Queen of the night, Terencia “TC” Coward (centre), flanked by (from left) former two-time Pic-O-De-Crop king Adrian Clarke, her manager Sonia Mullins and friend entertainer Natalie Burke (partially hidden) enjoying the night’s production. (Picture by Christoff Griffith.)
Terencia TC Coward has contributed much in her more than 20 year reign as “the people’s queen” of calypso in Barbados. That’s why this year Camp Fusion deemed it necessary to honour her for these contributions through a fitting production called Voices Of Calypso.
Camp Fusion is made up of some 30 participants and is an annual seven-week summer music development programme hosted by the Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) and the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
On Wednesday night a fair number of people turned out at the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School auditorium and were wowed by the campers who paid tribute to TC’s body of work through presentations in musicianship, dance, song and dramatisation.
The show opened with Pic-O-De-Crop king Anderson Mr Blood Armstrong honouring the late Charles Mighty Romeo Smith with a flawless rendition of Romeo’s 1981 winning calypso Brother Fuzzy.
From there, the night was all about TC, who sat front row cheering loudly for each tribute as her mother, manager Sonia Mullins along with friends and fellow entertainers Natalie Burke and Adrian AC Clarke looked on.
Firstly, there was a skit. Then Grand Kadooment costumes lit up the stage as dancers moved rhythmically to some of her biggest soca hits like Paradise, De People Place and Jammers.
A tribute to TC is not complete without a showcase of social commentary, which was expertly performed by Nadia Mitchell-Gittens who sang Stand Up, and the trio of Imani Walcott, Kyria Gotip and Aaliyah Harding, who sang Victory, accompanied by the masterful skills of the youthful drum corps.
Broken Dolls, which took her to the 1999 Pic-O-De-Crop final at the National Stadium, was a great introduction to the fledging talents of Malika Sobers and Jahzara Clarke, who returned in the penultimate act to perform TC’s smasher Hot Sun & Riddim, the song that saw her create history in 2009 to become Barbados’ first ever Sweet Soca Monarch and Party Monarch on the same day. And to bring the curtain down, TC performed the iconic Voices Of Calypso.
In brief remarks, former calypso king AC, who was a lead vocalist with the now defunct band Coalishun, along with TC and Rupee, maintained that Barbados should be proud to have someone of her calibre. He told stories of their travels touring together as band mates and their camaraderie even when battling against each other in competition. He also spoke to TC’s professionalism, her focus and vocal prowess.
While expressing gratitude to PCW for the honour, TC said this was an award she would cherish immensely.
TC was born and bred in The Pine, educated at the former Pine Primary School (now Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary) and made her debut public performance on the same Parkinson stage.
“So you understand how good this feels. And the first time I sang anywhere in public I sang for Pinelands 4H with Edwin Yearwood on this stage right here . . . . And from then everything just continued to blossom. So again, I have to say thank you to the Pinelands Creative Workshop for the honour this evening. My career over the years has not been without its ups and downs but I would not trade any step that I’ve made in my career for a smoother road. It has made me who I am today,” she said. (SDB Media)