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Jul 8, 2015

Preliminary Round of National Song Competition 2015

Shari Williams

Musical content, lyrics and stage performance….the first round, to determine the winners of the 2015 National Song Competition, is in full gear. This weekend, in Belize City and Punta Gorda, artists from these municipalities will take the stage to present their songs submitted for the junior and senior categories of the Belize song and carnival song. A record number of entries have been made this year and over ten thousand dollars in cash and trophies as well as the making of a music video are up for grabs. News Five spoke with Communications Officer at the National Institute of Culture and History, Shari Williams, who says the People’s Choice and Breakout Artist awards are being included once again in the National Song Competition.

 

Shari Williams, Communications Officer, NICH

“We are actually doing municipal eliminations. Last year, we were asked by the municipalities to kinda include more of their artists in terms of getting them on stage, getting them prepared. And so this year, we are traveling to all the municipalities. Our first stop is Belize City this Friday night at the B.T.L. Park. We are asking all performing artists to go on stage. The judges will be out there and so we are doing an elimination round to get the best of the best on stage August fourteenth at the Memorial Park. Our next stop Saturday night will be in Punta Gorda. We’ve been getting entries from the folks down there and so we are going to select who will be representing the district at this year’s National Song Competition. We actually did not turn back anybody because we are going to the municipalities. We have a coordinator in each district, who is collecting the songs—both Belize songs and carnival songs. We have been seeing a lot of entries; we are definitely hearing some winning entries so we are very excited about it. Of course there are two categories, the Belize song that calls on a song that talks about patriotism, national pride, celebrating the history and diversity of our Belizean culture. And there is the carnival song which is the more celebration song. We have both a senior and a junior category. So it is going to be pretty exciting. This year, we are reintroducing two new categories that we just introduced last year which is the People’s Choice Award, which is the most popular song. Sometimes we have a song that the people actually love and it is not the song that wins…so it’s the People’s Choice Award. And we are also reintroducing the Breakout Artist of the Year; a new artist who we are seeing for the first time, but who we believe has incredible potential. The National Song Competition, we believe it sets the tone for the September celebrations every year. Besides that, it was also created to give established performers as well as new performers and songwriters an opportunity to display their songs on stage, in a national arena. And so it has been incredible. Regrettably, Nello Player is not competing this year; he has won three times back to back the Belize Song part of it. And so this year, we are bringing him on as kind of a mentor and a judge. So he will not be competing this year so we are definitely going to see a new winner this year.”

 

The municipal elimination round concludes in Dangriga on July twenty-sixth. The finals of the National Song Competition takes place on August fourteenth at the Memorial Park. 

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