The Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts has hosted the National Secondary Schools Soca Monarch Competition since its inception in 1999. Widely acknowledged as the elite youth Carnival event, it is held on “Awesome Friday” each year, giving the nation’s youth their platform for expression during our celebrated cultural festival.
The competition has developed a proud reputation and has been a spawning ground for many top
Soca artistes such as:
- Patrice Roberts – A National Schools Soca Monarch Competitor who is now a frontline member of Machel Montano’s HD camp and widely regarded as a premier female soca voice in the Caribbean.
- Shivonne “Lil Bits” Churche – A young lady who has moved from obscurity to become a household name in Soca, Shivonne consistently churns out hits that move the people each year.
- Erphaan Alves – Recognized as “Trinidad’s New Soca Prodigy” by MTV in 2002, Erphaan has shown significant growth since his competing days, going on to achieve an MTV IGGY Award.
- Orlando Octave – After capturing the National Schools Soca Monarch title multiple times, Orlando has enjoyed a successful international music career. Currently signed to a Canadian Based record label, he has been releasing hit songs and collaborating with both regional and international artistes.
- Kimba Sorzano – Hailed as one of the sweetest voices in soca today, Kimba has not disappointed season after season. He is now one of the leaders in the Groovy Soca marketplace.
The project embraces more than just the competition aspect as we have over the years, with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, introduced training workshops and seminars for both teachers and students covering the following:
- Developing the elements associated with the soca art form, stage presentations, vocal skills and related skills such as support singers as the competition progresses.
- Encouraging the aspiration of students who wish to assist in choreography, Master of Ceremonies, stage and decor design, event management and production management.
There are three groups of students that are being targeted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Students who are interested in:
• The soca art form.
• Developing their skills as lead and support singers through progression in the competition.
• Developing their skills as assistants to choreographers, Master of Ceremonies, assistants to stage and decor designers, assistants to event managers and assistants to production managers.
For the 2015 season this presentation is targeted specifically to Secondary schools students, and is intended to be the jump-off point for the NEXT cast of mega Soca Stars.
Workshops and Seminars
The training and development element of the NSSSM has existed since the start of the competition.
However, the intention is to greatly enhance this part of the project moving into 2015.
The advancement of the music of the last few years (especially within the last year) has opened the door for a more advanced approach to the Workshops / Seminars, the following is therefore proposed:
- The Workshops/ Seminars will be targeted to Secondary School students , their teachers and parents
- A large part of these sessions will allow students to get an opportunity to meet and interact directly with established Soca artistes and hear their messages
- Students are exposed to the possibilities of a career in entertainment, but more importantly to realize that hard work brings results
- Special emphasis will be placed on Stagecraft, Song Writing, Production and Presentation
- These sessions are intended to allow Trinidad and Tobago’s teenagers to increase their selfesteem through living examples of career artistes and the messages they communicate
- This will be a deliberate action to allow the art form to grow and develop
- An all encompassing production that will take participants from the detailed workshops and Seminars to the experience of the recording studio and then to the excitement and energy of the “Awesome Friday” stage