The piano is tuned and voices are warming up for the annual Vernon Registered Music Teachers Music Festival, taking place this week at All Saints Anglican Church.
What makes the Vernon music festival different from other adjudicated festivals in the Okanagan is that it focusses on the teaching component rather than just the competitive aspect, said Carol Stromberg, a piano instructor and registered music teacher.
“Students gain so much in their own personal and musical growth by preparing for this event,” she said. “Our young performers have the opportunity to collaborate with other young performers in a musical celebration where they can learn from our esteemed adjudicators as well as from the performances of their peers.”
This year’s piano segment, which started Saturday and continues to Tuesday at All Saints, features students in both solo and duet classes, and is adjudicated by Catherine Bundt.
A B.C. registered music teacher for the past 30 years, Bundt is an active performer, instructor and adjudicator who strongly believes in the value of music in children’s lives and sees teaching music as giving young students “a gift for life’.”
She has served several terms on the South Fraser branch executive council and festival committees.
In an attempt to make music accessible and affordable to her local community, Bundt has also hosted more than 30 house concerts, featuring performing artists from universities and music schools.
The vocal portion of the festival, Thursday and Friday mornings at All Saints, include both solo and the ever popular musical theatre classes.
They will be adjudicated by Jaclyn Riemer, a performer, teacher, choir director and adjudicator, who has travelled extensively as a vocal soloist throughout Canada, the U.S. and India.
Riemer has taught many students of all ages who have gone on to graduate from post-secondary music programs at several universities in Canada. Her students have also placed highly in the B.C. Provincial and National Arts Festivals.
“The young people of our community are blessed to have and are very appreciative of the support of many local residents and service organizations who generously aid outstanding individual achievement through scholarships,” said Stromberg.
The public is welcome to attend any of the festival sessions as well as the gala performance at All Saints Anglican Church, Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.