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Ready for a ‘Rhythm and Rhyme’ education

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Mackalay Thomas portrays “Little Bo Peep.”
Stephon Samuel portrays “Native American Rhythmn.”
Tatiana Baptiste portrays “Mary, Mary.”
Candace Samuel portrays “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.”

Piggybacking on last year’s “Jump for Education” by the Brooklyn-based Friends of Crown Heights Educational Centers, Mas Productions Unlimited will this year present during the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade, “Education in Rhythm and Rhyme,” inspired by its sponsor, Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.

Rather than compete in graduation caps and gowns, as was the case last year, in its only production, the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center has decided to support and sponsor Mas Productions Unlimited’s 2017 presentation.

“Our masqueraders are of various origins,” said band leader and co-founder Vincentian Wesley Millington in a Caribbean Life interview. “Our aim is for the masqueraders to have an enjoyable experience.”

As is the case over the years, masqueraders from the Belizean New York Committee will augment “Education in Rhythm and Rhyme,” Millington said.

He said this year’s production comprises nine sections: Five adults, three children and one teen.

The adult sections are: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Native American Rhythm,” “Caribbean Rhythm,” “A Tisket a Tasket” and “Mary Mary.”

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring,” “Latin Rhythm” and “Children Africa” comprise the Teen section, Millington said.

He said he helped found Mas Production Unlimited in the fall of 1992 with several Vincentians — E. J. “Paddy” Corea, Richard Sutherland, Rudy Brown, Gailene Windsor, Junior Stephens, Alex Hinds, Trevor “Cobax” Brown, and the late Sylvia Wilson and Cheston Bonadie.

The first production, “Fantastique,” competed in the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade the next year.

Since then, Millington said there have been 24 consecutive productions.

“Over the years, we have had some limited success,” he said, including two “Band of the Year” titles — one senior and one junior.

“Preparations are well under way, despite a late start,” Millington added about this year’s production.

The mas camp is located at 358 Legion St., corner of Riverdale Avenue in Brooklyn.

Millington can be reached at (718) 759-7766.

Posted 12:00 am, August 9, 2017
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