Huge Pass Mark for Vincy Mas 2K19
Vincy Mas, billed the Hottest in the Caribbean has come and gone. The second test for chairman Ricky Adams’ tenure which largely has been quite successful; he and the Carnival Development Corporation he heads can feel vindicated. Are there criticisms of their work? Certainly. There would always be.
Vincy Mas 2019 was launched early with a media event which gave early impetus to what was to come. The Mas bands, as per custom, had been announcing their respective production launches quite early. They have largely got the message that this competition for dancing revellers must be done with earnest. The result was an increase in the number of revellers on the streets from the 14 bands. The quality in terms of design, colour and textures seemed great. The designers of the female costumes stood out for pulling off displays more of the anatomy than of material covering same.
Musically, this cannot be said to have been one of our greatest years. This was just not a standout edition. The Soca and Ragga Soca productions were sub par with a staggering proliferation of rum themed songs which stood out. But the results vindicated the better among the productions and resulted in Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh copping his first Road March title with his Lehgo Ting, not without controversy.
The charismatic Hance John must be proud of his Ragga Soca win with a beautiful ditty ‘Uptown Party’.
But it was a breakout year for the 21-year-old Magikal powering home with a Fireman styled song and performance to take the Soca Monarch competition. Bodes well for the future.
Kaiso, Kaiso! The tents do need to hit the ground running much earlier and can follow the lead of the Upstage Xperience by performing in the rural communities before hitting the city. We propose that they consider doing this with smaller casts and a core backing band while alternating performers. That way you test the ground while exposing more of your material.
The perennial criticism of the judges’ choices will never go away because judges are only human and it is all so subjective. Some calypsonians even suggest a conspiracy to keep certain artistes from winning. Far fetched at best, and this could turn off would be judges from volunteering for this difficult labour of love. But without doubt, it was an improved year at the tents and through to the semis. That until the big ask of performing two songs at finals showed up the perennial weakness and renewed calls for just one song at the finals.
Shaunelle McKenzie finally got her reward, winning the monarchy after her 26-year labour in the trenches.
The greatest winner this year was the steelband movement. Both the junior and senior competitions produced superb quality performances which signal a maturing of the work of our arrangers and tuners. Tonal quality was good and so were the arrangements. It reinforces the clarion calls for deepening the teaching of Pan within the schools and for formalizing the employment of the more skilled amongst the fraternity as part of this programme.
The numbers flying into Argyle International Airport for the festival would make interesting reading but our tourism figures must have registered in the positive.
We had a great festival and can only get better. The posters advertising next year’s Vincy Mas are already online. Way to go!!!