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Calypso contest returns to St Philip

Yvette Best

Calypso contest returns to St Philip

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CALYPSONIANS wili have another opportunity to exhibit their skills later this year.
After the dust settles on Crop Over in August, there will be the return of the St Philip Calypso Competition in November.
Member of Parliament for St Philip North Michael Lashley, who is also one of the people behind the St Philip Carnival, said the competition would be a feature of this year’s celebrations.
Lashley was speaking during a site visit at the home of Soca Royale at Bushy Park, St Philip, last Wednesday.It was there that he expressed concern at the “influx” of soca music in calypso tents.
“I went to some calypso tents last year,” he said, “and the tents seriously focussed on the Party Monarch. I understand they want to be marketable, I understand they want to get hits to go on to the Trinidadian market and probably take it to the international level, I understand that. But, of course, there is a message in calypso, and there is a purpose for the calypsonian, and that is why we have the Pic-O-De-Crop.” 
Noting that the likes of Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire was a product of the St Philip calypso competition, Lashley said they already had a backing band and the support of the constituency council, and would be looking to get the National Cultural Foundation and other stakeholders involved.
Organisers are yet to determine whether the calypso competition would be open to people outside of St Philip.Meanwhile, Lashley said the November 30 carnival would have new elements and improved security on the road.
“We want to move it towards a festival . . . We will look at putting some element of gospel in it, steel pan and try to highlight the best of talent in St Philip during the week of activities leading up to the carnival,” he said, adding that the foreday morning jump-up, which was introduced two years ago, would also be enhanced.
Last year’s break was for organisers to take a step back and “redefine the festival” and make it more holistic,?Lashley said.