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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:15

SC Music Festival finishing up another successful event

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With over 500 participants in 2013, the Swift Current & District Music Festival is still going strong into their 83rd year. The event provides a valuable opportunity for music students to practice performing for an audience, and gives them a tangible goal to strive for throughout the year.



“This happens just once a year, and it’s the only time students can compete in music, locally,” explained SC Music Festival President Tami Wall. “It’s a great way for teachers to prepare students for that performance aspect, to get them to a higher level of readiness. It’s all part of learning, getting rid of your butterflies and playing at different venues.”


It’s also a valuable opportunity to receive some feedback from adjudicators, who provide students with tips and ideas to improve their skill. Wall explained that the festival is unique because while it does offer students a chance to compete against their peers, for many students, the competition is more personal – allowing students to focus on how they perform individually, instead of comparing themselves to others.


“Teachers and parents really believe in this event, and the community believes in it, too,” she said. “We have wonderful community support for arts, recreation, and culture here, but for youth, we don’t have many opportunities for them to compete in that area. We have it for sports, but not so much for the arts, and I think that’s what’s really important about this festival.”


The loss of a couple piano teachers over the past few years has contributed to a slight decline in that area, but Wall noted that participation in other disciplines has increased, making up the difference.


“We’ve had more people moving to town and we’ve had more schools getting involved, putting in more solos and duets,” she explained. “Consistently, we’ve been at around 500 participants for the past 8 years or so, and we’re happy to see that.”


The festival involves extensive planning and organization, with volunteers working on the event from about September until March. Wall admitted that they are always looking for more help, since the festival is such a huge undertaking.


“The saving grace of all of that is that I get to listen to the students perform,” Wall added. “There is some amazing talent out there, and when you see them smiling after their performance, so proud and happy, it’s so much fun. It’s great to watch them progress each year, to hear them get better and choose more difficult pieces. It’s a great way to get to know a lot of wonderful people in the community.”


The festival will wrap up with their Xtravaganza awards event on May 5, following several weeks of competition.

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Jessi Gowan