It was a great experience for a local musician.
Gerard Weber, a saxophone player from Humboldt, recently placed second in his category in the National Music Festival in Antigonish, Nova Scotia August 11-13.
In order to compete in the National Music Festival, Weber had to compete in all three levels of music festival - local, provincial and then national.
"The provincial level was in Moose Jaw this year, said Weber.
After the provincial competition, Weber was chosen to compete in the National level.
He competed in the solo woodwinds category.
"There were seven people in my category," said Weber.
Weber created a half hour presentation, with pieces by Henri Tomas and Claude Dubois.
"I worked on the pieces for almost a year," said Weber.
He was accompanied by a pianist.
"My usual piano accompanist was unable to come with me, so I met up with a new one from Weyburn," said Weber.
Although it was a lot of work for the new accompanist, Weber said they made it through with a lot of hard work. Plus he said the new pianist was incredibly talented.
The biggest challenge Weber faced was cancelled flights on his way to the competition.
"I didn't get in until 11:30," said Weber. "That was a bit of a bummer."
He then had one full day to practise, with only half an hour to practise in the venue he would perform in the next day.
"The challenge was making the best of the time in the venue while being short on sleep," said Weber.
Although he faced a challenging competition, Weber made out great, being awarded second place in his category.
"The nice thing about not winning first is I can compete in the same category again next year," said Weber. "If you win, you cannot compete in the same category again."
He also felt honoured to be awarded second at a high level.
"It's a fantastic feeling to be recognized at this level," said Weber.
Weber wants to compete again next year and is already trying to decide what pieces to play.
"It's hard stuff, so the challenge is to be prepared and start early," said Weber.
This was not the first time Weber competed in the National Music Festival. He competed once before as part of a quartet.
"In a group, there is a bit of a safety blanket - you have three other members to back you up," said Weber. "I enjoyed both (performing solo) and as a group."