By Susan Wolff,
The 15th Annual Shuswap Music Festival concluded Friday, May 1 at First United Church with an impressive Night of Stars concert. The adjudicators for this year’s festival selected not only the top performers in each category but also some of the most entertaining performances that showcased the depth of musical talent characteristic of the Shuswap.
Four young women, who entered the festival in the Two Pianos-Eight Hands category for each of the past eight years, closed the evening with a rousing ragtime piece.
This is the last year Ashley Fong, Elena Bruns, Lara May McCallum and Rebecca McDonald will perform together. But congratulations to Ashley and Elena who successfully completed the ARCT (Associate, Royal Conservatory of Toronto) performers examination and are moving beyond the level of the festival.
The festival celebrates musical talent across a wide range of genres and ages – from five to 85. The two-week festival also has a strong educational component. Acclaimed musicians, renowned for their teaching and performance credentials, are brought to the festival to conduct a master-class style of adjudication with each festival participant.
At the Night of Stars, $5,300 in scholarships and awards were presented to both young and older musicians ranging from Pre-Grade 1 to ARCT in piano and strings; classical to musical theatre in voice; concert to jazz bands; and youth as well as adult choirs.
Congratulations to all festival participants and to the remarkable work done by adjudicators Don Bennett, Muge Buyukcelen, Matt Hill, Darlene Brigadear and Anne Wilson Unger.
The three Rotary clubs of Salmon Arm sponsored and presented the Best of the Fest awards to Mairead Raupach for voice, Anna Konrad for strings and Stephen Moore for piano.
The Mary Fowler Memorial Scholarship was presented to Spencer Christensen for Excellence in Classical Voice and the Blair Borden Memorial Scholarship went to Lara May McCallum. SASCU sponsored and presented three Band Awards to Shuswap Middle School Grade 8 Concert Band, Salmon Arm Secondary Grade 9 Concert Band, and Salmon Arm Secondary Jazz Band.
The adjudicators also recommended musicians for competition at the BC Provincial Music Festival to be held May 26 to 30 in Powell River.
• Piano awards:
B.C. Registered Music Teachers Shuswap Branch awards went to – Junior: Aleta Lu and Nadya Henrie; Intermediate: Connor Levins & Jessica Neudorf and Senior: Ashley Fong.
Outstanding Junior: Aleta Lu, Outstanding Intermediate: Jennika Bobryk, Outstanding Senior: Aria Izik-Dzurko, Junior Duet: Calia Mortenson and Gerogia Rands, Intermediate Duet: Hilary and Samantha Vukadinovic, Senior Duet/Trio/Quartet: Robyn de Wet, Holly McCallum, Eva Mosher, Jessica Neudorf, Junior/Intermediate Concert Class: Katie Wall, Junior/Intermediate Composition: Anna Biernacki, Senior Concert Class: Hannah Bennison; Senior Composition Award: Holly McCallum, 2 Pianos 4 or 6 Hands Ensemble: Holly McCallum and Jessica Neudorf, Senior 2 Piano Ensemble: Ashley Fong, Elena Bruns, Rebecca McDonald and Lara May McCallum.
Graded Piano Scholarships went to: Pre-Grade 1: Mira Shaw, Grade 2: Jonathan Breugem, Grade 3: Eric Moore, Grade 4: Tessa Elliot, Grade 5: Julianne Moore. Grade 6: Teslyn Bates, Grade 7: Eva Mosher, Grade 8: Rachel Bates, Grade 9: Jessica Brown, Grade 10: Lara May McCallum and ARCT: Elena Bruns.
• Voice, choir and band awards:
Pre-Grade One Vocal Scholarship: Evje Knutson, Outstanding Junior Classical: Siera Dubyna, Outstanding Intermediate Classical: Destinee Trentalance, Outstanding Senior Classical: Spencer Christensen, Junior Musical Theatre: Adelynn Heyes, Intermediate Musical Theatre: Paige Tower, Senior Musical Theatre: Sidney Cummings, Best Intermediate Vocal Ensemble: Dubyna Sisters (Saige, Siera, Sheyanne and Salena).
Best Youth Choir: North Okanagan-Shuswap Honour Children’s Choir, Best Adult Choir: Shuswap Men’s Chorus, Best Ensemble: Ancora Women’s Ensemble.
Best Elementary/Middle School Band: Shuswap Middle School Grade 8 Concert Band, Best Secondary School Concert Band: Salmon Arm Secondary Grade 9 Concert Band, Best Jazz Band: Salmon Arm Secondary Jazz Band.
• String awards
Outstanding Junior: Nadya Henrie, Outstanding Intermediate: Holly McCallum, Intermediate Ensemble, Anna and Simone Konrad, Concert Class: Holly McCallum.
Graded Strings Scholarships went to Pre-Grade 1: Anya Massa Grade 5: Simone Konrad, Grade 1: Cheyanne Haak and Grade 8: Libby Wyse.
• Provincial recommendations were given to: Aria Izik-Dzurko (and Stephen Moore in piano; Holly McCallum and Anna Konrad for strings. Vocal recipients were Georgia Nitchie Destinee Trentalance Spencer Christensen Sidney Cummings, Jenna Romailler, Zoe Plummer, Mairead Raupach, Megan Barss, Ancora Women’s Choir and Shuswap Men’s Chorus.
The board of the festival society gratefully acknowledges the support of the many volunteers, patrons and sponsors.