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St. Omer And Tanner – King And Queen Of The Bands

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By Tony Nicholas

Experience as well as a history of bringing home the titles, favored the winners of both the King of the Bands and Queen of the Bands titles, at the annual King and Queen of the Bands Competition. The event was held at the Sab, Vigie, on the night of Monday July 8.

A fair sized crowd did not allow the intermittent showers to be a deterrent and showed up for the free event.

On the night, ten costumes were showcased in the Queen of the bands segment and five in the Kings.

In the end, Sharon Tanner who has won the title of Queen of the Bands on several occasions did it again on Monday for Tribe of Twel. She portrayed “Sisters in the stream- rituals of faith and fellowship.”

Tanner expressed elation and was thankful for the platform the event provided.

“This is the one stage where we get to make a statement of our creativity and the fact that the band itself still makes costumes from scratch,” Tanner told St. Lucia Times. She added that the excitement and passion gives her the drive to continue to participate and connect with people who love the art form.

The third runner up was Rosemary Harris representing Fuzion Mas, second runner up – Mai Sifflet of Xuvo and first runner up Kim Desir of Tribe of Twel.

For the king of the bands segment six costumes were on show representing Expressions Carnival band, Tribe of Twel, Royalites, Island Tribe, Fuzion Mas and Xuvo.

Veteran mas designer Giovani St. Omer representing Fuzion Mas won the King of the Bands Title. St. Omer had also designed the Queen of the Band portrayals for Fuzion Mas.

He expressed mixed emotions after his victory was announced.

“While I still love doing this I would love to see more young people get involved and I am not happy that we have not been able to attract more young people to the art-form,” he lamented. “If persons like myself, Adrian Augier and a few others bow out now, what is going to happen?” He asked.

St. Omer believes that the absence of mas camps where the bands were making their own costumes locally in the past, was affecting not just the interest, but also the attendance at the event. He was grateful however, that the organizers still saw the relevance of keeping the event as one of the traditional and cultural aspects of Saint Lucia’s Carnival.

The third runner up in the Kings was Cedric Laurent representing Island Tribe’s portrayal of “Leave the World Behind.” In second place was Lamar Sifflet from Xuvo portraying “Predator,” first runner up – Jordan Augier of Tribe of Twel with “Exodus 14.”

St. Omer’s King of Dragons: protector of the reams was a crowd favourite from the moment the costume appeared on the stage.

Monday’s event ended with a jam session by DYP and a number of Saint Lucian artistes.

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