top brass: Directors of the Mas Academy Valentine Jerry and Patrick Roberts. -Photo: Gary cardinez
The Mas Academy, an institution run by the National Carnival Bands Association, (NCBA) will begin training in Costume Design, Costume Building, Adjudication, Management and Carnival Band Production on November 16.
The institution, which was launched on July 24, 2009, will carry out classes at its Main Campus at 40 Cornelio Street, Woodbrook. This was revealed to the media at a session yesterday at the Mas Academy.
Potential band leaders, designers, costume builders, craft teachers and others can sign up for a one-year course in Wire bending, Drawing for Mas, Plastic Technology, Metal Craft Adjudication, Management and the Production of a Carnival Band.
Students will be exposed to some of this country’s top mas producers like Geraldo Vieira and Glendon Morris as course work includes visits to mas camps, workshops and mas factories.
The Ncba and The Mas Academy are working in conjunction with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and upon completion of the courses participants will receive a diploma.
According to director of the Mas Academy, Valentine Jerry, ’We need to certify our people because of the direction Carnival is taking. Today we can find Trinidad style carnival in over 150 countries throughout the world.
’And we as Trinidadians cannot go out there and make mas just so, you have to show that you are qualified to do the work.’
Jerry went on, ’We have to see Carnival as an industry, and it has changed over the years and is now big, big business.
’The benefits of the training given at the Mas Academy will enhance the quality of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival at home and abroad. Carnival artists would have an opportunity to improve their skills through formal training.
’And it will also build a reservoir of professional mas makers here at home.’
Another director, Patrick Roberts, said, ’The Mas Academy was four years in the making and we are glad it is finally here. We in Trinidad have to close the gap on the rest of the world and forge ahead.
’Certification is the way to go because it is no longer easy to go to Europe or other countries around the world and feel you could make the mas. There are rules and regulations guiding the industry now.’
The Mas Academy is here to make sure Trinidad and Tobago remains the Mecca of Mas and Carnival and that’s the reason for the training of Carnival artists.