16 move on in Junior Calypso Monarch competition

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Shaquan Hudlin, of Cunupia Government Primary School, sings No Mister Gun Man, at the Junior Calypso, semifinals at Kaiso House, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Angelo Marcelle

Thirty children from schools across TT competed on Saturday at the National Junior Calypso Monarch Competition and many of them sang about social issues that are plaguing TT – crime, negligence, the education system and anti-violence while some performed covers of songs by the calypso legends.

The contestants sang before five judges and fewer than 100 parents, relatives, teachers and students from the schools listed to compete.

They performed at the Kaiso House Calypso Tent at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Also present was the president of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Ainsley King and reigning champion Sharissa Camejo.

King spoke about the importance of the competition, telling his audience, “Most of our stars today, Patrice Roberts, Machel Montano, Olatunji, Destra Garcia and Voice passed through this stage. So to the young ones today, I want you to hold that in mind, this is not an ordinary place, it’s a place where stars of TT passed.”

He also took a moment to highlight the parents, teachers, songwriters and everyone who supported the contestants by any means.

Almost every contestant had props supporting the theme of their song.

Emma Roberts of St Gabriel Girls’ RC sang about the incident which led to the death of four divers from Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd.

A few contestants sang about children being swayed into a life of crime with supporting acts on stage trying to persuade young people to join a lifestyle to earn quick money.

Those who didn’t have props or actors made use of the stage with their antics,.

Among the performances was nine-year-old Janaya Clarke, of San Fernando Girls AC, who looked much younger than her age, wowed the audience with her powerful voice.

Though she did not make it as a finalist, she was still able to leave the crowd cheering and clapping loudly even after she left the stage.

16 contestants in the final

1) A’Janae King Fraser – St Francois Girls’ College

2) Alaeja Douglas – St Francois Girls’ College

3) Breshawn Springer – Queen’s Royal College

4) Clorysa Gill – Signal Hill Secondary

5) D’Ashe Saul – Parlatuvier Anglican Primary

6) Jimexya Burnett – Cedros Secondary

7) Josiah Jordan – St Benedict’s College

8) Kerston Millar – University of the West Indies (UWI)

9) Kai-Anthony Salazar – St Benedict’s College

10) Koquice Davidson – St Stephen’s College

11) Kurlise Bentham – University of TT (UTT)

12) Marcus McDonald – Presentation College San Fernando

13) N’Janela Duncan Regis – Athens School of Education Ltd

14) Naomi Waldrop – Signal Hill Secondary

15) Tsaiann Burke – Holy Faith Convent, Couva

16) Zachary Ransome – Montrose Government Primary