Pursuing Musical Excellence!

Prepared by Susan Wolff, Board of Directors, Shuswap Music Festival Society
April 15, 2018
(also published in the Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm, a community invested in the arts, resonates with music during the Annual Shuswap Music Festival. Amateur musicians and choral artists of all ages perform and share their talent with the community during the two-week competition being held April 16-27. Solo artists in piano, strings, and voice and members of choirs and bands have the unique opportunity to learn from each other but more importantly, the opportunity to receive personal instruction and encouragement from professional musicians who adjudicate each performance. 

These professional musicians, acclaimed nationally and internationally, provide mini-master classes that enrich each student’s understanding of music and help to improve performance skills.  The adjudicators for the 18th Annual Shuswap Music Festival are:  Karl Schwonik, Band; Jane Hayes, Sr. Piano; Joe Berarducci, Jr. Piano; Andrea Case, Strings; and Alexandra Babbel, Vocal and Choirs. Biographies of their illustrious careers are available on the Festival website www.ShuswapFestival.com.

The Festival is also a competition.  Top candidates, as determined by the adjudicators, are recommended to advance to provincial and national competitions.  Awards and scholarships in each category for each genre, from classical to jazz, and at each music grade level, are presented at the festival’s Gala concert.  SASCU funds the three awards for Band that help to support school band programs. The BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association/Shuswap Branch provides awards for piano and strings to encourage young musicians.

This is the first year for presentation of the Klein Family Award. Established by Gabi Klein in honour of her family’s love of music, the $1000.00 award supports promising senior-level students pursuing advanced studies in piano or strings.

The Blair Borden Memorial Award presented annually at the Festival is from the Shuswap District Arts Council Endowment Fund. Borden donated to the fund with wishes that an award be given to senior-level students pursuing further education in music. Borden was herself a “life-long learner of music”.

The Mary Fowler Memorial Scholarship is awarded for ‘excellence in Classical voice’. Fowler sang with the Shuswap Singers for over 30 years and Choral music was her first love. After her death, her family established a family endowment fund with the Shuswap Community Foundation. The fund supports a scholarship for a student preferably between the ages of 14 and 19 competing at the Grade 7 Royal Conservatory of Music level or higher. A secondary option is to award a younger, less advanced performer in classical voice and/or musical theatre.

Jane Hayes, Senior Piano adjudicator, meets with music students at the opening session of the 18th Annual Shuswap Music Festival on Monday, April 16. Hayes is a distinguished teacher, active recording artist and concert performer. Her concert tours have taken her across Canada, the USA, Europe and Mexico. During her current sabbatical year, she will be travelling to China to work with Chinese piano professors.