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Some bandleaders have expressed surprise over the new Overall Band of the Year title.
Bandleaders of The Lost Tribe, Tribe, Ronnie and Caro and K2K have all expressed surprise over the new category which was won by K2K.
K2K is the winner of the Medium Band category.
According to the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA), the governing body for mas, it was decided that the overall title would be selected from the winners of all the categories.
At the press conference announcing the winners, Nigel Eastman, Chief Judge, told the media the new category was decided upon after a meeting with the bandleaders and consulting with them.
He said bandleaders outside the Large category complained that they were not eligible for the Band of the Year title since it normally goes to the winner of the Large Band category.
However, bandleaders Loop spoke to said they were not aware of the new category, the winner of which was determined by a 10-person committee.
Valmiki Maharaj, the bandleader of Large Band winner The Lost Tribe, said he heard about it in passing but never received anything official and was unaware of any meeting where it was discussed.
Tribe bandleader Dean Ackin said he was totally unaware of the new rules.
K2K bandleaders Kathy and Karen Norman said they saw the new category mentioned in a booklet but there was no definition of what overall meant. They said they were quite surprised when they learned they won the overall title.
Ronnie MacIntosh, whose band Ronnie and Caro was beaten by one point in the Large category, said he was not aware of any such meeting where the new category was discussed.
“I was not at any such meeting and even if you have a meeting and we agreed you have to inform the media so the public would know. Even if I didn’t attend, the next step is to inform the media so we would know,” he said.
MacIntosh said while he has no issues with the results, he is questioning who was at the meeting and is asking to see the minutes or any documentation from it.
When contacted, TTCBA President Rosalind Gabriel said there is a challenge getting bandleaders to attend meetings.
“We call meetings and not every bandleader turns up, who is there hears about it and those who don’t come don’t know about it. It is very difficult to get all of them in a room,” she said, stating that the meeting took place late last year.
Gabriel said in the rush to get everything ready for Carnival, they did not send out a communique on the new category.
“It was something we discussed for many, many years since Kenny De Silva. We wanted a category for this one band that sends a message in design and every aspect of our culture to put out the best,” she said, indicating that they plan to apply the new category to children’s bands next year.