Dec. 7, 2006 — Future calypsonians, ages three to 16, will compete this weekend in the 26th annual Junior Calypso competition. The event, produced by calypso singer and songwriter Camille "King Derby" Macedon, is a highlight of the festival season.
Macedon, a teacher at Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School and founder of Calypso Inc., invests his own time into each contestant in the competition. When many of the contestants were asked who helped them with their songs, Macedon's name was mentioned frequently.
Shrugging nonchalantly, Macedon attributed his avid involvement in the contestants and their music to the fact that he teaches banjo and calypso at the schools.
With the Express Band playing behind them, the young calypsonians had a dress rehearsal Wednesday at Island Center for the Performing Arts, where they will be competing this Sunday.
Last year's winner, 17-year-old Jose Navarro, was thankful to Macedon for giving him the chance to express his talents on stage. Navarro said he loved the competition because "it's fun and you get to see how you can use music differently."
Navarro said singing makes him feel important, and because of his two consecutive wins, he has been singing at different venues around the territory. He said he would continue singing and being a positive influence because, he said, "I like when people look up to me."
This will be the seventh junior calypso competition for 15 year-old Trevon Nelson, who, prior to Navarro's two wins, had won the competition four years running.
This year Nelson is planning something special for the competition. The young crooner wrote his own song entitled "What Would You Do?" He explained the song asks listeners what they would do if they were in someone else's position teaching listeners tolerance for others.
The junior calypsonians will have you swaying to their beats, pondering their lyrics and enjoying their stage shows at Island Center for the Performing Arts this Sunday. The competition begins at 4 p.m.
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