Los Alumnos de San Juan have done it yet again. The Lower Santa Cruz, Bourg Mulatresse-based group won the prestigious National Parang Association of Trinidad & Tobago (NPATT) title at the Arima Velodrome on Saturday night. With a total of 187 points, the parang giants have certainly stamped their authority on parang competitions. Ten points separated them from second-placed Amantes de Parranda.
With this win, Los Alumnos De San Juan has made it a record eight times winning this coveted title. Lead singer Alicia Jagessar has been named Parang Queen on nine occasions. La Dedicacion, La Promesa and Himno De Alegria were the songs of choice for Los Alumnos de San Juan. Playing in second position on the night, the reigning champion set a high standard for others to follow.
TOP RIGHT: Back up singers for Voces Jovenes spread the angels' message.
RIGHT: An instrumentalist from La Casa de Parranda plays the mandolin behind his neck.
From her very first note, Jagessar evoked cheers and whistles of appreciation from the Arima crowd. The overcast skies and chilly wind didn't seem to matter anymore as her voice warmed the night's proceedings. The band also showed its showmanship by changing outfits during songs. It also would have gained favour from the judges when its four back-up singers reached for cuatros and maracs. Eight bands vied for the crown on the night. NPATT president Neil Marcano has been under some pressure over the last year, with no fixed place of abode for his association. He was delighted with recent developments as the association has had its music copyrighted.
The association was asked early last year?to vacate its then residence at the Arima Priority Bus Hub. Arima Mayor Adrian Cabralis confirmed that the Parang Association has been relocated to the Old Ministry of Works Building, across from the Arima Velodrome. Renovations are pending on the building and NPATT will have to wait some time before it can turn the keys to the building. NPATT reportedly received $600,000 in 2009 from the Ministry of Community Development Culture and Gender Affairs to fund this entire season. Junior Parang Secondary Schools champion Los Ninos Del Este, a combination of Bishops Anstey and Trinity East secondary schools, was the first guest band on the night.
1st place: Los Alumnos de San Juan
2nd place: Amantes de Parranda
3rd place: La Familia de Carmona
4th place: Los Amigos Cantadores
5th place: Voces Jovenes
6th place: La Familia de Rio Claro
7th place: Renacer
8th place: La Casa de Parranda