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Aug 6, 2013

National Song Competition set for this Saturday

Joseph Stamp Romero

The bramming and jamming of the September celebrations are less than a month away, but this weekend the National Institute of Culture and History will be putting off what is dubbed its single biggest event for the September celebration season….It’s the national song competition 2013. Some nineteen artists will compete in segments such as the Belize song formally known as the patriotic song and the carnival song competitions. And this year newcomers and returning competitors are expected to up the ante as they will all have to perform their original pieces on stage for the audience and the judges. This year, a new element introduced was that the participants all got training from Barbadian vocalist Kelly Cadogan, who assisted them with vocal technique and stage performance training. Coordinator for the Competition is Joseph Stamp Romero of the Institute of Creative Arts.


Joseph Stamp Romero, Coordinator, National Song Competition

“We have nineteen contestants in the competition—ten in the Belize song, the carnival song which has six competitors and we have the junior competitors who are part of the patriotic category. So we have a great lineup of nineteen very enthusiastic participants this year. Their songs really tell that story and the audience is going to get that feeling that they are really prepared for this competition. “


Duane Moody

“Tell us about the criteria for the competition?”


Joseph Stamp Romero

“We look at the Belize song. One of the things is that it has to evoke patriotism; it has to say something about Belize on a cultural aspect; it has to have that statement that we are unified as a country. When you look at the carnival of course, it is all that jump up and bram, but of course stage performance is a huge thing. What we’ve seen though is the interest in the juniors…the process that the juniors are going through and how they are excited to be a part of the competition. You can see that there is continuity once you see that age group actually wanting to be in the competition and wanting to put their songs on stage. You can tell that there is growth. And also the different names you are going to see on that night on the stage. These are people who you’ve seen on different shows in different places, but perhaps never in the song competition. That tells you that more people are gaining interests.”


Duane Moody

“Was it opened to amateurs as well as professionals?”


Joseph Stamp Romero

“It was and the juniors really speak to an engagement of getting new people in the competition. And bringing Miss Cadogan in gives that chance to people who are new to singing; gives them that opportunity to actually win the competition. So it is definitely opened to people who are considered professionals and those considered as amateurs. What you are going to see, you are going to see the newbies face off against those who consider themselves the professionals…or dare I say those who take a claim on the stage. You are going to see Sharon Martinez, you are gonna see Ernestine, but you’re gonna see people from the district who will come and say hey we have a carnival song that is really good as well. So you are going to see something you might call the old versus the new. And that’s gonna be exciting to watch.”


Duane Moody

“Any chance that this year around, we will see infusion of different cultures within the performances?”


Joseph Stamp Romero

“Definitely Duane, if you listen to the radio right now, you can hear some of the songs. They have definitely infused Belizean culture into their music. These artists were really smart about how they composed these songs.”


The winners will get six thousand dollars cash as well as an airline ticket to a festival identified by ICA, a video production of their song and trophies.


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