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Shuswap Music Festival back in full swing for 2023 with additional venue

Acclaimed professional musicians adjudicate all performances
Teslyn Bates was awarded Best of the Fest in Piano, and received the Klein Family Award at the 2022 Shuswap Music Festival. (File photo)

Salmon Arm’s annual Shuswap Music Festival returns April 11-29 with the full range of disciplines.

Choirs are back on the schedule! Piano ensembles also rejoin the festival and band performances have a new venue.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, the Shuswap Music Festival Society was forced to compromise the festival: they cancelled the 2020 festival, held a virtual festival in 2021, and a much-reduced festival in 2022.

For the 2023 festival, the venues have also changed. Sessions for Piano, Strings, Vocal and Choral will all be held at Nexus at First Community United Church. Bands will perform for the first time at Song Sparrow Hall.

Acclaimed professional musicians adjudicate all performances. They critique and coach performers and inspire excellence – a hallmark of the Shuswap Music Festival.

At pre-pandemic festivals, the Choir and Piano Ensemble evenings drew large crowds. This year, six choirs have entered the festival. Three adult choirs perform Wednesday evening, April 12, starting at 6 p.m., and three school choirs perform Friday morning, April 14, beginning at 9 a.m. Piano Ensembles, slated for Wednesday, April 19 (6 to 9 p.m.), feature costumed pianists performing duets and “two piano-8 hands” selections. It’s great entertainment! The adjudicated sessions are open to the public, and admission is by donation.

Don’t miss the school band performances at Song Sparrow Hall.

Read more: Young musicians tuning up for return of Shuswap Music Festival

Read more: ‘We are so lucky’: Enthusiastic chorus greets Shuswap Music Festival’s new piano

Thirteen concert and jazz school bands from throughout the local school district will perform over three days from Tuesday, April 18, to Thursday, April 20. This is a chance for students to play in a professional performance centre, learn from adjudicators and compete for awards generously provided by SASCU and Acorn Music. The huge increase in band entries to the festival is attributed to the enthusiasm and support of Michelle Reed, Vice-Principal of Music, School District 83.

“The festival is a fabulous opportunity for the music program,” exclaims Reed.”And Song Sparrow Hall is a treat and a draw for bands ready to get back to performing, post-Covid.”

A Gala concert and awards ceremony concludes the festival on Saturday, April 29, at Nexus. This community event showcases the development of fine young musicians and vocalists in the Shuswap. Admission to the Gala is $10 per person or $20 per family. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Festival programs and more information, including the biographies of the professional musicians adjudicating this year’s festival, are available online at

Volunteers to help host the festival are needed and can register online.

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