More than 100 students perform at Sackville’s Music Festival

Tribune-Post Staff
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Front row: Tess Cameron, Charles Torrance, Quleanja Laureijs, Davin

MacAskill,  Tomas Sigtryggsson, Delia Beisser-Jackson, Jesse Alder, Oskar

Sigtryggsson, Simone Cameron and Meaghan Barrett. Second row: Christelinda Laureijs, Rebecca Dobson, Aryeh Majithia, Madeleine de Ste-Croix Killoran, Kaitlin Barrett, Aditya Majithia, Allyssa Theriault, Fumairia Laureijs, Severine Beisser-Jackson, Gracen Chitty and Nina Lundrigan. Third row: Amelia Fleming, Megumi Gates, Kie Gates, Katie Hicks, Rebecca Barrett, Joel Robertson, Joseph Caswell, Emma Legere, Skylar Duchemin, Lydia Anderson, Grace Farella, Rebekah Swanson and Alice Torrance. Fourth row: David Howe, Hiroko Hanamura , Ashlyn Brownell, Tim Soper, Elijah

Marr, Margaret Torrance, Heidi Soper, Morgan Grant, Jadyn Soehner and Tyler

Buchanan. Missing from picture: Evelyn Blaney, Valerie Boorne, Koji Gates, Luc Swanson, Colleen Wade, Oliver Priemer, Joseph Findlay, Catherine Priemer,

Aidan Starratt, Liam, Starratt, Chris Jurcina, Adam Niles, Sarah Stewart,

Kaitlyn Wheaton, Beth Torrnace, Lena Dietz-Chiasson and Gabrielle de Ste. Croix

Killoran. PHOTO SUBMITTED

SACKVILLE, N.B.-The Sackville Music Festival wrapped up its 60th annual event on Saturday, May 3.

The six-day festival saw more than 100 students performing for five adjudicators in the areas of speech, voice, choir, piano, woodwinds, percussion, band, and strings.

Below is an edited version of the speech presented at the final concert by festival committee member Suzanne Soper. It highlights a few of the things learned at this year’s festival.

“We learned about the history of this festival. This festival began 60 years ago in June. A book entitled Festivals: A History of Competitive Music Festivals in New Brunswick tells us that on June 1, 1954, the headline on the front page article of the Tribune Post read “One Day Music Festival to be Held at Sackville High School on Thursday.” It goes on to say that this one-day event consisted of 21 classes that were confined to rhythm bands, choruses, and vocal solos. There were no classes for piano or other instruments.

“This week, we learned about the effort that composers had to put into the physical writing of their compositions some 200 years ago. One of the adjudicators reminded us that if a composer had to painstakingly dip their quill into the ink every time they penned a notation on the page, that they must have really meant it and that in turn we should play what they penned the way they wrote it.

“We learned that some life truths apply to music . . . Dr Kutnowski, our senior piano adjudicator, reminded some students that when you make a mistake partway through a piece, “you have to pick up the wounded and the dead later and move on.”

“On the other hand, we learned that some life truths do not apply to music . . . Dr. Simon, our winds, band and percussion adjudicator, repeatedly told his students “that all humans are created equal but all music notes are not.

“We learned that musicians are storytellers; that the dynamics of the music, the tempo of the music, the slurs in the music, etc. are all necessary to weave the story the composer has written and to transport the listeners into that story.

“We learned practical lessons – to keep boxes of Kleenex in the auditorium on band and choir day for nosebleeds, to wear shorts and tank tops in the tropical environment of the band room and that the purple jolly ranchers are always the last ones left in the bowl!

“We all learned that music and performing is like a roller coaster ride. Some performers experienced the high points in the ride this week. Some experienced the lower points. But we learned that we need both the high and the low points to feel the ultimate joy, excitement and thrill that make us want us to get back in line and take the ride over and over again.”

Sackville will again be the site of the NB Federation of Music Festivals provincial music festival finals, which will be held June 4-7 at the Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory of Music, with the support of the music department of Mount Allison University. Six students will be representing Sackville in these finals – Joel Robertson and Christelinda Laureijs in junior piano, Megumi Gates in intermediate piano, Hiroko Hanamura in senior piano, Alice Torrance in junior strings, and Joel Robertson and Ashlyn Brownell in junior woodwinds. These finals are open to the public.

Organizations: Tribune Post, Sackville High School, Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory Mount Allison University

Geographic location: New Brunswick

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