PHILIPSBURG–The 2023 Calypso Barbara Junior Calypso and Road March Competition and the Dow Musical Foundation Interscholastic Steelpan Competition closed off with a prize-giving ceremony on Friday, May 5.

The brief ceremony was held at Emilio Wilson Park where prize money, medals and tokens of appreciation were awarded.

The first-ever St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation Calypso Barbara Junior Calypso and Road March Competition was held on April 9 at the St. Maarten Harbour along with the Dow Musical Foundation Interscholastic Steelpan Competition. Both events were organised by steelpan legend and renowned king of calypso, Isidore “the Mighty Dow” York.

Makhali “Mighty Khali” Richardson and Esmeayah “Lady E” Hodge, the Junior Road March King and Junior Calypso Queen, respectively, received their monetary winning prize from the founder of Dow Musical Foundation himself, York.

Runners-up in both categories of the singing competition, Khurron Williams and Joshua Patrick were also awarded their prizes by the 2023 Senior Calypso Monarch, York.

Winners of the Dow Musical Foundation Interscholastic Steelpan Competition, the Leonald Conner School B’s, along with runners-up St. Dominic School Melodies and the Sister Borgia School Group eight Pan Vibes received their respective gold, silver and bronze medals. Their stellar performances also guaranteed a monetary gift for their school. This gift will be provided to their school manager during this week.

Four tokens of appreciation were awarded to calypso enthusiasts and writers Andrew Richardson and Clifton Wilson, father and veteran king of steelpan on St. Maarten, Chester York and music producer Rogers of AxelR Studio in Friars’ Bay.

York, together with calypso great Andrew “Baker Jr.” Richardson and long-time calypso writer, Clifton Wilson, within a timespan of just two-and-a-half months, wrote lyrics for more than 40 songs, calypso and road march combined, and pulled off one of the best shows of Carnival 2023.

The turnout and talk within the community was beyond expectation and the board of the Dow Musical Foundation said it is extremely thankful to each patron, including its sponsors. “Without the support and sponsorship from the community, it is not possible,” York stated.

With more than 20 years of pushing for musical development on the island, he firmly believes that all children have a gift for music and that it must be given more attention within the school system of St. Maarten. York said he is determined, however, to see the history of steelpan, calypso and growth of instrument playing, live on forever in St. Maarten and looks forward to his continued input and next year’s competitions.


Junior Road March King Makhali “Mighty Khali” Richardson and Isidore “the Mighty Dow” York.


Junior Calypso Queen Esmeayah “Lady E” Hodge and Dow.

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