The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) and First Citizens’ Bank (FCB) yesterday launched the 2018 Junior Calypso Monarch and the Roving Tent Show at Morvant Anglican Primary School, Port of Spain.
This was the first of only three roving tent events this year, given the short Carnival season.
Scores of children from schools in the Morvant district were invited to perform at yesterday’s event, for which FCB donated $190,000 to be shared among winners in different categories. There are 31 prizes to be won.
Morvant Anglican principal Theron Joseph said he only invited four schools to participate because he knew others would not be allowed to perform because of religious reasons.
TUCO chairman Thora Best said some parents were reluctant to have their children enter, as some did not take part in Carnival festivities.
“We have come up against some fundamentalism where the children were interested (in singing), but the parents were not,“ Best said.
“It is not only about being crowned monarch. There are lots of things the children can sing about in categories on anti-drugs, anti-violence, education, anti-HIV...we even have gospelypso. Our children do not sing jam and wine.“
She said people did not realise that the calypso art form helped children to improve their English because they had to learn to write, memorise and sing their calypsoes.
The 2017 National Junior Monarch, Shervonne Rodney, gave a stellar guest performance with her winning song Misconception. Rodney will defend her title this year against the 15 youngsters chosen during the semifinals on January 27 at City Hall.