Over 300 participated in Sylvan Celebration of Music Festival

A variety of talented young people entertained a large audience at the annual Sylvan Celebration of Music Festival awards night

A variety of talented young people entertained a large audience at the annual Sylvan Celebration of Music Festival awards night, held this year at Memorial Centre in Red Deer on June 8.

The performers were chosen by adjudicators throughout the week to perform in the final concert.

The 13th annual festival saw over 300 participants graded in a variety of talents. Piano, voice, musical theatre, violin, guitar, bass, drums and rock band were the categories.

During the concert gold, silver and bronze medals were presented to performers in the various categories.

Taking part in adjudication were students of 16 teachers from the Sylvan Lake area including: from Sylvan – Brenda Fuss-Dutz, Shallon Green, Jackson Rowthorn, Elaine Rowthorn, Hope White, George Crawford, Megan Callan and Laura Lee Lewis; from Red Deer, Nick Howells, Michelle Bahrynowski, Tammy Clark, Chandra Lamontagne, and Allisa Harris; and from the area, Sheila Parker (Sundre), Gail Berg (Eckville), Jordana (Lacombe).

Adjudicators were Charles Austin (pianist), Ruth Blais (vocalist), Melanie Cherniwchan (pianist and vocalist), Shane Painter (rock band musician and audio engineer) and Naomi Delafield (violinist).

The festival was started 13 years ago by Bev Gervais and Lisa Brown. “Their vision was to provide a festival where students could share their music, regardless of age, level and style,” said emcee Don Palm. “They hoped it to be a place where not just students alone, but teachers and parents too, could learn new ideas, receive some extra motivation, feel inspired and, ultimately, grow in their musical knowledge and ability.”

Performing during the concert were Reagan Frenette (digital piano), Jordan Thomas (drums), Josiah Kure (composition), Ethan Andrushko (drums), Benjamin Hamel (violin), Makenna Good-Nicks (musical theatre), the rock band of Ryley Fraser, Freeman Frenech, Michelle Swarbrick and Isabelle St. Hillare; Julie Olive (guitar), Michael Mulder (piano), Owen Dyke (musical theatre), Ainsley McCallum (composition), Ciarrah Harder (piano) and Summer Workman (voice).

Dean Thiessen, a local student and music teacher, was also introduced and recognized for his acceptance into Berklee College of Music in Boston. A benefit concert is being held Saturday night (June 23) to assist him in expenses for his further education.