Amala's View

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tent may experiment with A Capella

The invitations said Dress:Formal, so all of us got prepared for a glitzy affair. Ambassadors Calypso Tent was having its awards night for the 25th year of existence. The awards were aplenty, some strange but aplenty nonetheless. The prizes were fabulous - trips, dinners, weekends at resorts, jewellery, scotches in all colours, plaques, mugs and keyrings.
Awards were given to calypsonians who had gone to the semi-finals consistently, those who started the tent, longest serving female member of the tent, first female tent leader, longest serving executive member, sponsors.
An award was given to a tent pinez because if he is absent the atmosphere is not the same. (For the foreigners the tent pinez, in simple terms are the hecklers in the front, they add colour.) I remember the same first female tent leader made moves to have the tent pinez banned, how ironic!
The emcee from Trinidad was awarded, the stage manager, the set designer, so too was a writer who has written 150 songs for members of the tent.
What puzzled me though was how omitting the band from the awards could be considered an 'oversight'! It doesn't matter if it was the Chairman looking at it, it CANNOT be an oversight. An oversight is when you omit a small detail. The band is an integral part of the tent, not just on the nights when the public show up. The band puts in hours of rehearsals and works tirelessly to ensure that the calypsonian is comfortable and sounds good. Music is clearly not important, when they honoured all the people, not even an arranger was mentioned! Who arranged the 150 songs that Zepherin 'Face' Calixte wrote? Who played them?
Let me state categorically that what is important is the public acknowledgement when people do well. The prize they are given is oft irrelevant once they they get to stand in front of their peers and those whom they have served and have that relationship of confidence reinforced and told thank you.
I think for the next season, the tent may be forced to see how the sponsors, the patrons and all the awardees like the unaccompanied voices of the calypsonians!
If I were in Ambassadors, I would have awarded Jany Williams posthumously for being the first (and still the only) female in Ambassadors to win the Calypso Crown. I would have awarded Morgie for consistently singing controversial political commentary that brings the patrons out. I would have awarded TC Brown for putting a new spin on the music. I would have thanked the CDF for being a strong tower when the St Lucia Calypso Association went bankrupt and the major shows were in jeopardy!
The problem is the fact that I think! That's why I am not in Ambassadors.



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