Submitted by Susan Wolff, Shuswap Music Festival Society
Two young women swept the top awards at the 19th Annual Shuswap Music Festival.
Jenny Sunderland and Holly McCallum, winners of several awards including the Best of the Festival, thrilled the audience with their performances at the Gala Concert at Nexus on Friday, May 3.
Sunderland won Best of the Festival in Voice, as well as the Mary Fowler Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Classical Voice. She has been recommended to compete at the B.C. Performing Arts Festival in Chilliwack, May 26-30.
Holly McCallum is the first musician in the history of the Shuswap Music Festival to win two Best of the Festival awards—in Piano and in Strings. McCallum won eight awards in total including the Blair Bordon Memorial Scholarship and was one of four recipients of the Klein Family Award. This extraordinarily talented young woman has made music her life. She performs cello with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra as well as with other local musicians and is an accompanist for choirs.
Sunderland and McCallum have participated in the Shuswap Music Festival for many years on their journey to musical excellence. The festival’s concluding Gala Concert provides a taste of the musical talent developing in the Shuswap. This year Alina Polyakh, a Grade 3 piano student, delighted the audience as she performed her own award-winning original composition.
“So much talent in such a small region!” extolled Martin Ketteringham of the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm as he presented one of the many awards. Congratulations go to all participants.
The growth and development of young musicians and vocal artists is the focus of the festival. Success depends upon the youth themselves – dedication, hard work and hours of practice over the years, with the support of parents and music teachers. The expertise and professional guidance of the adjudicators brought from across Western Canada forms a cornerstone of the festival. A large contingent of volunteers makes it all possible. The Shuswap community of donors and sponsors financially supports the festival and provides the awards and scholarships that reward and encourage our young musicians.
This year the awards totalled $6,805. Winners are listed on the festival website at www.shuswapfestival.com under the News/Events tab.