Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 6th 2016 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Officials of Caribbean Prestige Foundation for
the Performing Arts (CPF), producer of the Nation-
al Schools Soca Monarch (NSSM) competition,
have received the best validation for their efforts
towards the cultivation and promotion of the art
form from the artistes they cater to.
Stefan Camejo, winner of the primary category
of the contest, his brother Sergio Camejo, runner-
up in the secondary school division, and Osei David,
who placed fourth in the latter category, lauded
the vision and commitment of the CPF at the prize
distribution ceremony held at the National Lotteries
Control Board Hospitality Suite at the Queen s Park
Oval on Tragarete Road in Port-of-Spain.
Stefan said he thought the competition was tight,
especially in the secondary school category.
"My category was tight too, but not as tight as
the secondary school s. I was really frightened for
my brother, Sergio.
"The results for primary schools was first. So
when the results (for secondary) was coming I was
like, please, please, please, please. And when he
came second, I was like, oh gosh, right. I thought
that the competition was a really good competi-
tion...really good entertainment," he said, confi-
David, runner-up in the secondary class, followed
the theme of Camejo and declared this year s pro-
duction of NSSM as "really nice."
"I really enjoyed it. It just shows the talent we
have in the Schools Soca Monarch. I think we can
stand up together as youths and squeeze out those
older guys in a couple years."
Peter Scoon, chairman of CPF, intervened, smil-
ing, and said: "Not squeeze out, join them. Don t
squeeze them out."
Guests erupted in peals of laughter.
Up next was the elder Camejo (Sergio) who
appealed to masters of ceremonies to ease up on
the suspense they create when calling competition
results. He told the audience he did not believe his
heart could have dealt with the drama associated
with the process.
Camejo called on the organisers to increase the
number of rehearsals with the band contracted to
provide musical accompaniment with the deliberate
aim of enhancing the presentations.
"But the musical content of this competition,
this year was beautiful. People had a lot of (good)
lyrical content and the music was amazing. I have
to commend you all for that," he said.
Scoon, in delivering the feature address, expressed
his frustration over the absence of Education Min-
ister Anthony Garcia from the distribution of prizes
to competitors in this year s event.
"The Minister, Anthony Garcia cannot make it.
He s actually tied up in a meeting at the university.
He sends his...I m very disappointed anyway,
because it seems like this is happening over and
over; that the children, the most important part
of the country, and the industry are being ignored.
"There is no other representative here from the
Ministry of Education, unfortunately, but let s trod
on because we have a very important bunch of
youths in front of us who are taking soca to the
next level in T&T."
He went on to express gratitude to the education
ministry, however, for the state agency s financial
contribution, hoping that the minister was seeing
the value of the competition to the society at large.
Citing the quality of the competition and texture
of the content, the CPF official hinted at plans to
streamline the development of the nation s artistes
over the next 15 years, in the interim, starting by
the middle of the year and with new investment
from the State.
"Soca is the number one export product in the
entertainment industry. We will also like to use
Young artistes show off talent
this as a tool to keep the children off the streets
and to give others a career path.
"NSSM started as a National Schools Soca
Monarch, but we intend next year to drop the (word)
schools totally and make it the National Junior Soca
Monarch, because there are a lot of young people
who are not part of the school system who want
to get involved also; who are very talented and
come from a lot of depressed areas.
"We would really like to help to get them off the
streets," said Scoon.
Not 'schools,' but junior soca monarch in 2017
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