Watch ArrowFest 2010 Live Online

Silk performing at the Calypso Semi-Finals.

BRADES, Montserrat – Calypso Finals, both the queen and teen pageants and the highly anticipated show with Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood and the new University of Soca will be some of the events to be streamed for Montserrat’s ArrowFest 2010.

According to Director of Information & Communications Nerissa Golden, the Office of the Chief Minister has sponsored the streaming of festival on, live from the Montserrat Cultural Centre. This service is provided through the Department of Information Technology and eGovernment Services (DITES) in collaboration with several private entities. Continue reading

‘The Arrow Poems and Saturday Soup’ launched at Sir Howard Fergus Scholarship Dinner

Zenique Leonard, Jaynelle Buffong, Shaunna Farley, Delmeza Riley, Dr. Howard Fergus, Danielle Bretton, Robekah Lindsey and Shemoya Cabey at the 9th Annual Sir Howard Fergus Scholarship Fund Dinner & Cabaret at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. (Photo by Nerissa Golden-GIU)

BRADES, Montserrat – The Soca King of the World, Arrow is captured in the latest book by Sir Howard Fergus “The Arrow Poems and Saturday Soup,” which was launched at the annual Sir Howard Fergus Scholarship Dinner & Cabaret on Saturday evening.

This is the ninth year that the fundraising dinner, which was created by the Montserrat Festival Committee (MonFest), is being held during the annual cultural celebrations now called ArrowFest. Throughout the evening there were amazing performances by Tiffanie Skerritt, Dance Excell, Mildred Chalmers, Kevin Barnes, jazz with Atsumi –McCleod and Co. and a powerful acoustic finale with rising star Vejon.

The evening was hosted by Professor Fergus’ daughter Dr. Coretta Fergus. Other members of the author’s family, Minister of Education Colin Riley, Deputy Governor Sarita Francis and the seven contestants in the MonFest Queen Pageant were also in attendance.

Cover of the latest project by Dr. Howard Fergus "The Arrow Poems and Saturday Soup".

“The Arrow Poems and Saturday Soup” covers a range of themes in the 37 poems inside, says the author, including a tongue in cheek look at the Montserrat’s work to get a new Constitution Order.

Sir Howard Fergus read “It Was a Miracle” which describes the day of Arrow’s funeral and the deluge of rain that gave way to a clear afternoon to honor the King of Soca. He also read “Saturday Soup” which he says was unlike the first course served during the gala event but rather a full course meal. The poem is a lighthearted look at soup Caribbean style, where all meats exist equally in a “democratic pot.”

Dr. Fergus has written and edited over 14 books, including several on Montserrat’s history and society. In 1992 he was the winner of The Caribbean Writer Poetry Prize and won the David Hough Literary Prize for an author residing in the Caribbean 2002.

Top Nine Calypsonians selected at Friday’s semi-finals

Bimsha will be competing in the ArrowFest 2010 Calypso Finals on Dec 30 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. (Photo by Nerissa Golden – GIU)

BRADES, Montserrat – The calypso competition is heating up now that the final nine have been selected to vie for the calypso monarch title now held by Sylvina “Candie” Malone.

On Friday evening, 15 contestants sang in two rounds before a packed house at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. The calypso semi-finals followed a short opening ceremony for ArrowFest 2010 which runs until January 1, 2011.

The 15 competitors who included four women were: William “Black Jaguar” Sweeney, Maudell “Vejon” Weekes, Davon “Rakatang” Williams, “Maxine” Lee, Roseanna “Lady Here I Come” Weekes, Herman “Cupid” Francis, Neilson “Tiger” Duberry, Lloyd “Bimsha” Francis, Garnette “Silk” Thompson, Denny “Jack Sprat” Bramble, “Maggie” Destouche, Vicky “Storm” Locker, Franklyn “Fyah” Hixon, Jester “Iceman” Weekes and Kelvin “Tabu” Duberry.

Storm is the only female in the final nine which will be taking on Sylvina “Candie” Malone for the Calypso Monarch crown. (Photo by Nerissa Golden – GIU)

The final nine selected are: Tabu, Tiger, Bimsha, Black Jaguar, Cupid, Rakatang, Silk, Vejon and Storm. Vicky ‘Storm’ Locker is the only female who made it into the final nine. They will face the defending monarch Candie in the finals on December 30th.

Black Jaguar Performing during the ArrowFest 2010 Calypso Semi-Finals last Friday. (Photo by Nerissa Golden – GIU)

Herman Sargeant, Manager of ZJB Radio Montserrat and one of Friday evening’s commentators said he was “very impressed with all the calypsos this year. The performances on Friday night indicated to me that the calypsonians have put in a lot of hard work and effort into their product. The competition was keenly contested and that augers well for the future of the calypso monarch competition and for the art form in general.”

Sargeant said he is impressed with the newcomers to the competition Black Jaguar, Vejon, Tiger and Maggie D even though she did not make it into the final nine. “Their emergence this year gives me hope that there is a bright future for calypso here. The topics and depths, to which they delved into the issues, reflect a serious consciousness by calypsonians for the social development of Montserrat.”

Silk is also made it into the ArrowFest 2010 Calypso Finals. (Photo by Nerissa Golden – GIU)

The calypso eliminations, semi-finals, and finals are organized by the Montserrat Festival Committee (MonFest) and sponsored by the Office of the Chief Minister and platinum sponsor LIME.

The finals can be heard and viewed live on December 30th on

See backstage interviews and highlights from Friday’s Calypso Semi-Finals here…


Soca Artist Scrappy Retires from MonFest competitions

International Soca Artist from Montserrat Scrappy.

BRADES, Montserrat – One popular name on Montserrat’s Soca stage will be missing from this year’s competition. Scrappy, now an international Soca artist living in the UK announced on Sunday, he will not be competing in this year’s Soca Monarch competition and is retiring from competitions all together.

Garvin “Scrappy” Johnson who is known for his hits “Always Home”, “Carnival SOS”, “Carnival Day” and this seasons big tune “Last Lap” says he plans to focus on building his career as an entertainer with more performances internationally and releasing new albums.

“I just want to take this time to say to everyone who supported me over the years a massive thank you for the support and love,” Scrappy posted on his Facebook page. “I have finally made a decision to retire from all local Calypso and Soca competitions in Montserrat. 2009 was my last year competing. I will be performing and releasing albums but as far as competing again that will be a no.”

Fans on his Facebook page are urging him to reconsider and believe his latest tune “Last Lap” has the potential to take the Road March top position but Scrappy says he’s taken it as far as he can go and wants to put his energy into creating bigger and better tunes for his fans to enjoy.

Scrappy has competed four times in the annual Soca competitions on island which are part of the Montserrat Festival calendar. He won the crown in 2005. He has four albums released and plans to have his latest project called S.O.C.A – Soul Of Caribbean Artform out in Summer 2011.