Calypsonians, Potential Judges, Synchronize on Judging Criteria

Recognizing the potential for such strife and to ensure that our carnival adjudicators are adequately equipped, to carry-out their awesome mandate of selecting the ultimate winner, of the annual Calypso Monarch Competition, the National Carnival Committee used last weekend to host a three- day workshop for potential judges.

More than 40 local calypsonians and hopeful calypso judges capitalized on the opportunity to better understand the criteria, by which the calypsonians are to be judged, with a view to perfecting the art form, in the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis.

The three-day workshop kicked off on Friday, 12th November 2010 at the Warner Park Players Pavilion, with welcoming remarks and a brief outline of the purpose of the workshop, delivered by Chair of the Calypso Development Committee Dr. Ken Balentine and Chairman of the Carnival Committee Clement ‘Monarch’ O’Garro.

MiyVue understands that the workshop was facilitated by entertainer and song writer, Gregory Balentine and Judging Coordinator for the Trin-Bago Calypso Organisation, Hugh Grant.

O’Garro told MiyVue in an exclusive interview, that the main goals of the workshop are to “develop both calypsonians and judges’ potential, in the art of perfecting the judging criteria and also to give a historical perspective of calypso. This was what we dealt with at the first session. We had a lecture on the history of calypso, the structure of the style of calypso, the use of language and developing one’s theme.”

The Carnival Chairman said workshops such as this are timely and necessary, if they are to ensure that “both the calypsonians and judges are be in sync, when it comes to what is expected from calypsonians, in order to give them a better shot to score high. In order to do so, calypsonians need to have a complete understanding of what is expected of them from the judges, based on the criteria.” 

Should calypsonians perfectly execute their competition pieces, they can amass a total of 100 points; 40 for lyrics, 30 for melody and 30 for presentation. O’Garro explained that where some calypsonians falter, is in their failure to understand the sub-categories, which fall under these three main categories.

“These three categories are just scratching the surface. These are broken down into sub-categories and this is where I think the calypsonians need more work, to understand that when we say lyrics, it’s not just a set of words that you put together. I think that that has been the problem, not with all calypsonians but some of them; understanding the sub-categories under each main category.”

The workshop concluded on Sunday, 14th November, each participant is expected to be fitted with a certificate of participation.

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