Youngsters thrilled audience with their talents during awards concert

Chosen by the adjudicators, a number of youngsters performed in a variety of categories during the awards concert

Nick Ekelund performed a drum solo M4 Part 2 during the Sylvan Celebration of Music awards concert at Red Deer Memorial Centre Sunday.

Nick Ekelund performed a drum solo M4 Part 2 during the Sylvan Celebration of Music awards concert at Red Deer Memorial Centre Sunday.

Chosen by the adjudicators, a number of youngsters performed in a variety of categories during the awards concert of the 14th annual Sylvan Celebration of Music, Sunday afternoon at Red Deer Memorial Centre.

“I’m amazed are the variety we see here, it’s so diverse, it’s truly remarkable,” said emcee Jennifer Johnson.

Several new awards and scholarships were presented during the ceremony.

The first recognizes long-time adjudicator Charles Austin and was presented to Lan Phuong Nguyen of Sylvan Lake for the year’s best solo piano performance.

Johnson said Austin, who adjudicated piano during the past 13 years, “has influenced an entire generation of western Canadian jazz musicians.” He’s now retired from head of the piano department at Grant MacEwan University where he taught keyboards, jazz theory, ear training, ensembles and improvisation for nearly 30 years “inspiring many students who have gone on to become leaders on the scene today”.

Also new are the Jazz Fest Awards which were presented to the year’s best jazz performers. Heather Watson won an award for her piano rendition of “Slippin”, while in the voice category Laura Arnusch (Lullaby of Birdland) and Michelle Ochsner (How Deep is the Ocean) won awards.

At the same time, Johnson announced Jazz At The Lake Festival organizers have created Project Discovery 2013. Performers from Sylvan Celebration of Music are invited to grace the stage at a free youth concert which will take place at Gospel Chapel Saturday Aug. 17 during this year’s festival.

Three talented musicians were presented with the first Sylvan Celebration of Music education scholarships of $500 each, thanks to contributions of four platinum level sponsors — McGill and Company, ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union and Sylvan Truck Ranch.

Recipients of the scholarships were recommended by an adjudicator based on their outstanding performance during adjudication week which took place at Sylvan Lake Alliance Community Church.

“After review from the festival committee the top three candidates were selected based on technical proficiency, versatility between instruments and showmanship,” said Johnson.

Ainsley McCallum was the first recipient. The 12-year-old received recommendations in two festival categories, voice solo and self accompanied piano and voice solo.

She’s been singing since she could talk and has taken four years of private vocal instruction and three years of private piano. McCallum has been singing in the rock bands program for the past four years and has participated in music performance summer camps Diva Bootcamp and Musical Theatre. She also enjoys writing her own music and lyrics.

Julie Olive was the second recipient. She has received over 13 years of private and group instruction on piano, violin, voice, guitar, trombone, percussion and alto saxophone.

With over 10 years of performance experience, Olive has played with the Benwood Strings, the rock band program and as a soloist. She’s also volunteered her time and music education to the Musical Minis, Diva Bootcamp and Musical Theatres summer programs.

“Julie absolutely loves music — everything from the Beatles to Bach, from classical to classic rock,” said Johnson.

David Jones was the final scholarship recipient. He received recommendations in two categories, piano composition and self accompanied bass and voice solo.

A Sylvan Lake resident, the 17-year-old has pursued music since he was seven.

Currently he plays piano, along with bass, drums, concert percussion and is a vocalist. He plans to continue his music education at a post secondary level and hopes to teach music lessons, specifically piano, or compose and direct music professionally.

The festival was started 14 years ago, said Johnson. The vision was to provide a festival where students could share their music regardless of age, level and style. To provide a place where not just students alone, but teachers and parents could learn new ideas, receive some extra motivation, feel inspired and ultimately grow in their musical knowledge and ability.

During the concert gold with distinction, gold, silver and bronze medals were presented in categories for piano (by far the largest category), violin, voice, musical theatre, duets, guitar, drums, rock band and self accompanied.

Taking part in adjudication over the past week were students of 11 teachers from the Sylvan Lake area including Gail Berg, Nick Howells, Tammy Clark, Chandra Lamontagne, Lucia Polishuk, Brenda Fuss-Dutz, Shallon Green, Elaine Rowthorn, George Crawford, Megan Callan and Laura Lee Lewis.

Adjudicators were Ruth Blais for voice and musical theatre, Melanie Cherniwchan for piano and voice, Shane Painter for bass, guitar, drums and rock band, Jeremy vanDieman for violin and Morgan McKee for piano.

Winning gold with distinction medals were the following:


Shelby Lynn Battenfelder, Chloe Bellevance, Jessie Branson, Raegan Frenette, Adam Hucal, Jessica Jarmoluk, Michael Jarmoluk, Jayden Johannson, David Jones (2), Alexa Klein, Tasia Lozo, Conner McKee, Kayla Northam, Lan Phuong Nguyen, Rowan Schultz, Kristal Snow, Toey Sylbi-Sayers, Jenaya Therriault and Heather Watson.


Amy Brown, Tammy Clark, Julia Dawes, Therese Hoven, Kathleen Kroeker, Brianna Lizotte, Noah Nowochin, Matthew Salsbury, Jenica Swartz and Caitlyn Thorsteinson.


Chloe Bellevance, Emily Bittner, Owen Dyke, Makenna Good-Nicks, Alexa Hudon, Brooklyn Hughes, Aidan Martin, Ainsley McCallum, Lynece McClusky, Kayla Northam, Michelle Ochsner, Lauren Rowe and Jenaya Therriault.

Musical Theatre – Sebela White.

Duets – Michelle Ochsner and Joelle Wood.

Guitar – Kristen Demarsh.

Winning gold medals were the following:


Owen Adekat, Kellie Berry, Rebekah Branson, Dania Bruyere, Myranda Caddy, Josie Crichton, Aimee Critch, Madison Cunningham, Ashley Demarsh, Owen Dyke, Jagger Fifield, Jennifer Fletcher, Evan Ford, Ryley Fraser, Samantha Fuerbringer (2), Alex Gelsing, Allison Guthrie, Adara Gyori, Aislan Gyori, Leah Hagel, Cheyne Halvorson, Brooklyn Hughes, Christina Hunt, Diane Kure, Kaidence Lamontagne, Hailey Leoppky, Karlee MacMillan, Kalli Matthew, Lynece McClusky, Conner McKee, Alyssa McMullen, Ciara Morris, Conner Morrison, Ezra Newton, Bryn O’Brien, Julie Olive, Gabe Roberts, Adam Rumbolt, Janaya Scott, Tanisha Scott, Jake Serhan, Charlotte Skogen, Jonathon Snow, Chloe Snyder, Carrie Somerville, Kelsey Vig, Christina Wendland, Heather Williams, Olivia Williams and Rachel Young.


Raina Bae, True Baker, Bobbi Cerin, Marie Crichton, Therese Hoven, Leela Lizotte, Matthew Salsbury and Max Snowden-Anderson.


Nick Ekelund, Jordan Spence and Jordan Thomas.


Laura Arnusch, Sophia Arnusch, Nicole Davies, Lynece McClusky, Amberlee Rach, Mackenzie Ramm, Kelsey Vig, Leah Williams and Joelle Wood.

Musical Theatre

Mackenzie Caddy (2), Aimee Critch, Makenna Good-Nicks, Shelby Piper and Zoe Thompson.

Rock Band

Chloe Bellevance, Ryley Fraser, Ciara Frenette, Raegan Frenette, Brooklyn Hughes, Logan Payette, Janaya Scott, Serena Scott and Isabelle St. Hilaire-Dube.


Gabrielle Branson, Jessica Branson, Maria Branson, Rebekah Branson, Amy Brown, Tammy Clark, Nick Ekelund, Brooklyn Hughes, Alyssa Hyink, David Jones, Kathleen Kroeker, Julie Olive, Jelena Snydal and Paige Snydal.


Ciara Frenette, Julie Olive, Joel Screpneck and Nick Unrau.

Self Accompanied

Ryley Fraser, Makenna Good-Nicks, Briane Hughes, Ainsley McCallum, Michael Mulder, Anica Nowochin and Isabelle St. Hilaire-Dube.

Winning silver medals were the following:


Marek Hutchison, Leah MacMillan, Adara Gyori, Maria Branson, Gabrielle Branson, Kierra Olineck, Graham Grubb, Halle Holladay, Marie France, Lois Lidstone, Jada Hearn, Cheyne Halvorson, Jennifer Fletcher, Hope Cummins (2), Eric Armeneau, Gavin Bergeson, Brianna Lizotte, Julia Dawes, Sarah Koch, Sage Bowen, Jelena Snydal, Gabe Roberts, Samuel Jones, Abrielle Gyori (2), Mandalynn Beamish (2), Maliyak Gyori, Allyne Simonot  (2), Aira Monstrales, Tanisha Thompson, Sydney Hucal, Nnya Schultz and Madison Bennett.


Leela Lizotte, Noah Nowochin, Julia Dawes, Julie Olive and Kathleen Kroeker.


Keisen Reid, Ethan Andrushko, Serena Scott, Andrew Bennett, Chandler Richardson.


Olivia Wood, Sebela White, Sara Kock, Cassidy Klein, Kennedy Somerville, Julie Olive, Madison Bennett and Emily Simon.

Musical Theatre

Christina Hunt, Ashley Tait, Julz LaBrash and Kayla Eisenbarth.

Rock Band

Julie Olive, Owen Adekat (2), Cole Adekat (2), Andrew Bennett (3), Ainsley McCallum, Joel Screpneck, Kristen Sandberg, Noah Rumbolt, Tanisha Scott, Leah Williams and Jordan Spence.


Jelena Snydal, Mia Wright, Emma Spearman, Macy Bourassa, Aidan Martin and Chloe Bellevance.


Evan Ford, Ryley Fraser, Cole Adekat, Michelle Swarbrick, Isaac Bahler and Owen Adekat.

Self Accompanied – Cassidy Klein.

Winning bronze medals were the following:


Emily Jurak, Lucas Hawkins, Emily Simon, Margo Thorsteinson, Abigail Bahler, Julia Swarbrick, Sarah Sutherland, Triny Allier, Matt Lidstone, Brianna Lidstone, Rachel Thorsteinson and Nadine Skogen.

Violin – Caitlyn Thorsteinson.

Drums – Starla Fifield.


Annalisa Trieber, Adam Rumbolt, Sage Bowen, Dakota Paulin, Madison Bennett and Jorden Duke-Potter.

Rock Band – Evan Ford, Owen Dyke, Ethan Andrushko and Jagger Fifield.

Duets – Ryley Fraser and Kelsey Vig.