October 28, 2005
Vincentian Mas band wins in Brooklyn

by Maxwell Haywood

On Saturday 22, Carnival Players, a Vincentian Mas Band based in Brooklyn, New York, celebrated winning the second prize for the Children’s Mas in the popular West Indian Labour Day Carnival this year.

Led by a hard-working team of Vincentians, Carnival Players’ children’s section competed against many other children’s mas bands and almost took the top prize.{{more}}

The children, most of them of Vincentian parentage, displayed their costumes under the theme – “Carnival Is”.

President of Carnival Players mas band, Jasmine Hinds said, “I was very happy. The competitors were good, but we still placed second and it is the first time we are participating in the West Indian Labour Day Carnival in Brooklyn. The response was very good from the people”.

She added that she “loves working with the children, and it is good to make them happy. They are excited about winning.”

Hinds’ view was confirmed by the children. They enjoyed themselves while playing in the band.

Alyssa Cain, a teenager born in the US with Vincentian heritage, said with confidence: “We deserved our victory. We worked hard. We planned to have fun and that was what we did. We tried our best and it got us into second place. Next year we will try harder and we will come first.”

Ten-year-old Fayola Ajamu of Vincentian parentage holds similar impressions. She said: “Our band is a great band and we had a great time. It feels very good to know our band won. I love to play Mas and its part of my culture.”

The parents are equally pleased with the work of Carnival Players and they were supportive of the band. They are also beaming with pride that their children were part of a winning band. Jasmine Cupid, a parent, stated: “The band members worked hard for very long hours. The victory means a lot for the children. It helps them to know their culture and to see the good feelings adults get when they participate in Mas bands.”

Another parent Gen Ajamu stated, “It was the first time the band entered the competition and they were so good they won the second place. I like how the children enjoyed themselves. Their performance this year makes me think that next year will be better.”

Carnival Players Mas band will be organizing activities outside of the carnival season to help in building the organization. It wants to assist in the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. For instance, it is planning to work with the Salvation Army in SVG. According to President Jasmine Hinds: “We want to give back something to the community. They are supporting us so we have to remember them”.

The band is already preparing for next year with the theme – “Beauty Is”.