Despite the rocky start to the Children’s Carnival Frolic (CCF) which saw a two-hour delay to the advertised starting time of 11:00 a.m. at the Grenada National Stadium last Saturday, it was fun and entertainment for the young ones as they had their time in enjoying their aspect of Spicemas.
From the time the first steel band, Digicel Florida All Stars took to the stage at 1:10 p.m. it was smooth sailing up until 8:00 p.m. without any hindrance from a threatening weather system.
Not only were the children treated to pan, mas and calypso by their peers, but they had the opportunity to come face to face with a number of cartoon characters that included Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse and Dora.
The children were also exposed to a Children’s Village where they had the opportunity to have their face painted and also obtained various treats.
Chairman of the Spice Mas Corporation Colin Dowe was extremely proud with the performances that were displayed by the youngsters.
Dowe spoke of the portrayals as being excellent indicating that the bands gave a wonderful account of themselves.
Six steel bands participated in the junior panorama which featured music done years gone by from local calypsonians.
Playing Japs “Outlaws” the Junior Harpers were able to successfully defend the title they won last year.
They walked away with the title with a score of 270 points, 24 more than the band in second place.
This is the seventh junior title for the band which was formed in 1965.
Ninety youngsters formed part of the band that had 116 pieces of instrument.
Junior Arranger Andre Skeete said it did not take him long to arrange the song.
However, according to Skeete, the choice of the song came on the last minute.
He said up to the end of May the management team had not yet settled on a song, but incidentally he came across the song while browsing on Youtube.
The Junior Arranger said he was pleased with the way the players executed the song.
“I just wanted the children to come out, play their hearts out,” he said.
The second position was taken by Coyaba New Dimension which is the Bomb Tune Winner.
The band which incidentally played in second position scored 246 points.
The 30 junior members played a song by Inspector, “Power in the Soca” on 74 pieces of instrument.
The third position was occupied by Food Fair Wiz Kids which scored 193 points.
With a total of 181 points was Digicel Florida All Stars who placed fourth.
In fifth position was Rainbow City All Stars which scored 180 points, while the sixth position was taken by Grand Roy Pan Angels with 174 points.
The judging panel of Randal and Alan Robinson, and Curlan Matthew made their choice based on the criteria of arrangement 40 points, general performance 40 points, tone 10 points, and rhythm 10 points.
The CCF was not without its own controversy.
One of the St. John’s based steel band, Pan Ossia was booted out of the competition on the account of violating a rule, and instead made a guest appearance.
Although a member of the management committee of the band declined from commenting on the issue, THE NEW TODAY Newspaper was reliably informed that an arranger from Trinidad and Tobago was engaged in arranging the competition song, “Music Man” by King Ajamu for the juniors.
Another controversy in the panorama competition was the removal of Adrian Mark as one of the judges.
Mark who had already taken up his place at the judges’ quarters and had his name announced by the Master of Ceremony, Shakiera Boca Roseman was pulled out by some members of the Carnival Committee.
Parade of the Bands
Creativity and spectacle were showcased during the parade of the Traditional Mas Bands, and the Fancy Mas Bands.
With shortknee being recognized as part of the theme for Spicemas, there were two bands crossing the stage from among the six Traditional Mas Bands, both of which took the top honours.
Waterloo Shortknee scored 245 points to take the first place in the traditional mas, while Hermitage Shortknee amassed 238 points for the second place.
The third position was taken by Demonic Angels with 233 points, and fourth-placed band was Legends Mas Band with 216 points.
In the fifth position was the Grenada Moko Jumbie which scored 207 points, while Red Rose Wild Indians finished sixth with 180 points.
Seven bands took part in the fancy mas section of the competition.
The Junior Band of the Year for Spicemas 2012 went to Commancheros and Associates with 549 points.
In second position was Helen Marie and Associates with 520 points.
The third-placed band, Lazarus Antoine and Associates scored 446 points.
The parade of the bands was judged on creativity 30 points, visual impact 15 points, presentation 45 points, and authenticity 25 points.
Three individuals also graced the stage displaying various costumes.
The winning individual costume went to Whitney Bowen with a total of 263 points.
Bowen who was the Junior Queen of the Band, Commancheros and Associates portrayed Queen Venus.
Second place went to Shanika John with 245 points, while Jamie Stewart who scored 231 points placed third.
The King of the Band was Garvin Augustine with 229 points.
They were judged on creativity 30 points, presentation 45 points, and authenticity 25 points.
Junior Calypso Competition
A new calypsonian was crowned in the Junior Calypso Competition.
Nathan J won the hearts of the judges with his song, “Facebook” to dethrone last year’s winner, Reyond Thomas who had to settle for the second position.
Nathan J scored 245 points, while Thomas scored 233 points.
The third position was occupied by Jolani Flemming who scored 231 points.
The 12-year Nathan J encouraged his peers, through his song to avoid spending a lot of time of the social media and put their energies into reading books that are valuable to them.
The song was written by Croqueta, one of the reigning Independence Monarchs and father of Nathan J.
He told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper being a newcomer, he is happy to have won the competition, and is looking forward to continuing in the future.
The Presentation Brothers’ College Student said he saw all of the competitors of having an equal chance in the competition.
He spoke of putting in a lot of time in rehearsals with his pops and practicing with the band.
Nathan J. said winning the competition gives him more confidence and a push to go forward to other competitions.
The 2012 Junior Monarch spoke of his father being his role model in the calypso arena.
He said his interest in singing calypso was raised by looking up to Croqueta, and knowing that he has a talent in singing he decided to take the challenge.
Nathan J was a semi-finalist at the Calypso Monarch Competition.
All of the ten junior calypsonians featured issues affecting them in their song.
They were backed by the band Soca Pioneers
The juniors were judged by Roland Bernard, Simon Green, and Peter Regis.
The judges were guided by the points, lyrics 30, melody 30, rendition 15, originality 15, and presentation 10.