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Festival Fanfare: Festival wraps up with gala performances Tuesday

Concert and awards night is hosted at the Dekker Centre.

THE BATTLEFORDS — The 2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival is close to wrapping up but it’s not too late to catch the final piano classes held in Third Avenue United Church.

Piano classes Friday evening April 26, in Logie Hall starting at 7 p.m., will be an interesting evening with an accompanist 14 years and under class (Stefan Craib piano, Dylin Phommovong violin), piano duets with various age groups and three entries in the Family Music Instrumental Open Class. The final piano sessions are Saturday morning and afternoon in Logie Hall. Vocal classes opened during this week running Monday, April 22 to Wednesday, April 24.

Positive reports about the band sessions poured in from a variety of sources. The adjudicator, Mark Tse of Saskatoon adjudicated on-site at the festival venue and travelled into schools workshopping with school-based ensembles. Committee president Katherine Funke Morin said, “We as a board really appreciated all the flexibility” of the adjudicator. Board member Karen Ulmer concurred that he “was an absolute delight to deal with — professional, organized, knowledgeable, kind and funny.”

Eric Cawood, a music teacher from St. Vital School in Battleford commented, “I’ve really enjoyed having Mr. Tse as an adjudicator at the Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival this year. He has been very positive and uplifting for the students. He unquestionably has great musical knowledge and is a pleasure to work with.”

Cawood has been entering St. Vital School students into the festival for the past 20 years.

The celebratory Gala Awards evening at the Dekker Centre is Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Performances at the gala are highlights from the festival chosen by the adjudicators. Awards and scholarships will be presented at the gala award concert. Tickets are $10 for seniors, $15 for adults and children under 18 years of age free. Donors, sponsors, performers and volunteers are also free. Tickets for the gala may be purchased through the Dekker Centre or at the door that night.

To be eligible for an award or scholarship, a participant must be 19 years of age or younger, have lived in or studied in the Battlefords and District for a minimum of six months before the Festival, or be furthering their education elsewhere but still supported by parents living in the Battlefords and District. Other students are welcome for adjudication and recommendation to the provincial and national level competitions.

Local participants also have the opportunity to be recommended for the provincial competition being held this year in Saskatoon May 30 to June 2. District festivals are allowed two district winners to the provincial finals for each Provincial Scholarship Class and each Canada West Excellence Class provided the qualifying mark (88 minimum) has been attained. To qualify, participants must enter and compete in at least two solo classes in the same discipline at their fistrict gestival. Performers must not exceed 28 years of age for Provincial Scholarship Classes, or 24 years of age for Canada West Excellence Classes. Memory work is mandatory at the provincial level. The Canada West Performing Arts Festival is being held this year in Victoria. B.C.  July 25 to 27. 

The dates for the 2025 Battlefords District Festival are March 14 to 29.

“If I can play one note and make you cry, then that's better than those fancy dancers playing twenty notes. I wanted to develop a guitar style where phrases and lines get there just in the nick of time, like with Curtis Mayfield and Steve Cropper. Subtleties mean so much, and there is a stunning beauty in them.” -Robbie Robertson (1943-2023)