Some of this country’s youngest dancers, musicians, singers, songwriters and composers were recognized this week at the awards ceremony for this year’s ECGC Primary Schools Performing Arts Festival (PRISPAF).
Two promising students, Jefaun Duncan and Seaca John were crowned the Princess and Prince of PRISPAF at the end of the event, which took place at the Methodist Church Hall on Tuesday, July 7.
Jefaun, a student of the Fair Hall Government School also received the award for Best Female vocalist and she demonstrated her talent to those present on Tuesday.
The prince of PRISPAF 2020 also flexed his talent for singing when he took to the stage and performed a catchy dancehall-style piece that he wrote himself.
Seaca, a student of the Paget Farm Government School also received the Most Promising Male award in the senior division.
“I created this programme in 2006 when there was a need to showcase the talents of St Vincent and the Grenadines…we know Vincies are very talented people” Martin Quashie, the coordinator of the festival said.
Quashie, who is the drama development officer in the Department of Culture said this year’s programme was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And as a result, the two grand days, which are usually held at the end of the festival to showcase the best performances from the schools, could not take place.
The festival coordinator urged all primary schools to allow students to participate in PRISPAF in the future.
“If I had my way, all the schools would have been performing and you do not, you do not abuse children and this is a form of abuse when you keep the students from performing their God-given latent skills,” he said. “These are the students we have to nurture for the future. They would be the future performers. Of course we have to emphasize the academics…but their latent skills need to be exposed.”
Ken Isles, PRISPAF’s chief adjudicator implored parents to encourage and help to nurture their children’s talents.
“Don’t say negative things about their acting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing…because this may be what they excel in. As a parent myself, I know we all delight in the doctors and the lawyers, but each child is exceptional and has much to bring to the table with the right encouragement,” Isles said.
Dexter Bacchus, a representative from the Ministry of Education and Rachel Haslam, ECGC’s marketing officer also delivered brief remarks.
Both Bacchus and Haslam underscored how investment into festivals like PRISPAF can help to nurture the talents of young persons and by extension the cultural and creative industry.
The awards presented at Tuesday’s event included PRISPAF School of the Year and Best Programme, both of which
went to the Tourama Government School.
The Tourama Government School also took home the award for Best Dance (Duet) and this year’s Most Promising Female in the senior division, Jaide Andrews, a student of that school.
The Bequia Anglican Primary School was adjudged Best Prepared School while the Lowmans Leeward Anglican School was awarded Most Disciplined School.
Ennabelle McMaster of the Windsor Primary School received the award for Best Instrumental Solo and student of the Stephanie Browne Government School, Andrew Browne received the Best Male Vocalist award.
The Kingstown Preparatory School took home the award for Best Instrumental Group; the Georgetown Government School received the Best Choir award and the South Rivers Methodist School was adjudged the Best Chorale Speech.
Gabrielle Arrington of the South Rivers Methodist School received the Most Promising Female award in the junior division. Her school was also awarded as having the Best Drama/Skit.
The Most Promising Female in the junior division was Tye Williams of the Spring Village Methodist School.
PRISPAF Baby Female and PRISPAF Baby Male awards went to Akaylee Small and Jaydon Dabreo from the Paget Farm Primary School and Pamelus Burke Primary School respectively.
Six teachers from various primary schools were also honoured at Tuesday’s event for their outstanding dedication to the performing arts festival over the years.
They were Hyacinth Edwards of the Layou Government School, Juanita Adams of the Pamelus Burke Government School, Roslyn Johnny of the South Rivers Methodist School, Ingrid Lavia and Devon Child, both of the Owia Government School and Brian Dabreo of the Colonarie Government School.