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South crowns mom, son Carnival Queen, King

By STACY MOORE Friday, February 28 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Sweet victory: Marlon Rampersad in his portrayal 'Sweet Soca, Chutney' won the King of the Bands competition at the Pre-Dimanche Gras, Skinner Park, S...
Sweet victory: Marlon Rampersad in his portrayal 'Sweet Soca, Chutney' won the King of the Bands competition at the Pre-Dimanche Gras, Skinner Park, S...

A PRINCES Town mother, her son, an attorney and a soca artiste emerged as winners at the Pre-Dimanche Gras show at Skinner Park, San Fernando early yesterday morning.

Copping the titles were Gloria Dallsingh, Queen of the Bands, her son, Marlon Rampersad, King of the Bands, both representing Ivan Kalicharan’s band “Beats”. Attorney Rondell Donawa retained his crown as the South Calypso Monarch while Wayne “Impulse” Modeste was crowned the South Soca Monarch, the latter being a new feature to the show.

The Pre-Dimanche Gras show, a curtain raiser to the National Calypso Monarch and King and Queen of Carnival finals, was presented by the San Fernando Carnival Committee.

The show began at about 8 pm on Wednesday and ended early yesterday morning.

Dallsingh, 67, was the seventh finalist in the Queen competition to cross the stage, portraying “We Beat Pan Music” in the creative tropical category. A steelpan interlude played as Dallsingh, who designed her costume, appeared in bright red and dazzling gold, with images of the national instrument. At the top of the 18-foot costume were two images of women playing the steelpan.

After her victory, Dallsingh told Newsday she began designing the costume last August. “I am the designer, decorator and my son (Rampersad) is my wire bender,” she said. Dallsingh, a veteran for 30 years, said this is her last year as queen.

“I have been doing this for a long time but I wanted the day to come where I would share the stage with my son and it finally came through. I feel so happy,” she said. Dallsingh is also a finalist in tonight’s national Queen of Carnival competition at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of Spain. In second place, was Denehsa Jennings, also a national finalist, portraying “Indeera (Mother India)”. Third place went to Laura Rampersad, another finalist in tonight’s competition, with “African Drum Dancer” also from Kalicharan’s band.

Rampersad, 33, was the ninth competitor in the King of Bands category. Depicting “Sweet Soca and Chutney”, red, gold and royal blue were creatively used throughout the costume.

The red and gold represented veteran soca bard, the Baron (Timothy Watkins) while the blue and gold represented chutney king Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal).

Rampersad told Newsday he dreamed of the day he and his mother would hold the King and Queen titles. “It finally came to a reality and I would always remember this day.

She is my queen,” he said. Rampersad and his mother hail from the village of Cleghorn in Princes Town.

Second place went to Lionel Jagessar Jr with his portrayal of “So-So-Dowa, God of the Hunt and Protector of the Natives” in the Fancy Indian category. Zinool Mohammad was placed third

with “Madiba (The Heart of a Warrior)”.

In the South Calypso Monarch, Donawa claimed his victory over eight competitors, singing, “Yes we Can”.

The attorney and councillor received a resounding applause from patrons who raised their hands echoing the chorus, “Yes we Can”. Donawa advised youths to turn away from a life of crime. “I am speaking to the youths of the nation. You can do it. There is hope for you in this blessed land,” Donawa sang.

“There are opportunities from sports, culture and academics...Yes you can...put down the guns and knives.”

In an interview, Donawa said he composed the song with veteran calypsonian Winston Henry (Explainer). Donawa said he used his success as an attorney and councillor to send a message to young persons.

“It is not just about bacchanal and politics, it is reaching the youths and getting out there and giving a message,” Donawa said. In 2013, Donawa won the competition with “My Vision”.

Victoria Cooper, another crowd favourite, delivered a strong performance of “Political Love Affair” earning her second place. She is a finalist in the national Calypso Monarch competition, however Donawa did not make it past the semis. Joanne Foster placed third with “Brand New Audience”.

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