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More students awarded at Festival of the Arts

Festival wraps up this weekend with piano and strings division

The Peace River North Festival of the Arts wrapped up its third division of student performances on Wednesday with a full day of band and instrumental.

Geneva Iten was awarded the Top Instrumental/Woodwind Performance Excellence Scholarship. 

Wednesday's line-up also featured School District bands from beginner to junior to senior jazz, to the North Winds Community Band, though no overall trophy was awarded. The program was mostly educational, giving students the chance to get on stage and perform with a top music professor. 

"It is so wonderful that it's the first time, basically, since the pandemic started that anybody has been able to get together and do this thing kind of thing," said adjudicator Dr. Michael Keddy, from Victoria.

"It's my first festival in three years, to come and adjudicate, and come and help students grow from what their teachers have been doing with them. It's great to have the opportunity to share music because that's what music is all about."

"I look for them to have some joy in what they do," Keddy added when asked what he looks for when evaluating a student. "They're learning about music but learning to be personable with it, make a connection to music, and with each other."

Students are graded using a gold, silver, and bronze system. Gold standard is considered the top rating.

"Where there are a lot of good things are happening and the sound is really good. The student is working on things like balance and blend, so they make the style of music sound like it was intended."

On Sunday, Tara Carnell was awarded the Vocal Excellence Scholarship in the voice and choir division.

This year's festival resumes April 30 and May 1 with with piano and string performances highlighting a range of genres, including classical, jazz, romantic, and baroque.

A best of festival honours performance takes place June 4 at the cultural centre, followed by this year's virtual provincials starting June 5.

- with file from Matt Preprost


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