The Calypso Monarch Competition has, in the past, been a much anticipated and well-attended event on St. Croix during the Crucian Christmas Festivals. Island Center was packed with people as the performers sang of the issues of the day. The USVI tradition of Calypso competition goes back to at least 1954 when Calypso Bombshell Beryl Hill became the first Virgin Islander to win an international Calypso competition. Take a look back at some of the faces of those competing for Calypso Monarch.
Thanks to King Derby, The Junior Calypso Competitions were a yearly showcase of the accomplishments of young Crucians. Camille “King Derby” Macedon was Calypso Monarch for seven consecutive years but retired in 1978 when no one would compete against him. Since then, he has “just been with the kids,” teaching them calypso and how to perform. He was able to work with students in many of the schools on St. Croix until Covid-19 brought that to an end. Since then, he has worked with both adults and children in other locations. For the upcoming year, King Derby does not see a return to the schools. In addition to teaching both adults and children, he will be working on a new form of music, Quelso, which features the banjo as a lead instrument. A CD is planned for 2022 but, “I want it done properly before I bring the new CD out.”