Excellent melodies, lyrics and arrangements in many of the approximately 230 entries submitted for the preliminary round of the 2016 International Soca Monarch (ISM) competition meant the adjudicating panel had a tough time yesterday narrowing down the field to a maximum of 60 semi-finalists.
ISM Chief Adjudicator, Josephine Torrel, described the day as being “very challenging because we’ve had so many good entries but the semi-finals is a live show, so you can’t have too many performers.
“We’ve heard some excellent pieces so far, a variety. You know soca has different genres within it; groovy, power, even ragga. We have had some of those, some bordering with R&B flavour and we’ve had some really wonderful melodies and arrangements.
That keeps improving year by year.” Torrel was speaking with Newsday yesterday afternoon during a break from the marathon session of judging at the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) Hospitality Suite, Queen’s Park Oval, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain, Questioned about the criteria for preliminary entries, Torrel said with there no longer being Groovy Soca versus Power Soca categories, the five adjudicators will be judging all entries “on the same level.
(The) audio recordings are judged according to specific criteria — melody, lyrics and arrangement.” The preliminary results are scheduled to be posted to the ISM website tomorrow evening.
Tough decisions will also have to be made in the coming weeks by ISM organiser, Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF), as it seeks to maintain production standards on a reduced budget.
On December 17 last year, Government announced a TT $4.59 million cut in its allocation to the ISM show. This year, organisers will receive $3.5 million whereas they got $8.09 million for the 2015 edition.
Chairman and CEO of CPF, Peter Scoon, told Newsday the organisation “had no issue with the cut, we expected it. The problem we had was with the timing of the announcement in late December when this is a very short Carnival season.” “If we had been told around the time of the national budget (presentation) in early October, we could have made alternative plans but we are already entrenched in planning for the 2016 show. Such a substantial cut will affect the production of both the semis and the finals.” Asked what sort of cuts would be made, Scoon said the first place prize, which had been $2 million for the past four years, will go back down to $1 million.
There will also be a reduction in the size of the technical crew and “less glitz and glamour but we’re hoping to keep the standards right up there.” Regarding the recession, Scoon noted that in the past, people in Trinidad and Tobago have “gravitated more towards sport and entertainment, so if they keep to tradition, then the show will be ok.”
Source: newsday.co.tt :