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Juniors shine at Champz of Steel Plus
The 2012 Junior Carnival champions delivered sophisticated performances on par with their seniors and brought delight to hundreds of patrons at Champz of Steel Plus hosted by Pan Trinbago at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday night. Appearing on the playbill alongside winners of senior competitions in the annual after-Carnival showcase, the young champions of steelband, calypso and mas’ were at the top of their form in presenting their creations before the appreciative audience.
Primary School Panorama champions St Margaret’s Boys’ Primary School Steel Orchestra opened the programme, and with youthful frenzy set the standard to follow with a rambunctious showcase of its winning selection Wake Up, the Edwin Pouchett/Alvin Daniell composition, arranged by Sheldon Peters. Not to be outdone, Secondary School Panorama champion St Francois Girls’ College Steel Orchestra, skilfully utilising the well-tuned instruments of PCS Silver Stars, had a rollicking good time in beautifully rendering the Trevor Barrow composition Trinbago Yuh Sweet Fuh So, arranged by Rory Aleong.
National Junior Panorama champion Success Stars Pan Sounds Steel Orchestra showed the class of its players who effortlessly generated a “big sound” in joyfully executing the challenging and innovative arrangement by Mickiel Gabriel of Pan Victory, a composition by Gerelle Forbes.
Junior Chutney Monarch Anthony Batson, an 18-year-old student of Couva West Secondary School, acquitted himself nicely in delivering his composition Legendary Sundar, dedicated to the late, great chutney artiste Sundar Popo. The intrinsic talent of eight-year-old Aaron Duncan was on show on yet another occasion when the three-time National Junior Calypso Monarch and reigning Junior Soca Monarch mounted the stage to deliver with aplomb and style his winning selection Ah Learning.
Junior Band of the Year Jamming To D Beat, a presentation of Carnival Babies in memory of the late mas’ band leader Wayne Berkeley, lit up the stage and won loud plaudits for its well-designed, colourful sections and tasteful choreography assigned to selected ones. Junior Carnival Queen 14-year-old Nikita Katwaroo, portraying Gold Rush; and Junior Carnival King, 11-year-old Ryan Sooknanan, portraying Platinum; danced their winning costumes across the huge stage with the confidence and vigour one would expect from their senior counterparts.
Also making appearances and adding to enjoyment of the programme, hosted by Tamara Williams, were Single Pan Band champions San Juan East Side Symphony, People’s Choice Medium Band winners Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille, Small Band champions Arima Golden Symphony, Medium Band champions Katzenjammers, National Panorama champions Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars, King of Carnival Roland St George, Extempo Monarch Lady Africa along with Lingo, Chutney Monarch runner-up Rikki Jai, National Calypso Monarch and Young King Duane O’Connor, Destra (most played Panorama selection - Vibes), and Soca Monarch/Groovy Soca Monarch/Road March champion Machel Montano.