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Two Exceptional Students to Vie for the Prestigious Miss UVI Crown on April 6

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Left to right: LaMonee Morris and MiLisa Mercado. Courtesy of UVI.

As the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) prepares to celebrate the 44th Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition, excitement builds on the Albert A. Sheen Campus in St. Croix. The event, a highlight of the UVI calendar, is meticulously organized by the Queen’s Committee of the Student Government Association and is slated for a grand showcase on Saturday, April 6, at 6 p.m., in the campus Cafetorium.

This year, the competition spotlights two standout students, each aiming to clinch the Miss UVI 2024 title in a display of grace, intelligence, and cultural advocacy.

LaMonee Morris, 21, is a psychology major with a passion for dance, which complements her academic journey. As a vibrant Mocko Jumbie and the captain of UVI’s Twirlettes, Morris is deeply entrenched in the cultural fabric of the Virgin Islands. Her campaign for the crown is underpinned by a dedication to promoting HBCU Pride, aiming to illuminate the rich cultural heritage and excellence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Competing alongside Morris is MiLisa Mercado, a 20-year-old nursing student with a fervent commitment to enhancing water accessibility and sustainability. Mercado’s campaign focuses on the critical importance of education in these areas, striving to make a lasting impact. Both candidates, proud representatives of the Sheen Campus, epitomize the blend of elegance, intellect, and leadership that the Miss UVI title symbolizes.

Jana Austrie, the University’s director of Student Life and Activities, shares her enthusiasm for this year’s theme, ‘I Am HBCU Excellence,’ a tribute to the legacy and achievements of HBCUs. Austrie extends an invitation to the community to experience the ambassadorial prowess and diverse talents of the contestants firsthand.

The Miss UVI competition is more than a title; it’s an opportunity for the winner to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the university, engaging in recruitment efforts and representing UVI on both a local and international stage. Criteria for judging include intellectual acumen, linguistic proficiency, and overall presentation.

Beyond the crowning of Miss UVI, the event is a platform for contestants to showcase their intellectual and artistic talents. The winner will be awarded a full academic year’s scholarship at UVI, covering tuition, room, and board, along with other accolades for categories such as Most Intellectual Speaker, Best Ambassadorial Presentation, Best Performing Talent, and Best Evening Wear.

Tickets are available, with a special rate of $15 for UVI students presenting a valid ID, and $20 for the general public. They can be purchased at the Student Center and Bookstore on the Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix, promising an evening of exemplary talent and ambassadorial potential.

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Entertainment

Top Music Events in the Virgin Islands This Season

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The Virgin Islands are gearing up for an exciting season of music events that will captivate residents and visitors alike. Here’s a detailed look at the top upcoming music events from November 2024 onwards.

Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta

For a blend of music and sailing, the Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta on November 30, 2024, in St. John is a perfect choice. Primarily a sailing event, the regatta features lively after-parties with live music, making it a great way to experience the island’s nautical and musical culture​​.

Crucian Coconut Festival

From December 6 to 8, 2024, the Crucian Coconut Festival at the Bethlehem Sugar Factory in St. Croix celebrates all things coconut. Alongside culinary competitions and craft vendors, the festival includes live music that captures the island’s vibrant spirit. This event is ideal for enjoying local food, crafts, and entertainment​.

St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade

On December 14, 2024, Christiansted Harbor lights up with the St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade. This festive event features boats adorned with lights and decorations, creating a stunning visual display on the water. Accompanied by live music, caroling, and fireworks, it’s a magical way to celebrate the holiday season in the Virgin Islands​.

Paradise Jam

In November 2024, basketball enthusiasts can look forward to Paradise Jam, held at the University of the Virgin Islands. This men’s and women’s NCAA tournament not only offers thrilling sports action but also vibrant musical performances and entertainment throughout the event, making it a must-visit for sports and music fans alike​.

USVI Charter Yacht Show

From November 8 to 11, 2024, the USVI Charter Yacht Show in St. Thomas will showcase luxury vessels with a backdrop of live music and entertainment. This event draws yacht enthusiasts and professionals from around the world, offering a blend of nautical excellence and musical enjoyment​​.

These music events highlight the rich cultural tapestry of the Virgin Islands, offering both residents and visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the islands’ rhythmic beats and vibrant festivities. Be sure to mark your calendars and experience the unique sounds of the Virgin Islands this season.

By attending these events, you will not only enjoy great music but also support local communities and the vibrant culture of the Virgin Islands. From the tranquil beaches of St. John to the bustling harbors of St. Croix, the Virgin Islands offer a diverse and enriching musical journey that is sure to create unforgettable memories.

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Dion Parson Quartet and Charanée Wade to Lead Free Concert Series Across Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Islands Performing Arts Cultural Connection (VIPACC) has announced a series of free community concerts set to take place across all three islands from July 11-13, 2024. The events will feature the renowned Dion Parson Quartet and vocalist Charanée Wade, marking the third installment of VIPACC’s performance series.

Concert Schedule and Venues:

Featured Artists:

Charanée Wade is a distinguished singer, composer, arranger, and educator, currently teaching at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Originating from Brooklyn, Wade’s early inspiration came from jazz icons such as Sarah Vaughan. She is celebrated for her vocal improvisation and her socially conscious tribute album, “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson.”

Dion Parson is a GRAMMY-award-winning drummer, educator, and composer from St. Thomas, USVI. With a diverse musical background in classical, reggae, calypso, jazz, African, and pop music, Parson holds degrees from Rutgers University in Music Education and Jazz Performance. He has collaborated with numerous jazz greats and has an extensive global performance record. Parson is currently the Chair of the Communication and Performing Arts Department at the University of the Virgin Islands and leads the “Mentoring Through the Arts of Music” program under the United Jazz Foundation.

The ensemble for these performances includes:

  • Vocalist: Charanée Wade
  • Saxophone: Sherwin Williams
  • Piano: Richard Johnson
  • Bass: Uriel Rogers
  • Drums: Dion Parson

These Free Community Concerts aim to enhance the cultural vibrancy of the Virgin Islands by providing residents with access to exceptional musical performances at no cost. Each event will feature a mix of jazz and various other genres, showcasing the multifaceted talents of the Dion Parson Quartet.

Additionally, the concert on St. John will include an art show by Aubrey Artworks, offering a platform for visual artists to exhibit their work alongside the musical performances.

Participation and More Information:

For more details and participation, contact the respective venues via email or visit their websites. Art enthusiasts interested in the St. John art show can reach out to Aubrey Artworks at [email protected].

VIPACC is delighted to present these performances to the Virgin Islands community, celebrating the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the region.

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Entertainment

Discover Exciting July Events on St. John!

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Are you on St. John and looking for something exciting to do? Here’s your comprehensive guide to the best events, activities, and live music happening throughout July 2024.

Monday, July 8th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Lauren & Elena at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Bingo at Johnny Lime: 5:30pm

Tuesday, July 9th

  • Jared Courter at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic with Scotty at Johnny Lime: 6pm – 9pm
  • Karaoke Club at Upstairs Bar: 9pm

Wednesday, July 10th

  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Native Wayne at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • The Wednesday Night Jam at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Trivia & Cookies for Community at Johnny Lime: 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Thursday, July 11th

  • Scotty Rohlfsen at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic at Miss Lucy’s: 5:30pm – 9pm
  • Eva & Mark at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm

Friday, July 12th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Erin Hart at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Lourdes & The Switch at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Saturday, July 13th

  • Pam & Broheem at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Moss Henry Band at Beach Bar: 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Sunday, July 14th

  • Sunday Brunch with Cuppa Joe Sciarrone at Sun Dog Cafe: 11:30am
  • Bingo at Windmill Bar: 4pm
  • Eva & Mark at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Monday, July 15th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Lauren & Elena at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Bingo at Johnny Lime: 5:30pm
  • Weekly Trivia Fun with Banen at Upstairs Bar: 7pm – WTF Birthday Party

Tuesday, July 16th

  • Chasing Hues at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic with Scotty at Johnny Lime: 6pm – 9pm
  • Just Friends at Beach Bar: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Karaoke Club at Upstairs Bar: 9pm

Wednesday, July 17th

  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Native Wayne at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • The Wednesday Night Jam at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Trivia & Cookies for Community at Johnny Lime: 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Thursday, July 18th

  • Stephen Sloan at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic at Miss Lucy’s: 5:30pm – 9pm
  • Eva & Mark at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Moss Henry Band at Beach Bar: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Weekly Trivia Fun with Banen at St. John Brewer’s Tap Room: 8pm

Friday, July 19th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Little Big Heart at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Lourdes & The Switch at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Saturday, July 20th

  • Pam & Broheem at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Just Friends at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Sunday, July 21st

  • Sunday Brunch with Cuppa Joe Sciarrone at Sun Dog Cafe: 11:30am
  • Bingo at Windmill Bar: 4pm
  • Eva & Mark at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm

Monday, July 22nd

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Lauren & Elena at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Bingo at Johnny Lime: 5:30pm
  • Weekly Trivia Fun with Banen at Upstairs Bar: 7pm

Tuesday, July 23rd

  • Jared Courter at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic with Scotty at Johnny Lime: 6pm – 9pm
  • Just Friends at Beach Bar: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Karaoke Club at Upstairs Bar: 9pm

Wednesday, July 24th

  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Native Wayne at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • The Wednesday Night Jam at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Trivia & Cookies for Community at Johnny Lime: 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Thursday, July 25th

  • Scotty Rohlfsen at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic at Miss Lucy’s: 5:30pm – 9pm
  • Eva & Mark at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Weekly Trivia Fun with Banen at St. John Brewer’s Tap Room: 8pm

Friday, July 26th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Erin Hart at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Lourdes & The Switch at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Saturday, July 27th

  • Lem Steel Pan at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Shane Prather at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Sunday, July 28th

  • Sunday Brunch with Cuppa Joe Sciarrone at Sun Dog Cafe: 11:30am
  • Bingo at Windmill Bar: 4pm
  • Eva & Mark at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Monday, July 29th

  • Ikema on Steel Pan at Windmill Bar: 11:30am – 2:30pm
  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Lauren & Elena at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Bingo at Johnny Lime: 5:30pm
  • Weekly Trivia Fun with Banen at Upstairs Bar: 7pm
  • Ryan Balthrop at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Tuesday, July 30th

  • Chasing Hues at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Open Mic with Scotty at Johnny Lime: 6pm – 9pm
  • Just Friends at Beach Bar: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Karaoke Club at Upstairs Bar: 9pm

Wednesday, July 31st

  • Permanent Jewelry with Kiki Creative at Windmill Bar: 3pm – 7pm
  • Native Wayne at Lovango Rum Bar: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
  • The Wednesday Night Jam at Sun Dog Cafe: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Trivia & Cookies for Community at Johnny Lime: 6:30pm
  • Kenny Floyd at Beach Bar: 7pm – 10pm

Make sure to mark your calendars and enjoy all that St. John has to offer this July.

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