SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Friday announced that the Junior Calypso revitalization project, the brainchild of Ruminni “The Protégé” Rogers, will get underway at the start of the new school year.
Rogers, a former Junior Calypso King and three-time Senior Calypso Monarch, approached the SCDF about his project in 2018 seeking the foundation’s support in getting it off the ground. The SCDF wasted little time in giving its support along Nagico, the main sponsor of Calypso during Carnival for years.
Rogers and representatives of the SCDF met with Nagico on Friday to layout the plans for the project. Several senior Calypsonians as well as composers and musicians will be approached to be involved in the project. A meeting will also be held with the various school boards and with government to outline how vital the cooperation of all will be.
Schools will be asked to devote some focus to Calypso and its history during music classes in the second term. Real life experiences will be passed on to the students by various Calypsonians who want to give back to the students and develop a new generation of Calypso singers.
With the cooperation of the schools, each would identify a Junior Calypso Singer and song by January 2020. These students will then be the competitors in the Junior Calypso Interscholastic Competition targeted to be held during Carnival 2020 if all goes according to plan. Nagico has committed to giving a winning prize to the winning school.
President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said: “I would hereby like to encourage the Council of Ministers, Parliament, the business community of St. Maarten, school boards, teachers and parents to support the project however they can, we cannot afford to let Calypso die and not be passed on to the next generation. It is part of our intangible cultural heritage as St. Maarteners and Caribbean people.”