A local tradition for nearly a century begins again this week with the start of the Penticton Kiwanis Music Festival.
This year there are over 1,500 entries in everything from voice to piano to dance in the 93rd annual running of the festival.
“I’ve been actually involved in the festival here since about 1980 in one way or another and I’m watching grandkids of the students that I watched when I first started,” said Lorna Bull one of a small group of nine committee members who put on the event. “I saw them go through and I saw their kids go through and now their kid’s kids are going through.
“The level of expertise has increased remarkably over the years.”
The initial round of the festival which runs on select days starts March 1 through March 10.
After a break, in which many of the young performers will compete at similar events in Kelowna and Kamloops, competition resumes April 5 with musical theatre followed by dance until the end of the schedule.
Always a highlight is the festival-ending grand Highlights Gala Concert April 27 at the Cleland Theatre.
Adjudicators will also select a number of performers to attend the Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival that this year is in Chilliwack in May.
“I love being around these kids to see how appreciative they are of us doing these things,” said Bull who added the committee is desperately in need of volunteers during the event. “How good they are to each other. The other centres come in with their students and you think ‘my gosh wonder if there is going to be any backstage problems’ but there’s not, they hug, ‘good to see you back again’ and they respect each other, it’s wonderful to see and it always makes it worthwhile when you are actually around the kids.”
The performers range in age from five to 22 and compete in disciplines including, piano, classical voice, choral, strings/instrumental, musical theatre, speech arts, and dance.
Open to the general public, the competitions are in front of professional adjudicators, many of whom help the students in workshops throughout the festival.
Entry is by donation.
March 1 and 2 will be the choral and classical voice competition and a workshop with adjudicator Jeanette Gallant on the last day.
A complete list of events and times is on the Kiwanis Music Festival Website: http://www.pkmf.org
Send Mark Brett an email.
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