YORKTON – A Yorkton teen was in Ontario May 14-19 to perform with the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir in Niagara Falls at MusicFest Canada’s 2023 'The Nationals'.
Kingsley Herman, at 15 years old, was one of six Saskathewan people chosen and among the youngest as well.
"I had heard about Ellison when I did the Sask. Youth Choir," said Herman in an interview with Yorkton This Week.
MusicFest Canada was "initially founded in 1972 as the Canadian Stage Band Festival (CSBF), the festival was a major force in the development of the stage band (an institutionally-based jazz ‘big band’) in Canadian high schools and universities. The CSBF added vocal and concert band components in 1981 and 1986 respectively and String/Orchestras in 2008. MusicFest Canada, originally introduced in 1987, embraced the original Canadian Stage Band Festival as well as the Concert Band and Choral/Vocal divisions", according to their website, https://musicfest.ca/about/history/
Herman said the choir is composed of around 40-50 people and features vocalists from 14-24 years of age.
"I auditioned with a little bit of time left — they extended the deadline — so I auditioned for that and got in," said Herman, noting, "there were five people in total from Sask and I had known two in advance from Sask Youth Choir, but I did travel solo."
At the direction of Scott Leithead, founder and Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Jazz Association, Herman said she took a lot from her experience with the choir.
"We did a lot of different pieces from different languages and styles," said Herman, "I learned a lot about how to do different pieces and how to make them sound...I learned about some warmups and techniques that I can bring to choirs that I do."
"All in all a really great experience to take in and learn how to get music down quickly and to get better at teaching stuff and also taking stuff in," said Herman.
As for upcoming performances, Herman said she'll be taking part in the YRHS's choir performance this coming Wednesday, May 31 and plans to continue auditioning for other choirs.
"I'll definitely be auditioning for more choirs next year," said Herman, "I've already put in audition for another choir."