Ykers clean up at Alberta music festivalThree musicians finish first and second in their category
Northern News Services
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Three musicians wowed judges at a classical music festival in Edmonton last month, taking home first and second place in their categories.
Belinda Formaniuk performs in the musical theatre category at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival in May. - photo courtesy of Susan Shantora
In March, after receiving gold at the Yellowknife Music Festival, Keira Clinton, 10, Joseph Curran, 10, and Aurora Chorealis conductor Margo Nightingale competed in Edmonton at the Alberta Music Festival in May.
There, the competitors achieved even greater success as Clinton placed first in Grades 5 to 6 category in piano and Curran placed second in Grades 2 to 4 in piano. In the senior choir category, Nightingale placed second.
Music instructor Susan Shantora said the students performed very well at the provincial festival, which is considered highly competitive.
"All of the best student musicians from Alberta are selected to perform so each category is very competitive," she explained. "It is a huge achievement to be selected to participate, and even more so to be recognized with first or second place."
While she was nervous at first, Clinton, who was one of the youngest competitors at the festival, said the thrill of performing in front of the judges won out.
"There were 23 people in total counting me," she said. "I had to say my name in front of everyone and what I was going to play."
As first-place finisher, she received $150 and a plaque.
Each year at the Yellowknife festival, students who take private music lessons in the city compete for independent judges who evaluate their skills and progress. This year, the judges chose nine soloists and three choirs from the Yellowknife Music Festival to compete in the Alberta Provincial Music Festival.
"They have to achieve a gold standing in the Yellowknife festival to compete in Alberta," said Shantora.
Six other students were finalists in the Yellowknife festival: Diana Rockwell, Olivia Rockwell, Anna Pontin, Belinda Formaniuk, Jenna Orr, Bethany Giovanetto and Rowena Dixon-Wiest all placed in the top five in their categories.
Organized by the Yellowknife Music Festival Association, the Yellowknife Music Festival was founded in 2009. The annual competition is geared toward students who take private lessons and is an opportunity to compete with others in front of independent judges who access their performance.
For the past five years, top-place finishers have competed at the provincial level at Alberta Music Festival.