Celebrating CARICOM” FACT SHEET
• Dominica’s Michele Henderson wins CARICOM song competition with her entry “Celebrating
• The song was produced my Michele’s husband Roland Delsol Jr., and arranged by Earlson
Matthew. It also features Michael Ferrol on drums and choral input from the St. Alphonsus
• It was re-produced for CARICOM by Carl Beaver Henderson of Trinidad and Tobago.
• Henderson beat out 57 semi-finalists and ten finalists to emerge winner in the competition
which was announced in April 2013.
• The second placed entry “My CARICOM” came from Jamaican Adiel Thomas and the third placed
“One CARICOM” was by Carmella Lawrence from St. Kitts and Nevis.
• The competition was aimed at selecting a CARICOM Song that would promote unity and build
consciousness around Community values and inspire CARICOM identity and pride. The song is
expected to be regionally and internationally recognized and is to be used primarily at
ceremonial and Community events.
• The top-ten songs (in no particular order) were as follows: One Region one Caribbean –
Anguilla, One Caribbean Family – Jamaica, CARICOM’s Light – St. Vincent & the Grenadines,
Celebrating CARICOM – Dominica, We Are CARICOM – Dominica, Together As one – Dominica,
One CARICOM – St. Kitts & Nevis, My CARICOM – Jamaica, Blessed CARICOM – Jamaica,
Together We Rise – Jamaica.
• According to the competition rules, the song should reflect a strong Caribbean cultural identity,
have versatility and lend itself to be played by various instruments, have a strong Caribbean
cultural flavour and rhythm and inspire a sense of regional pride and unity.
• According to General Secretary of CARICOM Irwin Laroque, (a Dominican himself) the regional
panel of judges considered Henderson’s composition “an excellent reflection of the culture,
identity and aspiration of the Caribbean Community engendering regional unity and pride and
a fitting tribute to the 40th anniversary of CARICOM.”
• The results were first announced to CARICOM Heads of Government at the twenty-fifth Inter-
Session Meeting held in March 2014 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
• Henderson’s first official performance of “Celebrating CARICOM, the official CARICOM song took
place on Tuesday 1st July at the opening ceremony for the Thirty-Fifth Regional Meeting of the
Conference of Heads of Government in Antigua and Barbuda. CARICOM Secretary-General Laroque presented Henderson with a plaque saluting her “contribution to regional integration, pride and unity.” She was also presented with a cheque for US$10,000.00.
• Her performance in Antigua was supported by dancers from the National Dance Theatre of Antigua and Barbuda, and backed by a high quality produced sound track prepared specifically for the event.
• CARICOM was established on 4 July 1973 by the Treaty of Chaguaramas on the principle of
regional integration for national and regional development. The grouping comprises 15 full
member states (Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada,
Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) and 5 associates (Anguilla, Bermuda, British
Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands). The Secretariat is headquartered in
• 2015 will mark 20 years since Henderson burst on the music scene with her winning
composition “My Pride”- a song she penned for the 1995 DOMFESTA (Dominica Festival of Arts)
• Henderson hails from Grand Bay, a community often times referred to as the cultural capital of
Dominica and sings in English, French and French Creole.
• No stranger to the Regional stage, she has performed at the CBU Song competition in Barbados,
Trinidad’s Jazz Artists on the Green, St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Carifesta in St. Kitts and Trinidad, St.
Bart’s Music Festival, Spice Jazz in Grenada, the World Creole Music Festival in Dominica and
numerous concert events in the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The seasoned
flutist has six albums to her credit including her most recent Home (Chez Moi). She also
successfully writes for competitors across a range of genres from pop to cadencelypso to
• The powerful vocalist has been honoured by the government of Dominica for her contribution
to culture and the development of the French Language; and as of 2004 appointed Goodwill
ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean island.