Stoute Next Generation has copped the 2019 overall Band of the Year title in Tobago with Kaleidoscope We Colourz.
Their presentation, which highlighted several colours, shapes and patterns that are of significance to Trinbagonians and particularly Tobago, earned them 746 points.
Eldez and Associates’ West lndian Jungle was second while Astra Winchester Creations’ Solar Energy was third.
Bandleader Candice Chang-Sandy said yesterday she was still in shock but was humbled by the win.
She said it was a family effort, as it was their legacy of continued passion for the mas from her mother and mas veteran Gloria Stoute. She said, a lot of thought and hard work went into the concept.
“Honestly, I don’t have a feeling, maybe I’m still in shock, maybe I’m just numb.
Every year we want to win Band of the Year but it never happens, so we have conditioned our minds not to expect anything and maybe the conditioning the mind not to expect anything is why I’m emotionless so to speak, or maybe it hasn’t hit me yet,” she told the T&T Guardian.
Commenting on the reduction of grants and prizes offered to Tobago bandleaders, she said the prize structure should be increased as the cost for associated goods and services continue to rise.
“Plenty of the stuff we still have to get from Trinidad. We still have to fight up with the air and seabridge, that’s an additional cost, there’s no reduction of those things and secondly it was done without any consultation and it has a lot to do with the fact that we have no unified front representing us, so they believe that they can divide and rule.
They also only provided the prize structure the week before Carnival, when people would have already invested, thinking that prizes would remain the same,” Chang-Sandy said.
She also had a varying view about Tobago having a Carnival separate from Trinidad. She said the island has to first determine its niche market in order to strengthen the product.
“Tobago having a second Carnival separate from Trinidad will be welcomed.
However, I am not in agreement with moving the date of Carnival, it makes no sense in my mind, because if there is a national holiday, what will Tobago do when Trinidad is celebrating Carnival,” Chang-Sandy said.
“We have to determine what our niche market is, we have to determine how we measure success and measurement is by no means the number of persons in a Carnival band. Having ten thousand masqueraders in a band doesn’t say you had a successful product.”
Chang-Sandy alsio congratulated Road March winners Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and Skinny Fabulous on their win.
The trio surprised the Stoute Next Generation family with their very own dub version of their hit Famalay, which the band used on the streets on Carnival Tuesday to the delight of band members and judges.
Reporter: Casandra Thompson-Forbes