Pirates have the best tunes

Get your entries in for the song competition

Pirates Week is a ten-day
celebration of culture, history, the future and family-friendly events. One of
the popular elements is the annual Song Competition, which is now open.

“Last year was exciting; we had a
very close competition between the main prize winners and the People’s Choice
Award was very popular and garnered a lot of votes,” said Clive Rosteing of the
Pirates Week Song Competition.

First prize this year is CI$3,000,
second prize $1,500 and third $750. The People’s Choice Award is given to the
contestant who receives the most votes from the public. This is done by voting
through caycompass.com/competitions or texting your vote to Digicel to a
special number which will be announced in the Caymanian Compass. The People’s
Choice prize is $750.

Entries must be in by 5pm on
Monday, 25 October and should comprise an entry form, CD and lyric sheet. Demos
do not need to have a full production and can be vocals and accompanying
instrument but do note that voting for People’s Choice is based on the

The competition comes to a head
with a live performance during Pirates Week on Friday, 12 November. The vocalist
must be the registered contestant and as many as four may perform as a group. A
contestant may play an instrument.

The contest is open to anyone who
has been resident in Cayman Islands for at least a year, and the song may be of
any rhythm or style as long as it is original both in music and lyric.
Previously released songs are eligible for entry, although it is not possible
for previous winners to enter the same song again. The songwriter need not be
the performer.

The finalists, to a maximum of 10,
will perform on the main stage accompanied by backing tracks only.

Judging the final

The judging panel will assess songs
based on various criteria; music has a maximum of 30 points, lyrics 35,
rendition 15 points, originality 10 points and performance 10 points.

Music will be judged on the
arrangement and melody and the unity developed between the harmony of the notes
rhythm and tempo. Lyrics will be assessed on choice of words, development of
the topic in logical and consistent manner to tell a story, express a feeling,
send a message or paint a picture in a poetic form.

Rendition means how pleasing or
worthy of notice the singer’s voice may be, plus clarity of vocals, how easily
the words are understood and technical aspects of tuning and timing. Performance
aspects include entertainment, connecting with the audience, movement and
expression and how visually pleasing or interesting the performer’s appearance
might be. Finally, the use of imagination in both lyrics and music to produce a
piece of unique work will give the best originality score.

Aside from the obvious financial
benefits, the competition is also an opportunity for Caymanian talent to
develop, said Mr. Rosteing.

“Now that we’ve raised the prize
money we expect to get a higher standard of competition and that means the
possibility of better airplay and so on. We’ve had past winners on tours as far
as New York and showcased them in bigger venues – it can get Cayman’s name out
there and show the world what we can do. Every island has its own carnival now
and we can hopefully get the winning songs played in other islands now if it’s
suitable. It doesn’t have to be a carnival-type song but if it’s suitable then
by all means it can be done,” he explained.

Obvious kudos

Not only is there obvious kudos for
triumphing in the competition, continued Mr Rosteing, it’s also an opportunity
to be a vital part of a festival that draws on the heart of the islands and
reflects the diversity, vibrancy and creativity that Cayman has to offer.

“Pirates Week is a chance for
Caymanians to feel good about themselves and celebrate the past; it’s part of
the cultural history of the Cayman Islands and celebrate it in a manner that
makes it a positive thing that happened in the old days.

“We want the youngsters to come
down, support it and take part because the young people are the future of
Pirates Week so it’s good to have them come out, enjoy themselves, take part
and get involved because Pirates Week is for everybody,” he said.

You can enter the competition
online at caycompass.com/competitions by filling in your details and sending
through the recorded song and lyric sheet or by dropping off a CD demo of the
song with a printed version of the lyrics at the Cayman Free Press building on
Shedden Road. Entry forms are available at reception. Entries can also be
mailed to Cayman Free Press, PO Box 1365, Grand Cayman KY1-1108. If necessary,
there will be a preliminary elimination round judged by the CD entries so that
there will only be a maximum of 10 contestants at the final contest.

The contest winner must be
available to be in the Pirates Week Float Parade and to make personal
appearances throughout the Pirates Week. 
In the event of a tie for first place, there will be no second place
awarded and the money will be added to first prize, which will be shared
equally between both contestants. A similar situation for tied second place
means eliminating third place, and should there be a tie for third place each
act will share the prize.


The song competition delights all ages.
Photo: Stephen Clarke

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