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Unity Music Festival announces adjudicators for 2024

Chelsea Mahan and Lynette Sawatsky have been named adjudicators for the 98th annual Unity Music Festival.

UNITY — The 98th annual Unity Music Festival is set to take place April 15 to 18 throughout the community. Organizers, teachers, coaches and students have all been working diligently over the year, preparing for the event.

Adjudicators for this year’s festival are Chelsea Mahan and Lynette Sawatsky.

Chelsea Mahan

On the operatic stage, soprano Chelsea Mahan has been praised for her panache of character (La Presse, 2015), while her comedic work “creates some of the most memorable, [and] funny moments” (Star Phoenix, 2016). Her rich yet ethereal tone is complemented by the warmth and passion that she weaves into every phrase.

Equally at home performing concert repertoire for large audiences, in intimate recital settings, or studio recording, Mahan enjoys a vast career that specializes in up-close and personal performances in found spaces such as warehouses and abandoned churches. The depth of her interpretations and her ability to bring meaning to every work has brought success with every venture.

Mahan has made appearances with La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Opera, Souris Valley Theatre, Little Opera on the Prairie, Swift Current Oratorio Choir, and SUM Theatre. In March 2020, she made her SSO Main Stage Series debut as the soprano soloist for the highly anticipated North American premiere of Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem.

Off stage, she works with singers, teachers, and speakers using her high level of technicality, intuitive and trained ear, expressive language and innate knowledge of the vocal mechanism to achieve the goal of optimal vocal health. She does this at both her private home studio and as a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan. Mahan holds her B.Mus/B. Ed from the University of Saskatchewan and her M.Mus in Opera and Voice Performance from McGill University.

Outside the music world, Mahan is the mother of two girls who inspire her performances with the all-female improv comedy troupe SHEnanigans. She can also be found dabbling in the art of clown and contributing to the comedy and theatre scenes in Saskatoon.

Lynette Sawatsky

Lynette Sawatsky was born in Langham and began her musical training at the age of four, being part of the first group of students at Yamaha Music Studios in Saskatoon. She completed her ARCT (Performer’s) in piano during her Grade 12 year while studying with Walter Thiessen.

She holds a Bachelor of Education (elementary) degree with great distinction, earning the U of S President’s Medal for graduating with the highest average of any student at her fall convocation.

Sawatsky has taught both group and private lessons, worked as a music specialist in the Saskatoon Public System, and participated as a guest piano clinician and adjudicator throughout Saskatchewan. She currently directs a group of enthusiastic youngsters from core neighbourhoods during a lunch-hour choir program in her community.

Sawatsky’s piano compositions have been selected as festival test pieces in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick and have recently been added to Conservatory Canada’s contemporary idioms list. Her elementary collection, Waddle & Quack, is on Music for Young Children’s supplemental list.

She has an active piano studio in Saskatoon where she resides with her husband and children. In her leisure time, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, playing Scrabble, and going for long walks along the South Saskatchewan River.

Programs for the Unity Music Festival are available at Our Drug Store and Wildeman’s Sports.