The Carnduff and District Music and Arts Festival found a way to showcase talented kids of the southeast.
While the traditional format of the annual festival, with over 60 years of history, wasn't an option due to the current restrictions, the board concluded that the online setup wouldn't work out as well. Carnduff doesn't have a strong reliable Internet service, so online adjudication wasn't possible.
So instead, the board agreed on providing a platform for all of the talented kids in the southeast to showcase their musical skills and progress throughout March.
"We explored ideas for how to showcase music and give our kids an opportunity, and we came up with the idea of a showcase, in which parents submit a video. They create a video of their kids' performance and upload it (online and tag the Carnduff & District Music and Arts Festival Facebook page). That way we get parental permission because they're doing it," explained Pamela Dmytriw, who is the president of the music festival committee.
They request that the participants put the proper name of the piece that they are performing and give credit to the composer or author of the lyrics while publishing the video. It's preferred that parents share the video with the festival committee.
The success of the showcase will depend on the activity of students and their parents.
"We actually won't know who is submitting necessarily. Anyone in the area is eligible to submit. They do not necessarily have had to perform in our music festival before. It is completely reliant on people choosing to post when they do," Dmytriw said.
Each week they are doing a draw for a prize. Anyone who participates that week will be entered to win a $25 local gift certificate. The draws will be done every Sunday in March. Besides, they had some sponsors who still wanted to provide monetary donations. So the music festival committee will get some prizes and will enter all participants for the last big draw at the end of March.
If participants want to submit multiple pieces, they are encouraged to spread them out over the month to be able to participate in multiple weekly draws.
"Students feasibly could enter four pieces in four different draws plus the end one," Dmytriw explained.
Once parents post the video of their child performing on YouTube or Facebook and tag the Carnduff & District Music and Arts Festival Facebook page, the committee will see the submission and share it through their social media.
The first week of March already brought in a few entries. Dmytriw said that it's always a bit slower in the beginning, but it should get more active.
"The beginning of March is always a little nervous … I anticipate that most of the students out of the ones that are actually taking lessons right now will perform. It's a little less nerve-wracking when you get to perform for a camera than when you get to perform live, so the kids are a little bit more willing to do it," Dmytriw said.
Students can perform in any discipline. Dmytriw pointed out that it is nice too because there are some students who may be good in speech arts, but they've never participated in that area because the school doesn't offer it, for example. This time kids can showcase their skills in anything from speech arts to vocal, from musical theatre to instrumental, as well as piano, strings, guitar, etc.
"We definitely are willing to have any piece be celebrated," Dmytriw said.
"We believe that the music is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. And we wanted the kids to be able to find a way to do that this year. We welcome entries from anywhere in the southeast. They don't have to have participated in our festivals before. We look forward to just being able to celebrate the goodness of what the kids have been able to do this year, and hope they find joy in it."