Skip to content

Tickling keys and pulling at guitar and cello strings at Prairie Sunset Music Festival

Musical students perform for audiences during the Prairie Sunset Music Festival April 22-25.

MACKLIN -- The communities of Macklin, Luseland and Kerrobert enjoyed a great variety of performances during the Prairie Sunset Music Festival, which was held April 22-25 in Macklin. Competitors entered individual and group items in the disciplines of piano, speech, vocal and instrumental.

The Prairie Sunset Music Festival was delighted to report that entry numbers continue to rise. This year, entries for the piano, speech and vocal categories increased significantly. They were also excited to have entries from school and community groups, especially during this challenging school year.

The festival concluded with a stellar Festival of the Stars concert, where scholarship winners performed highlights from the week’s festival. The audience was treated to solo performances in piano, guitar, cello, violin, vocal and musical theatre categories. Evesham Community Church’s handbell choir delivered an energetic rendition of All Creatures of Our God and King and the choir group of Macklin Public School’s Grade 4 class sang Cockles and Muscles to great applause.

The cello ensemble featuring Eliana Bakanec, Mariah Bakanec and Liné Linde delivered a stunning performance. Chloe Bakanec performed two duets, one with Heidi Forrester on piano and the second with Elias Bakanec for a cello duet. Steyn and Willem Hoogstad amused the crowd with a humorous duologue.

Eliana Bakanec was awarded the most prestigious piano scholarship, the Gordon Wallis Memorial Plaque and Scholarship. The top performer in each discipline received a trophy and a scholarship: Willem Hoogstad (speech), Liné Linde (vocal), Eliana Bakanec (instrumental) and Chelsea He (piano).

Adjudicators recommended four competitors, Eliana Bakanec, Liné Linde, Steyn Hoogstad and Willem Hoogstad, to the provincial level of the music festival competition that will be held in Saskatoon from May 30 to June 2.

Eliana Bakanec, a talented 13-year-old pianist and cellist who lives in the Kerrobert area, received provincial recommendations for Strings Solo Concerto/Concerted Work as well as for three Piano Solo classes (Recital Piece, Canadian Repertoire, and Saskatchewan Repertoire) and for Canada West Piano.

Liné Linde from Macklin also received multiple recommendations for vocal and speech arts. She is recommended for two Vocal Solo classes (Recital Piece and Folk Song), four Musical Theatre Solo classes (Ballad, Modern; Up-tempo, Classic; Up-tempo, Modern; and Up-tempo, Contemporary), and for Spoken Word (Solo Prose). She also received three Canada West recommendations: for Speech, Classical Vocal, and Musical Theatre in the under 13 years category. What an accomplishment.

Steyn Hoogstad received provincial recommendations for Spoken Word (Solo Concert Group) and Canada West Speech 22 years and under.

Willem Hoogstad was recommended to provincials for two Spoken Word classes (Solo Poetry and Solo Concert Group) as well as Canada West Speech 17 years and under. Steyn and Willem live in Macklin but go to school in Unity. They will both represent the Unity Music Festival at provincials, as they were first recommended at Unity’s festival.

The Prairie Sunset Music Festival appreciates all the hard work put in by teachers, committee members, parents, accompanists, volunteers, adjudicators, and participants for a very successful festival. The Luseland Credit Union provided the printing of programs and families donated baking for the event. Steyn Hoogstad created and donated all trophies, Mariah Bakanec created the artwork on the program and members of St. Mary’s Church helped to transform the church space into a performance venue.

The communities of Macklin, Luseland, and Kerrobert work together to host this festival according to a rotating schedule. Next year, Prairie Sunset Music Festival will be held in Kerrobert from April 13-16.