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Young musicians tuning up for return of Shuswap Music Festival

Each session a mini-master class for North Okanagan-Shuswap participants
The Shuswap Music Festival returns live and in person for 2022. It begins on April 11, with a Gala Concert planned for April 29 on the Nexus stage at Salmon Arm’s First United Church. (File photo)

The Shuswap Music Festival is returning live and in-person for 2022.

Cancelled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 due to Covid-19, youth from the Shuswap and North Okanagan will once again perform for adjudicators and the public beginning April 11 and the festival will conclude with a Gala Concert on the Nexus stage at Salmon Arm’s First United Church on April 29.

Sessions and dates for this competitive event include Jr. Piano (April 11), Vocal (April 13-14), Sr. Piano (April 20), Strings (April 25) and School Bands (April 19, 20 and 21).

School band sessions will be held at the respective schools. All other sessions will be held at Nexus.

At this festival young musicians gain performance experience and receive valuable feedback. Students of piano, strings, vocal and band perform in sessions according to grade level and genre, from classical to jazz.

Acclaimed professional musicians adjudicate each performance: critiquing, coaching and inspiring each performer. Each session becomes a mini-master class.

Awards and scholarships available total near $5000, to support further study.

Adjudicators select the winners – a recognition of the many long hours and hard work required to perfect musical skills.

Funds for these awards and the festival are generously supplied by festival sponsors and donors including Rotary, The Shuswap Community Foundation, Shuswap Arts Council, SASCU, the City of Salmon Arm and private donors.

This year the adjudicators include Rob Goddard (Band), renowned as principal trumpet with a number of symphonies; Cynthia Goddard (Sr. Piano) who conducts teacher workshops and student master classes throughout B.C.; Nina Horvath (Jr. Piano), a pianist and coach at the Vancouver Academy of Music; Melissa Braun (Vocal), founder and CEO of the Squamish Academy of Music; and Denis Letourneau (Strings), the Concertmaster for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra for 39 years. Full biographies of these acclaimed musicians and detailed schedules of the sessions are posted online at

Everyone is welcome to attend the festival celebrating the Shuswap’s talented amateur musicians.

The Gala Concert showcases the Best of the Festival at Nexus at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Admission is $10/person and $20/family. COVID-19 protocols will be followed as required. Follow the Shuswap Music Festival on Facebook.


Read more: Salmon Arm’s Jaeden Izik-Dzurko takes first place in international piano competition

Read more: Annual Shuswap Music Festival in Salmon Arm goes virtual
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