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Expert adjudicators on deck to facilitate festival experience

Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival April 15 to 18.
Music Notes 2
Three music professionals will provide expert feedback to Kiwanis Music Festival participants.

THE BATTLEFORDS — The 2024 Battlefords Music Festival is hosting three adjudicators who are experts in their fields for the various musical disciplines.

Scheduled April 15 to 19 for band, strings, instrumental solos and small ensemble sessions is Dr. Mark Tse. Dr. Tse is a Canadian conductor and educator serving as assistant professor of instrumental music education at the University of Saskatchewan. He conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and is an instructor of conducting, instrumental music teaching in secondary schools and guitar pedagogy. He values kindness, collectivism and continuous learning. He is dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to access and cultivate the joy of music which includes musicians, conductors, composers and audiences, as well as people and genres that have been historically marginalized from orchestral music.

Vocal adjudicator, scheduled for April 15 - 28, is Ron de Jager, a native of Nova Scotia. De Jager is at Briercrest College for his 16th year. His recent research and recitals have focused on nationalistic Canadian vocal music. de Jager has enjoyed performing opera, oratorio, solo recitals, musical theatre, film and ballet. In May 2013, he started Briercrest Summer Stage where he serves as artistic director. de Jager has performed as a recital soloist in Canada, the United States and the Netherlands. He enjoys collaborating and performing with his wife, pianist Elena de Jager. He enjoys serving as a vocal adjudicator for festivals and competitions in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, NovaScotia, New Brunswick and Virginia. As an associate professor at Briercrest College, he enjoys teaching private voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal master class, musical theatre workshop and acting. He directs opera scenes, Voices from the Front and serves as the artistic director of A Briercrest Christmas. He provides leadership to the performance and worship arts department while maintaining a performance schedule.

Scheduled for piano classes, April 24 - 28, adjudicator Sharon Rodney was born and raised in Yorkton. She completed ARCT (Associate with Royal Conservatory of Music) in 1987 in piano performance. She went on to the University of Saskatchewan and studied with Robin Harrison. Under his direction, she completed the practical exam for LTCL (Licentiate with Trinity College, London, England) in piano performance in 1988. Rodney competed in music festivals throughout her life and won the Haydn/Mozart scholarship at Provincials. In 1988, Rodney began teaching piano in Grade 11 and has taught ever since. The majority of her musical career was in Humboldt and area. Many of her students have competed at provincials and two have competed nationally. In addition to teaching, she is active as a collaborative pianist working with students and professionals. She is part of community musicals and several choirs and is active in church music. Rodney moved to Martensville in 2018 and has been establishing a new piano studio there. In addition to teaching, Sharon frequently adjudicates at music festivals every spring. She also enjoys composing, singing and playing the flute and the cello.

For local folks wanting to show support for the festival, there are a variety of options. Businesses or individuals may wish to sponsor a session or award. Volunteer opportunities come in all sizes. For folks with more complicated schedules, volunteering might be in the form of making phone calls or running errands. For folks with less complicated schedules, volunteering might involve being a greeter outside of sessions during the festival or being a secretary for the adjudicator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and see where your time, skills, or resources might be of most help. Correspondence can be directed by email to the Committee secretary Amy Francais [email protected] or P.O. Box 1301, North Battleford, Sask., S9A 3L8.


“My songs emerge from my life, or wherever they do, unbidden and unplanned and completely on a schedule of their own.” - David Crosby, an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who found fame as a member of the Byrds and was later part of the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, 1941-