President knocks National Anthem at Carifesta

Singer: Danielle Williams, sings the national anthem during the closing ceremony of Carifesta XIV at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Saturday afternoon. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP DEXTER PHILIP

(Trinidad Express) President Paula Mae Weekes is unimpressed with the performance of the national anthem at the closing ceremony of CARIFESTA XIV.

The rendition, by singer Danielle Williams, prompted a release from the Office of the President detailing how the anthem must be sung.

Williams took some creative license during her performance of the anthem on Sunday, incorporating an opera style at the beginning and at the end.

The President said the performance was “unacceptable”.

“A discordant note was struck at the closing ceremony, when an unacceptable rendition of our National Anthem was performed,” the President said in a release.

“The National Anthem must be sung in its original music; no introduction or coda can be added or other artistic licence taken in its rendition.”

Weekes said the offence is compounded when it occurs at an official function like CARIFESTA XIV.

“Our National Anthem, like our National Flag and Coat of Arms, identifies us as a nation and must at all times be accorded the utmost respect,” she stated.

Despite the blunder, Weekes said the festival was a success.

“This aberration aside, Trinidad and Tobago will long remember CARIFESTA XIV as a manifestation of Caribbean talent, unity and pride.”

“Between August 16 and 25, 2019, we discovered, or were reminded of, the things that bind us and the possibilities that exist, through culture, for harmony among nations. Twenty-four contingents, cultural ambassadors of their respective countries, created a festival that portrayed our shared rich cultural heritage.”