The recently formed Salmon Arm Secondary Jackson Choir directed by David Izik-Dzurko won the award for Best Ensemble Choir. Vallee Harmony won Best Adult Choir and Bastion School won Best Youth Choir. These awards were sponsored by SASCU. All three choirs have been recommended to compete at the BC Performing Arts Festival later in May. (Susan Wolff photo)

Shuswap Musical Festival hits the high notes

Young musicians and vocal artists impress at 19th annual event

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.

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This year the awards totalled $6,805. Winners are listed on the festival website at under the News/Events tab.

They are as follows:


GEORGINA LAZZAROTTO VOCAL SCHOLARSHIP –Presented by Lorne Lazzarotto to Étoile Brown, Devan Lansdowne, Afton Papworth

MARY FOWLER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP –Excellence in Classical Voice ~ Presented by Norma Jean Gomme to Jenny Sunderland

Rotary Club “Best of the Fest” in Voice: Jenny Sunderland—Presented by Sherry Gilroy, Rotary Club of Salmon Arm, Shuswap

Outstanding Junior Classical: Evje Knutson

Outstanding Intermediate Classical: Afton Papworth

Junior Musical Theatre: Evje Knutson

Intermediate Musical Theatre: Afton Papworth

Junior Ensemble: David Langridge & Evje Knutson

Choir Awards ~ Sponsored and Presented by Chrisi Davies & Denise Menzies, SASCU

Best Youth Choir: Bastion Choir;

Best Adult Choir: Vallee Harmony Choir;

Best Ensemble Choir: SAS Jackson Choir


Rotary Club “Best of the Fest” in Piano: Holly McCallum—Presented by Rob Hislop, Rotary Club of Salmon Arm, Daybreak

BCRMTA Shuswap Branch Awards ~ Presented by President BCRMTA, Jane Hein

Best Performance of a Canadian Piece Award: Junior: Josée Marie Ramsay; Senior: Stephen Moore & Teslyn Bates

Adjudicator’s Choice: Junior: Gideon Breugem Senior: Sarah Trentalance

Outstanding Junior: Venetia Trentalance

Outstanding Intermediate: Sophie Joerissen

Outstanding Senior: Henry Baker

Intermediate Concert Class: Sophie Joerissen

Senior Concert Class: Henry Baker

Junior Composition: Alina Polyakh

Piano Ensembles Awards Presented by Chris Papworth, Salmar Community Assoc.

Junior Duet: Beatrice Gagne & Emma Muddiman, Jonas Roberts & Evje Knutson

Intermediate Duet: Camille Hanry & Sophie Joerissen

Senior Duet: Matthew Neudorf & Jonathan Breugem

Advanced Senior Duet: Shiloh Jansen & Ashley Nicks, Teslyn Bates & Eva Mosher

Concerto Award: Shiloh Jansen

Intermediate 2 Pianos Ensemble Award: Joanna & Lois Osborn

Senior 2 Pianos 8 Hands Award: Matthew Neudorf, Jonathan Breugem, Jenna MacLean & Brynne Smith

Advanced Senior 2 Pianos Ensemble Award: Holly McCallum & Jessica Neudorf

Advanced Senior 2 Pianos 8 Hands Award: Teslyn Bates, Julianne Moore, Samantha & Hilary Vukadinovic

Quartet Award: Holly McCallum, Jessica Neudorf, Eva Mosher & Robyn de Wet

Graded Piano Scholarships

Grade 1: Norah Wooster

Grade 2: Sam He

Grade 3: Alina Polyakh

Grade 4: Kael Ukkonen

Grade 5: Brynne Smith

Grade 6: Robert McBain

Grade 7: Ava Stanley

Grade 8: Matthew Neudorf

Grade 9: Ashley Nicks

Grade 10: Teslyn Bates

ARCT: Jessica Neudorf


Rotary Club “Best of the Fest” in Strings: Holly McCallum—Presented by Martin Ketteringham, Rotary Club of Salmon Arm

BCRMTA Shuswap Branch Awards ~ Presented by President BCRMTA, Jane Hein

Best Performance of a Canadian Piece: Akasha McCleary

Adjudicator’s Choice Award: Hannah Breugem

Outstanding Junior: Kade McChesney

Outstanding Senior: Libby Wyse

Concert Class: Holly McCallum

Senior Ensemble: Libby Wyse and Holly McCallum

Graded Strings Scholarships

Grade 1: Isabella Haak

Grade 2: Jack McChesney

• Grade 3: Zaela Thiessen

• Grade 4: Claire Weathermon

• Grade 5: Autumn Sunderland & Anya Massa

• Grade 6: Olivia Sunderland

• Grade 10: Madelyn Stoney

• BLAIR BORDEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP –Presented by Tracey Kutschker, Director/Curator, SA Arts Council to Holly McCallum

• KLEIN FAMILY AWARD—Presented by Dr. Melany Dyer, Shuswap Community Foundation to Teslyn Bates, Henry Baker, Holly McCallum & Libby Wyse

PROVINCIAL RECOMMENDATIONS—Announced by Dr. Melany Dyer, Shuswap Community Foundation

PIANO ~ Junior B Piano: Teslyn Bates (Competitor)

Intermediate Piano: Jessica Neudorf (Competitor), Henry Baker (Merited Participant)

Holly McCallum recommended in Kamloops festival for Intermediate Strings & Piano

STRINGS ~ Junior A Strings: Olivia Sunderland (Merited Participant)

Senior Strings: Libby Wyse (Competitor)

VOCAL ~ Junior Classical: Jonas Roberts (Competitor)

Intermediate Classical: Jenny Sunderland (Competitor)

Junior Musical Theatre: Evje Knutson (Competitor)

Intermediate Musical Theatre: Afton Papworth (Competitor), Jenna Romailler (Merited Participant)

CHOIRS ~ Bastion Choir, Vallee Harmony Choir, SAS Jackson Choir

The Shuswap Music Festival Society thanks its generous donors and sponsors and the many volunteers for their support of this annual event.


Tianna Zuidhof and Venetia Trentalance proudly hold their participant certificates awarded by the adjudicator at the session for Piano Ensembles. During the two-week festival more than 400 performances were adjudicated by five professional and acclaimed musicians. (Rob Trentalance photo)

Lorne Lazzarotto presented a vocal scholarship in his wife’s name to Afton Papworth who will advance to compete at the provincial festival in Intermediate Musical Theatre. (Susan Wolff photo)

Libby Wyse, Outstanding Senior in Strings, a shared winner of the Klein Family Award as well as the Senior Ensemble in Strings, performed brilliantly at the gala. She has been recommended to compete at the BC Performing Arts Festival in Chilliwack at the end of May. (Susan Wolff photo)

Holly McCallum, an exceptionally talented cellist and pianist, won eight awards at the 19th Annual Shuswap Music Festival. She stands with (left to right) Martin Ketteringham, presenter of Rotary’s Best of the Festival in Strings; Tracy Kutschker, director of the Salmon Arm Arts Council and presenter of the Blair Borden Memorial Scholarship; Melany Dyer, Shuswap Community Foundation and presenter of the Klein Family Award; and Rob Hislop, presenter of Rotary’s Best of the Festival in Piano. (Susan Wolff photo)

Melany Dyer with the Shuswap Community Foundation stands with winners of the Klein Family Award: Teslyn Bates, Holly McCallum and Henry Baker. Missing is Libby Wyse. (Susan Wolff photo)

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