The Prince George and District Music Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Originally, the festival was comprised of music, speech arts, and drama presentations but it is now an annual music competition for students in piano, string, vocal and instrumental categories. The vocal section includes musical theatre numbers with several school and community choirs participating. Over the years the festival has grown from about 20 entries to more than 900 participants last year. Professional musicians are brought in to adjudicate students and to provide advice and encouragement to everyone.
Each year students are chosen to represent Prince George at the Performing Arts BC Festival held in Kamloops in June. Many musicians who reside in Prince George or who have moved on to pursue musical careers have been involved in the local festival. This year’s adjudicators are William Vandersloot for strings, Cynthia Goddard for piano, Brenda Fedoruk for instrumental, Reid Spencer for vocal and Sandra Meister for choir.
The syllabus, a list of festival rules and regulations, is now available at Studio 2880 and Long and McQuade on George St. People of all musical levels are welcome to participate. The entry deadline is Jan. 14.
This year’s festival starts on Feb. 26 with string sessions at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church on Ospika and Dufferin. Vocal begins on March 3, choral begins on March 7 and instrumental on March 9 at the same venue. Piano sessions start on Feb. 27 at the Evangelical Free Church on Fifth Ave. The program of classes will be available in early February.
The festival concludes with two concerts: Showcase Recital and Gala Concert on March 15 at the Prince George Playhouse.