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Juniors ready for battle

shadiasimpson, [email protected]

Juniors ready for battle

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REIGNING MONARCHS Mandisa and Jazz-Z will have some stiff competitions this year as 12 semi-finalists were each chosen from the preliminaries of the Scotiabank Junior Monarch competitions last weekend.
Some “old-timers” are back and there are two new faces in each category – Chad Montplaisir as De MC in the 13-18 and Rickardo Reid of NIFCA?fame is RJ in the 8-12.
The preliminaries, held over two days at the National Cultural Foundation’s dance studios in West Terrace, St James, saw 69 juniors compete in two categories.
Thirty participated in the 8 to 12 category, while 39 faced off in the 13 to 18 category.
The youth poured their all into topical issues, including substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, bullying, teenage pregnancy, as well as inspirational messages on commitment, determination to succeed and on being a force for change.   
Cultural officer, music, Ronald Davis noted that the number of competitors had increased in 2013 and that the standards had also improved, not only because they were now more seasoned, but because some of the calypso icons who had penned songs for the children were working more closely with them.  
Working with the juniors were Anthony Gabby Carter and Ewatt Greene, while mentors such as Alison Gittens, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Mark Husbands and Tito Griffith assisted with the arrangement of songs and provided musical accompaniment.
Davis said: “The songs were written within the scope of the youngsters this year, and as a result they were better able to internalize and perform the songs, because they could relate to them.”   
“This year is probably one with the best presentations because at least ten per cent of the juniors have been in the competition before, so they would have gained maturity with the developmental workshops that assisted with their improvement in the art form, which would certainly contribute to a very high standard semi-final and final.”
The 24 semi-finalists and two reserves will showcase their talents for a wider audience in the two Scotiabank Junior Monarch Calypso Tents at Queen’s College on Sunday, June 16, and at The Lester Vaughan School on Sunday, June 23. (PR/NS)