THE official word from the TT Music Festival Association (TTMFA) is that the 33rd Biennial Music Festival, which was put on hold along with many other entertainment events, is suspended and its resumption is dependent on advice from the Ministry of Health.
The festival was being held across TT when it was suspended on March 13 after two weeks of activities due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus –covid19 which was declared a pandemic on March 11. For those two weeks, patrons saw competition in the Junior classes and the Open classes. The championships were scheduled for this week (March 22-28).
A media release from the TTMFA on March 25 states that the association "regrets the cessation of activities but the health of our competitors and patrons is of paramount importance. The resumption of festival activities will be contingent on advice from the Ministry of Health."
The association said that once the ministry gives that advice, it "will rely on assistance from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and The Arts and the Ministry of Education."
At the time of it being placed on hold, some competitors had already set high standards in their classes. Outstanding female performers in the Open classes (North) were Misty-Ann Knights and Clarice Beeput. They both won four classes each but Misty Ann Knights is also a member of the APA Choir which won three classes and came second in another.
The 21-year-old, University of TT (UTT) student won the first class on opening night when she beat the field in the Oratorio Solo Ladies. She continued her winning ways with the Ladies Vocal Duet with Jerrana Douglas and Mixed Vocal Duet with Kevin Humphrey. She then moved both the audience and the adjudicator with her rendition of He Got the Whole World in His hands in the Spiritual Solo Ladies.
Knights also competed in three junior classes, she made the finals in the Girls Vocal Solo (13-21), placed second in the Musical Theatre Solo and second in the Girls Duet.
Clarice Beeput, 17, a dynamic vocalist, won the Ladies Vocal Solo, Contemporary Religious Solo, the Vocal Recital and Lieder with collaborative pianist Diamanda Garnes. She also placed third in the Oratorio.
In the Junior classes Beeput placed first in the Girls Vocal Duet with Alexis Snaggs and second in the Girls Vocal Solo.
In the Open classes Gents Kory Mendez was outstanding with three first places, two second and one third. He too is a student at UTT but is a member of The Lydians.
He placed first in the Gents Vocal Solo, Operatic Aria and Oratorio Solo. He also placed second in the Vocal Recital, Negro Spiritual and third in the Contemporary Religious Solo.
Quinton Neckles also has two wins in the Contemporary Religious Solo and Spiritual Solo.