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National Song Competition makes its way to Dangriga Print E-mail
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Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

September isn’t September in Belize without national songs, old and new, and this year’s songs were debuted at the National Song Competition. Performers, judges, and spectators made their way down to the culture capital of Belize to witness the event. It took place on Friday, August 25, 2017 where both established and budding artists showcased their performances.

A total of 26 artists participated in the event where they would vie for one of several categorical wins. There were junior and senior winners in both the Belizean/Patriotic Song category as well as Carnival Song. In the competition there were also Breakout artists and People’s choices within the Belizean and Carnival Song categories.

According to Neil Hall, Communications Director at the National Institute for Culture and History, besides originality, the judges’ scores were also based on music, stage presence, and lyrics. Several artists were successful in their attempts to go home with some sort of recognition.

Cynthia Najarro won first place as a junior in the Belizean Song category with her song “Heart to Belize” while Garif Junior and Jamir Valentine placed second with “We are Belizean”. The duo between Denise Castillo and Alexander Evans placed first as seniors with their piece “Umoja” (Unity) and second place was awarded to Jeanie Brooks and Gafaar Rodriguez who performed “Only in Belize.” Shanya Garnett placed as Breakout Artist with her song “Unconditionally” while Brandon Flores won People’s Choice for his song “We are Belizeans”.

The Breakout artist in the Carnival song category for 2017 was Tyrel Pinks who performed “Punta Carnival.” “Feel It” performed by Leslie ‘Bastic’ Jenkins won for People’s choice while second place was won by Wilson Grinage for his song “Carnival Link.” Ernestine Carballo won this year’s Carnival category with her song “On the Road Again.”