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Contact: Richmond Felix

May 25, 1998 - The future of the St. Lucia’s calypso crop may lies in the development of the younger generation. That much was acknowledged last week during the awards ceremony for National Schools Calypso Competition.

There were quite a few hitches this year as organizers had to contend with instances of confusion and indecision as a result of some unexpected developments in the education system. However with the support and co-operation of the schools, and critical players behind the scenes, cancellation of the schools calypso competition was averted. This year a record number of schools participated in the show since it began in 1997. 26 schools, 13 primary and 13 secondary.

According to the coordinator of the schools calypso competition, Anthony Alcide, the talents of the island’s young people have remained largely untapped. He suggests that the time has come when a different approach to be adopted to the national school calypso competition.

Education and culture officials agree that the training of the young calypsonian should start in the school, and that there should be a coordinated and unwavering effort to further horn the talents of those who have left school. The desired result is that there would be a transition into the adult calypso realm that would guarantee major improvements in standards. Talks have already begun between the Ministry of Culture and the Calypso association for the establishment of a Junior Monarch competition.

Since the staging of the first so called "schools calypso competition" in 1987, a number of great compositions have emerged. But apart from some recordings which "may or may not be" in the archives of the radio stations nothing has been done to ensure their preservation. It is already being suggested that steps be put in place to encourage the recordings on CD.

There are already indications that there will be some changes for next year’s calypso competition. There are recommendations for preliminaries to be held on a regional level in order to insure smoother running of the finals, also that the secondary and primary school competitions be held separately and that the schools competition continue as an independent affair.

One of the most significant outcomes of this years schools competition is that both the primary and secondary calypso monarchs were captured by female students, N’Deaver Cadasse and Mourtessa Joseph respectively. During Friday’s ceremony awards were also presented to Christiana Prospere of the Odsan Combined School and Patrick Brice of the Clendon Mason Secondary School for the Independence anniversary theme song competition.

 

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