Can you hear the tappity-tap of dance shoes? Or the screech of a bow being drawn across violin strings?
Yes, the St. Albert Rotary Music Festival gets off to a flying start on Monday for two weeks of performing arts competitions running April 2 to 5 and April 10 to 14.
“It’s an opportunity to perform for their peers and esteemed adjudicators, and to grow and be enriched in the performing arts,” said festival chair Maryan Threndyle.
This year there are 860 entries with 2,000 performers encompassing band, musical theatre, dance, piano, vocal, classical guitar, violin, woodwinds, brass and composition.
Numerous venues across St. Albert have donated space, from the Arden Theatre to various churches including St. Albert Evangelical, Red Willow Community, Sturgeon Valley Baptist, Salvation Army, St. Albert United and Braeside Presbyterian.
Most of the entries are from the Capital region, however out-of-towners have often been attracted by the festival’s growing reputation. One band is even travelling from Kelowna.
“Many look forward to performing and finding their voice. In some cases, this is the only opportunity to showcase their creative side.”
In addition to personal growth, performers are rewarded on various levels. Eighty scholarships will be awarded ranging from $50 to $1,000. The $1,000 Lyle Moore Scholarship is awarded to an advanced student pursuing a career.
The festival’s most prestigious award is the $500 Rose Bowl Award, offered to the best of the best. And the third top award is the Marcia Stanton Award given to an all-around student entered in a variety of classes.
A new event this year immediately following the festival is the inaugural Rotary Evening with the Stars held at the Arden Theatre on April 18.
Linda Moffat, chair for Rotary Evening with the Stars, explained that this first time event has two goals.
“It’s meant to be a way of raising money for the festival. It’s difficult to have a stable revenue source especially when we give away so many scholarships, and nobody wants to see that end,” said Moffat.
She added the evening is a chance for festival alumni to once again strut their stuff. The featured professional artists include international dancer Andrew Murdock, pianist David Fraser and singer Janelle Gallant.
“It’s a way for young people to see where they could be in 10 years. A large number of performers have been where they are. They’ve gone through the same things. They’re just at a different level. I think it could be very inspirational for young people.”
In addition, emerging artists from Sturgeon Composite High School Jazz Band, St. Albert Children’s Theatre, the Art of Dance and Visionary Voices will showcase their talents.
The evening starts with a 6:30 wine and cheese reception followed by the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available at the Arden box office 780-459-1542 or at www.ticketmaster.ca.