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Stettler holds 56th annual music festival

Students take part in the musical theatre performance during the Stettler District Music Festival. (Facebook photo)

The Stettler and District Music Festival has come and gone for another year.

According to the festival board president, Marci Spady, the festival was “a great experience for all the kids this year.”

“There was a learning curve,” said Spady, in her first year in the role of president.

“There’s a great team of volunteers and some talented kids.”

Overall, 325 individual participants took part in the week-long event, performing 171 entries in five different genres coordinated by 26 volunteers.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Spady.

Based on the adjudicator’s recommendations, 50 youths have been put forward to go to provincials.

Adjudicating the performances for the 56th annual festival was LaDona Ahenda, who was adjudicating piano, Gaye-Lynn Kern, was adjudicating vocal, choral, school chorus, speech, and musical theatre, and Bob Bailey, who was adjudicating band.

“There was so many years of knowledge,” said Spady, recounting how Bailey made some recommendations to the band students which showed almost immediate improvements.

“That expertise is invaluable.”

The top performers from each genre were recommended by the adjudicators to take part in the Grand Concert, which took place on April 27.

Youth taking part in the Grand Concert, which was emceed by town councillor Gord Lawlor, were the Gracenotes Honour Choir, Evan Lee, Kaia Sylvester, Jakob Stadelmann, Sawyer Sylvester, Simone Brugman, Daphne Fuller, the Rhapsody Girls & Tiny Tenors, and several others.

As part of the Gran Concert, the Stettler and District Music Festival awarded the annual Award of Excellence.

This year’s recipient of the honour was Bernie Jackson.

“It was a wonderful afternoon,” said Spady.

“It showcased the best of what the community has to offer.”

According to Spady, the year was not without its challenges.

Due to renovations at the Catholic Church, the festival office was required to move for 2024. Ultimately it ended up moving into Stettler’s Performing Arts Centre, which Spady says worked well, in large part due to the many volunteers who made the festival happen.

“It was a huge learning curve for me,” said Spady.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group to go on this ride with.”

Marci Spady presents Bernie Jackson with the 2024 ‘Award of Excellence.’ (Facebook photo)

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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