Festival Celebrates Shuswap Talent

The 2024 Shuswap Music Festival concluded Friday, May 3rd with a Gala Concert showcasing some of the highlights from more than 800 performances during the three weeks of the Festival. With each year, the annual Festival attracts more aspiring young musicians and vocal artists. Over $8,000.00 in awards and scholarships presented during the celebratory evening foster continued musical development. The Festival and these awards are made possible through the generosity and support of Rotary, private donors, memorial and endowment funds, the Shuswap Community Foundation, the City of Salmon Arm, SASCU, and Acorn Music. The many volunteers who plan, organize and help to host the Festival each day of the event are key to its success. The community truly comes together to encourage and support the growth of our young musicians!

This year the Best of the Festival awards went to:  Autumn Sunderland for Strings, Alexandrina Thiessen for Vocal, and Nathan King for Piano. Evje Knutson won the Nancy Leatherdale Memorial Scholarship. The Mary Fowler Memorial Scholarship was presented to Alexandrina Theissen. Nathan King and Autumn Sunderland shared the Blair Borden Memorial Scholarship and the Klein Family Scholarship. These scholarships support the pursuit of advanced study in music.  Beautiful performances by Knutson, King, Sunderland and Theissen completed the evening entertainment and demonstrated the depth and professionalism of Shuswap talent.

To recognize and encourage the musical talent of our youth, the Festival provides awards for every level of performance in Vocal, Strings, Piano, Choral and Band. Included in the Vocal awards are the Lazzarotto Junior and Intermediate Awards won by Etoile Brown and Makenna Boucher respectively. The winners of all 52 awards are listed on the website www.ShuswapFestival.com.

Festival adjudicators not only select the winners of all awards but also recommend musicians to advance to the B.C. Provincial Festival to be held in Fort St. John, June 2-6, 2024. The provincial recommendations include Nico Glanville/Jr. A Piano; Max Henschel/Intermediate Piano; Kevin Kuebler/Alternate; Nathan King/Senior Piano; Hugh Weathermon/Jr. Strings; Etoile Brown/Jr. Classical Voice; Evje Knutson/Intermediate Classical Voice; Alexandrina Theissen/Senior Classical Voice; and Makenna Boucher/Intermediate Musical Theatre.

A special “Thank You” goes to David Izik-Dzurko, MC for the Gala, who peppered the evening with notes of his experiences as the father of an aspiring young pianist, Jaeden. As a young boy, Jaeden’s first public performances were at Shuswap Music Festivals. Today, a graduate of the prestigious Julliard School of Music, he travels the world winning international competitions and performing in renown concert halls. Some of this year’s young artists may be on a similar musical journey. Best wishes to all the candidates entered in the Festival and thank you for participating.

The 2024 Shuswap Music Festival concluded with a Gala Concert on Friday, May 3rd. Winners of the “Best of the Fest” were: Autumn Sunderland for Strings, Nathan King for Piano, and Alexandrina Thiessen for Vocal. Check the Festival website ShuswapFestival. com for more about the Festival, Gala and awards.

Photo credit: Susan Wolff