chief Judge, Gaye Gajadhar and programme mentor Chrystal Cummins-Beckles.

The workshops also provided helpful tips on and off the stage, like the pointers on preparing for a healthy financial future given by Ryan Bascombe of Scotiabank; guidance on personal and professional growth from Actor and Public Relations Consultant, Antoine Williams; cues on the dos and don’ts of lighting for stage performance by Stephen Brathwaite representing associate sponsor IGM Stage Lighting; and finally, training in the areas of songwriting, voice and other performance preparation techniques offered by stalwarts in the industry like presenters Stedson Wiltshire (RPB), Adonijah, Adrian Clarke, Don Marshall (Sir Don), Former Chief Judge, Gaye Gajadhar and programme mentor Chrystal Cummins-Beckles.

There will be no defending monarchs this year, since Asher Murrell sorbriquet ‘Dynamo’ has aged out of the 8-12s and will be performing in the 13-18 category and Adela Payne ‘Ah-Dee-Lah’ has proudly joined that alumni of Junior Calypso Monarchs who have successfully graduated from the programme.

This more than two decade long programme attracts new participants from year to year, and the 2016 crop of entrants again includes familiar names alongside some new talent especially in the 8-12 category.

Armed with advice on improving their confidence, onstage presence and tips on warming up and keeping their voices healthy, these young Calypsonians belted out their melodies for a chance to compete in the next round and that advice has already paid big dividends for these chosen semi-finalists.

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