In what was a spectacular closing to the major Carnival activities at the Shaw Park Complex, stellar performances dominated the THA Tobago Calypso Monarch Competition 2015, which came off recently.

With powerful renditions from the calypsonians, which struck serious chords in the hearts of the audience at times and had them on their feet at intervals, the results were very well received.

Nicole Thomas, with her heart-wrenching story ‘Drums of Hope,’ successfully dethroned Fya Empress. In 2nd Place was Lady Baynes, singing ‘Sister/Sister,’ while Fya Empress, singing ‘Hold on T&T’ and Punchin, with his ‘Bullying Phenomenon,’ placed 3rd and 4th respectively.

At start of proceedings, however, Ainsley King, Chairman of Trinbago Unified Calypso Organization, T.U.C.O. Tobago Region, welcomed all to experience what he described as an historical evening.

“Throughout the past weeks, we have been experiencing a breeze that separates sense from nonsense and we are fortunate in Tobago to be experiencing a lot of success, for what can be declared as a great season for Calypso.” King exclaimed.

He spoke glowingly of the 2014 Calypso Monarch Fya Empress, whom he said carried the title with exceptional class and has marketed the Tobago Calypso Monarch Competition, through social media, to places as far as Europe and Canada.

King thanked the people for their support, warning that “the judges would have a difficult task, as the standard of Calypso is very high. Long live Calypso,” he stressed. As she welcomed all to the ‘Capital of Paradise,’ Culture Secretary Tsoiafatt-Angus, pointed to the closing of the Carnival City at Shaw Park Complex for 2015, in preparation for reveling in the streets, over the weekend into Monday and Tuesday.

“Having hosted well over 5000 persons in this space so far, means we can celebrate the overall success of using and testing the capacity of the Shaw Park Complex”. She thanked the Shaw Park Committee for their collaboration in returning Carnival to its home, in 2k15, the Stakeholders namely Pan Trinbago, T.U.C.O, National Carnival Bandleaders Association and Tobago Carnival Bandleaders Association, for their willingness to surmount the challenges and be a part of the solution in the staging of the events.

Thanks were also extended to the Tobago Festivals Commission, the Manager and the hard working Tobago Carnival Committee 2015, for their dedication and flexibility in shaping the experience under new conditions.

Special thanks were also extended to the Artistes, who raised the level and quality of performances, in Pan, Calypso and Mas, both young and experienced, who have broken barriers and contributed to setting new records.

Overcome with pride the Community Development and Culture Secretary provided detailed statistics on all stakeholders, as she proudly advised, “eleven steel-bands qualified for semis and six for finals. Ten calypsonians qualified for Skinner Park and two of these calypsonians had children competing in the National Junior Monarch, with these children Garve Sandy placing 4th and Shé-Ann Cunningham 7th.”

Applauding the feat of accomplishments, Tsoiafatt-Angus stressed, “It says the art form is in safe hands, when you have generational qualifications to compete nationally.” She pointed to the high quality of the calypsoes by the young people at the Junior Calypso Monarch Competition and predicted the adults would deliver no less.

Guest Artistes in the likes of veteran Calypsonians, Explainer, Funny and the Mighty Shadow, provided exceptional entertainment enjoyed by all, as members of the audience were encouraged to sing along, dance and sway to the sweet Calypso melodies.