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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 16:28

Rural youngsters dominate concert competition in Medicine Hat

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The 34th annual Medicine Hat Symphonic Society Concerto Competition saw many from outside of Medicine Hat dominate the winners’ circles. The event took place at Medicine Hat’s picturesque St. John’s Presbyterian Church Nov. 30-Dec. 1.


Individuals competed for a chance to sing with full orchestra on the Esplanade stage April 27 at the Symphonic Society’s Concerto Showcase Gala.
In the Vocal competition Nov. 30, the winner was Sydney Baedke (Cypress County) while the runner up was Jaqueline Arthur (Medicine Hat). Another competitor from Cypress County, Katie Hood just missed out.
The four winners of the instrumental competition, which was not ranked, and each earning a spot to perform solo with the orchestra on April 27 were Graham Schaufele, piano, from Bow Island; Ine Coetzee, cello, from Brooks; Shelby MacPhail, violin, from Cypress County and Connor Clark, violin from Cypress County.
Clark, 14, was thrilled to have earned the opportunity to play with a full orchestra. Having seven years of formal training, Clark added this is the crescendo of his young foray in classical music.
“That was really exciting — the biggest thing I have done,” stated Clark who said while he didn’t want to make music his career, he would love to play for a major orchestra someday. For a full time profession, he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps which is engineering.
Clark is also part of the musical entourage which is playing in Medicine Hat’s Hometown Theatre Company production of Legally Blond the Musical.
“I’m just doing that mostly for fun,” explained Clark who noted he also fiddles.
“I played when I was five and tried to do lessons, but it didn’t go so well," he added and admitted he got frustrated and quit. “But I came back to it, I just tried really hard and I got it. It was the sound of the stringed instrument (which brought me back).”
Calling himself a fan of the Baroque era of composers which was from 1600-1760, he cites Johann Sebastian Bach as his favourite.
While he’s not a fan of most popular music, he said he does listen to electronic music as well as punk and heavy metal.
Clark works with Brian Buckstead,  the Medicine Hat College Conservatory instructor (violin/viola).
With this opportunity, Clark will soon have the chance to move forward in his classical training development.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor