Jamaica News: Talented Jamaicans have until Friday, March 15, to enter the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.
The competition, which was revamped in 2018, is a signature event of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC, Andrew Clunis, told JIS News that persons have been submitting entries since the competition opened in October 2018.
“We have entries coming in from all around the country. Entries are also going into the JCDC parish offices as well as to the main office,” he said.
Mr. Clunis pointed out that past winners, finalists and those who have entered the competition repeatedly can still submit entries.
“The reason we have repeat winners of the competition is that we have always allowed those who have won to re-enter. When you enter repeatedly you develop a certain level of expertise that gives you that advantage, so in most cases persons make it through to the finals and the semi-finals because they have honed their craft,” he said.
Mr. Clunis said the competition provides an opportunity for performers to showcase their talents, adding that it also “takes them all over the country while exposing them to different audiences.”
“It challenges them to really give of their best in a public space and to engage with new audiences and to test the crowd. It is a really valuable product,” he added.
Mr. Clunis noted that two workshops were held with entrants to address matters such as copyright issues, stage performance, writing and delivery of song.
“We want to ensure that the entries are of a certain standard, so we are helping aspirants to sharpen their skills and to come up with the best entries possible,” he added.
The Festival Song Competition, which started in 1966, has helped to launch and advance careers of some of Jamaica’s acclaimed singers and songwriters. Winners of the competition have included Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon and Stanley Beckford.