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50 YEARS OF THE BAND OF THE YEAR COMPETITION, 1963 – 2013

THE LINE- UP 2013

T

he year 2013 will record the fiftieth winner of the Band of the Year title which was first awarded in1963 when the Bridge Boys led by Roy Austin defeated all comers with the presentation A Portrait of Ancient Egypt. It is not remembered just how much prize money Bridge Boys received for this first ever victory, but the winner of Band of the Year title for 2013 will take home Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) Dollars.

streets of Kingstown. Between 1963 and 1971 these bands continued the tradition of categorisation in six areas namely: Historical, Fancy(Fantasy), Original, Indian and African, Navel and Military and Advertising. In earlier times, historical presentations were dominant but, fancy presentations would have outscored all other categories. Indeed, only historical, fancy and original presentations have won the band of the year title. Indian and African, Navel and Military and Advertising presentations were never able to score a band of the year victory. LONGIVITY – A FEATURE OF COSTUME BANDS Bridge Boys lasted from 1958 until 1972. Samo’s band was around for a decade or so Fuzzy played mas from 1963 until 1977. Scully took over from Samo in1966 and remain on the scene until 1973 returning for about four years in the early 1980’s this time teaming up with the Associates.

These are the 2013 contenders: Blondie Bird and Friends are the defending title holders and is seeking a beaver trick of wins. Because of the eruption of La Soufriere Valcano in 1979 there was no official Carnival Celebrations, hence, the fiftieth award this year 2013. FROM BRIDGE BOYS TO BLONDIE BIRD Over the years there has been a total of twelve costume bands who were in winners row. The first winners were the Bridge Boys in 1963 and last year’s winning band was Blondie Bird and Friend led by Elroy Boyde.. In between the other winners were Winston ‘Samo’ Samuel, Selwyn ‘Fuzzy’ Knights, Lennox ‘Scully’ Hunte, Dragons Cultural Organisation led first by the legendary Roy ‘Dragon’ Ralph and since 1998 by Elliot ‘Prince’ Telesford, Bad Lads and Lasses whose sole band leader was Edison ‘Sheggie’ John, Avis Yorke, Mirage Productions under the leadership of Lennox ‘Becks’ Gonsalves, Lennox ‘Dinks’ Johnson’s Wizards Mas Camp, Nelson Bloc, whose first band leader was Adonis ‘Goat’ Hector and whose current head is Alvern ‘Alli’ Cadogan, SVG Players International with Technical Director – band leader Julian ‘Pillin’ Pollard and Elroy ‘Blondie Bird’ Boyde Blondie Bird and Friends. During this period there may well have been over one hundred costume bands who participated in the passing parade of the bands at Victoria Park and through the

Dragons Cultural organization is nearing fifty years and will achieve that memorable milestone in 2015. Bad Lads and Lasses achieved twenty years in the field of mas ranging from 1974-1993. Mirage Productions is twenty seven years old but, Becks Gonsalves have spent his lifetime in mas first as an individual masquerader before the age of two, and since 1986 as a full fledged band leader. Becks was a co-band leader in1977. Wizards sojourn in mas lasted for twenty five years. Nelson Bloc is this year celebrating thirty years in the business while SVG Players is thirteen years old. Blondie Bird and Friends started on the road to victory in1995. In the fields of sport and culture, the masquerade bands have been noted for longevity. Below is a summary of the Band of the Year Winners and number of Wins:

Major victors over these years have been Dragons, Nelson Bloc, Bad Lads and lasses, Wizards and SVG Players. Dragons Nelson Bloc, SVG Players and Blondie Bird and Friends all have the opportunity to increase their number of victories at this the highest level.

Band of the year magazine2  

This ia a historical document of St.Vincent and the Grenadnes biggest Cultural Festival called Carnival,which is held annually in June/July,...

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