Just before the Water Sports activities come to an exciting end, the sound of steelband music begins to pulsate through the air. This is the event that the lovers of steelband music look forward to each year. This is the Steelband Jamboree.
As one approach the Lionel Roberts Stadium, the sweet melodious sounds of the steelpans become louder and louder. Upon entering the stadium, one is amazed by the wave of players and instruments. These musicians range from elementary school students to adults, both male and female. Some are so little that they can hardly be spotted behind the seemingly huge steelpans. Yet they are able to beat out those melodious tunes.
With the steelpan being very popular in the Virgin Islands, this event has participants from public, private and parochial schools, church organizations and adult groups from both St. Thomas and St. John.
Some bands perform on stage, but the larger groups such as the world famous Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, which is comprised of students from different schools, ride on their trolleys which seem to develop a life of their own as the lively musicians have them bouncing to the rhythm of the music.
A variety of musical styles and arrangements are heard throughout the evening as each steelband engages in a mini show to the delight of the avid listeners. By the end of the jamboree, steelpan lovers’ appetites are well satisfied.VI Calypso King Competition Description
If you are interested in local, national and international news, gossip, rumors and innuendos, the place to be is at the VI Calypso King Competition. Up to ten calypsonians compete against the defending champion for the coveted crown of Virgin Islands Calypso King. Upwards of twenty calypsonians compete in elimination Calypso Tents throughout St. Thomas for several weeks leading up to the Calypso King Competition. Elimination Tents such as Sanctum of Wisdom and Fun, and Bwoy ah Bwoy, Big Man ah Big Man are legendary among calypso lovers on St. Thomas. These tents are the venues where the varied performers vie for placement among the 10 finalists. At the competition, the Calypso Monarch is selected and reigns as the calypso champion of Carnival.
At the tents and at the competition, no one is safe from the pointed barbs of the calypsonians. Be you friend or foe, senator or governor, president or king, all are subject to the subtle references of these talented performers. At the final competition, each performer sings two songs, giving them more of a chance to “stick” it to the “deserving” people. It all adds up to a night of frolic and fun. Many local calypso lovers will be there. We hope you will be there as well!Calypso Extravaganza Description
At the much anticipated Calypso Extravaganza, local, regional and international calypsonians join together for one exciting night at the Lionel Roberts Stadium. Musical editorials, current events, historical accounts, dancing pleasure, and amusement are just some of the many topics of the songs composed and rendered by the calypsonians during the Calypso Extravaganza.
Calypso lovers are also treated to a variety of diverse styles of more seasoned calypsonian artists who hail from several different places in the Caribbean. They always perform many crowd favorites that brought them stardom. Additionally, some of the visiting performers are young, upcoming calypsonians in their hometowns who have already captured the coveted title in their respective islands.
This event appeals to a more mature audience. However, regardless of your age or preference, the artists at this event are very entertaining with their wit, humor, lyrics, antics, melodies and overall stage presentations, sometimes even renewing old rivalries. Musical accompaniment is provided by some of the Virgin Islands’ best musicians. This results in one exciting night of enjoyable, traditional calypso music.Brass-O-Rama Description
One night during the Carnival season, the air above the Lionel Roberts Stadium is filled with a special kind of music, a sound that is heard at no other time during the year. It is the night of the Brass-O-Rama, the night where there are no vocals and the “brass” instruments in the bands play the lead role in the performances. Bands containing at least four brass instruments compete for the coveted prize of Brass-O- Rama Champions and a cash prize. For the purpose of this competition, all instruments that are blown are considered to be brass instruments. Therefore woodwind instruments such as saxophones, clarinets, et al, are all considered to be brass instruments.
During their performance, each band must play two tunes; one of their own choosing, and a test tune selected by the Carnival Committee. The bands are judged on the arrangement of the songs, their clarity and other criteria as set forth by the Committee. With each song played by the bands lasting no more than eight minutes, and the bands numbering between six and eight, one might think that this evening might be a short one. But with the crowd numbering in the thousands, and the fans cheering long and loud for their particular favorite, this is a night filled with electricity where the excitement of the evening lasts long after the last performance. You don’t want to miss this one!