Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RC mas’ band draws ‘overwhelming’ interest

Wayne Berkeley
(photo from meppublishers)
Roman Catholic organisation, the Word and Associates has received “overwhelming” interest, both nationally and internationally, by people who wish to be part of its 2011 Carnival presentation, Genesis 1 — Creation, according to the band’s chairman, Derek Walcott.
The band, which is sanctioned by the head of the local Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Edward Gilbert, was launched on January 4, and will participate in the Parade of the Bands, on both Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Walcott said the band’s official website, which was launched last week, received over 1,200 hits so far, and the band’s “page” on the social networking site, facebook, has also received a lot of visitors.

“We have been receiving a lot of calls from people in St Lucia, Grenada and Canada wanting to register with the band,” said Walcott.
He said the band is open to a registration of 1,200 members, “for greater manageability, but people are begging us to open up the registration.”

However, Walcott said all sections in the band are still open for anyone interested in registering.
He said costumes were priced between $1,000 and $2,500, and the band will be all-inclusive.

Since the announcement that veteran mas’ man, Wayne Berkeley will be designing the Queen of the Band’s costume, Walcott said “requests have been pouring in to portray the queen.”
Walcott revealed that Canadian, Susan Low, will portray the Queen of the Band: Eve, the eternal light of the Universe. However, someone is yet to be listed to portray the King of the Band, Adam, “as two persons have expressed great interest in the portrayal.”

Walcott admitted that the Word and Associates has received some “negativity” from various members of the public, over producing a Carnival band.
“Many people felt Carnival is evil, and are not pleased that the Church was getting involved in something which is evil. I ask those people, are the panmen, calypsonians and mas designers evil?” asked Walcott. “How can the creative gift, which we received from God be evil,” Walcott added.
When asked what genre of music will accompany the masqueraders, Walcott explained that the band is currently assessing calypsoes and soca music which has “good values” and no “double meanings.”

Walcott said anyone wishing to register with the band will be briefed on the proper “behaviour” expected, as well as no alcoholic drinks will be served.
“As Catholics we have no beef with alcohol, but we are not promoting alcohol in our band. We are coming on a natural high,” he said.

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