Boys top soloists at Naparima Bowl

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Jeremy Green tops the Under-19 Steelpan Solos playing Jit Samaroo’s Pan Parranda at the TT Music Festival, Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, on March 4. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

BOYS were few and far between at the kick-off of the south Trinidad leg of Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival on March 4 at Naparima Bowl, but those present topped the vocal solos and pan solos, and were in a winning mixed choir.

Josiah Pierre won the under-19 folk song solo singing Stuttering Pastor. He seemed to enjoy himself giving his humorous presentation with expansive hand gestures, but needed a bit more projection. Placing second was Kalyssa Sooklal singing Every time ah pass, and third was Gianna Griffith singing Go ‘way Jestina.

Adjudicator Nubia Williams said Pierre had good intonation and very good expressiveness. However, she advised him to watch his lower register, pitching and projection.

Williams said Griffith had good pitching and a good interpretation, plus very appropriate facial expression.

The judge said Sooklal sounded a bit nasal and advised her to breathe with her diaphragm. She praised her “good impactful ending.”

Williams advised Sargram Sinanan to do breathing exercises and watch her pulse, while praising her good expression as she moved.

The judge said Elizabeth Ramesar had nicely interpreted her piece, with good expression.

While the projection of individual singers had been a constant problem in the north Trinidad leg of the festival – whether singing as soloists, in duets or leading a parang choir, performers on Monday were enhanced by two prominent microphones down in front of the stage.

A young man, Jeremy Green, also topped the under-19 steelpan solos on Monday, playing the test piece, Jit Samaroo’s Pan Parranda, ahead of four girls.

Jaeda Ar-Razi, who placed second in the Under-19 Steelpan Solos category, plays the test piece, Jit Samaroo’s Pan Parranda, at the TT Music Festival, Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, on March 4. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

Green scored 90 marks out of 100, ahead of Jaeda Ar-Razi on 79 and Chelsea Hanumanta on 77.

Adjudicator Nubia Williams said Green had a beautiful touch. She praised his good adherence to dynamic markings, especially for a line of staccato.

She hailed his “very good, measured, expressive performance.”

Williams said he had a very good understanding of the parranda feel. While one can be technically competent, a player must also be able to express the mood of the piece, saying,”It must have a little Spanish.”

Williams said Ar-Razi had a well-tuned pan, and had shown a good articulation and a very good ending, while needing to watch her staccato markers.

The judge told Hanumata to watch her accented notes and dynamic markings, and said she had missed a few notes including the last note. Also playing were Andelle Balwah whom she said had “a nice touch” and Daniella Maharaj who was praised for her rolling skills.

Green told Newsday, “It was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed playing against all my competitors and overall the judge found my piece a bit more outstanding than the rest. We all came out and performed our best and that is what really matters.”

He plays with Golden Hands Steel Orchestra.

Ar-Razi told Newsday, “I feel really good. I was really nervous coming up to it, but I feel overall it was a really engaging experience.

“I was really excited coming up to the days; I guess nerves just took a little of the best of me, but I think that overall, it was a really, really good experience, a really educational experience and it is something I would do again.”

Ar-Razi said she plays pan with Skiffle Bunch and Naparima Girls High School where she is a prefect.