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Local teen takes first place at provincial arts fest

Geneva Iten has been playing music since she was three
geneva iten & sax
Geneva Iten, 17, was recently chosen as the top entry in Intermediate Woodwinds in a provincial music competition. She started playing the recorder at the age of three.

Geneva Iten loves music.

That should really come as no surprise if you happen to know the Rose Prairie teen.

In fact, all three of her sisters do.

Her father and mother do as well, but on a smaller level, they joke.

Last week, the young, talented 17-year-old added Intermediate Woodwinds Provincial Winner to her list of accomplishments, playing her rendition of Pequena Czarda (P. Itturalde) and MAI (Ryo Nodo) on her alto saxophone.

"I started playing the recorder when I was three," says Iten, who has had success on the local level, but this is her first time where she's placed and been recognized provincially.

It was her score of 95 at this year's Peace River North Festival of the Arts that prompted adjudicator, Dr. Michael Keddy, to recommend she play on the BC Provincial Performing Arts Festival stage.

The stage, in this case, an unedited virtual video recording of two songs, one of which, Pequena Czarda, was played before Keddy, in person, at the Cultural Centre in late April.

"We are super proud of Geneva," says North Peace Festival Society president Margaret May. "It's actually quite an honour to even be selected. We generally have more in dance. We have a very strong dance program."

While scores of 85 or above are considered gold medal performances, a 95 is very rare.

"Especially on the music side, the standards on the provincial level are extremely high, so quite often we don't have delegates selected at all," May points out.

The saxophone, as it turns out, isn't the only instrument the versatile teen enjoys playing.

Iten also plays the guitar and the djembe and cajon, two percussion instruments, while in a band with her sisters.

"My sisters play the fiddle and violin, accordion, recorder, and percussion. We play fiddle music, jazz and some classical as well."

Classical music, she admits, is one of her favourite styles.

Thankful to be chosen for the award, the talented saxophonist isn't looking to become anymore famous just yet.

"I'm just happy right now playing for my own personal enjoyment," she adds. "And for my family and friends."

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