Prince Albert Music Festival celebrating 75th Anniversary

Jason Kerr/Daily Herald Pianist Anthony Stergios performs during the Piano Awards Concert at Calvary United Church on Sunday, March 5.

The Prince Albert Music Festival is celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year.

From March 1, through to March 19, music students will perform 200 pieces in the categories of piano, choral, voice, band and instrumental (woodwind, brass, strings) across venues in Prince Albert.

The Festival hosted their first of three Awards Concerts on Sunday at the Calvary United Church on Sunday.

Festival Coordinator Jesse Campbell the hard work from local volunteers makes the time fly by.

“Every year our committee and our local music teachers and volunteers, everyone keeps plugging away to run the festival and to support our local youth in their musical growth and 75 years just creeps up on you,” she said. “When we have these numbers that end in zero and five, it is a nice occasion to look back and realize that an event like this does have an important place in our community. The event has become a tradition that is valued by not only people who are studying music in our community, but people who appreciate the arts.”

The Festival faced challenges, like every other longstanding event, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, half the festival was cancelled due to COVID, while in 2021 the entire event was held online. Some categories returned in 2022, like piano, but other events like massed band and choir were left off the schedule. In 2023, Campbell said they are starting to get back to where they were before COVID hit.

“We have got some really dedicated students and families and teachers and we would love to see more,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of different classes that people are able to perform in and enroll in and get feedback on, so we hope to continue growing into the future.”

The Piano Discipline took place at the Calvary United Church on March 1 and 2 and the Choral and Vocal Discipline took place on March 3 and 4 at the Messiah Lutheran Church.

The Instrumental Discipline takes place on March 9 at the Calvary United Church from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The traveling adjudicator for the Band Discipline will run from March 13 to 16.

This year’s adjudicators include Aaron Wilson, Marcia Mclean, Anna Marie Bekolay and Laurel Teichrob. Campbell said that it was great to have the adjudicators come for the Festival.

“They are very passionate and they are very knowledgeable and both of those things come through when they are giving feedback to everyone,” she said.

The awards concert recognizes Music Festival entrants that have received scholarships. A selection of pieces will be performed by scholarship recipients.

The Choral and Vocal Awards Concert is on March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church and the Instrumental Awards Concert is on March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Calvary United Church.

“We are having these three this month and that will be to celebrate and recognize the students that are receiving scholarships that have been very generously donated by many people in our community,” Campell said.

They are also planning a larger celebration in April to celebrate their 75th anniversary, including a special concert series at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on April 24. Other details will come out in the next month or so.

The Prince Albert Kiwanis Club continues to be a sponsor despite folding.

“We are generously sponsored by the Prince Albert Kiwanis Club even though they folded a couple of years ago,” Campbell said. “They left a generous endowment for us and we are very grateful to have that ongoing funding.”

Campbell acknowledged that they could not go on without the support of the community.

“We are also extremely grateful for our Friends of the Festival and our volunteers and we are always looking for more people to help out especially on our board. If there is anyone in the community who believe in the importance of art opportunities for our youth then we would love to hear from them and would welcome them in whatever they would be able to contribute,” Campbell said

The Prince Albert Music Festival is part of the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association and receives funding from the SK Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation.

75th annual Prince Albert Music Festival — piano scholarships

Jason Kerr/Daily Herald Piano scholarship winners pose for a photo following the Piano Awards Night at Calvary United Church on Sunday, March 5.

John & Ruth McIvor:  Sonatina Class ($75.00)

Neda Robertson

Jim Pattison Broadcast Group:  Baroque Class ($100.00)

Anthony Stergios 

Colleen Bowen: RCM Graded Prep-Grade 4 (50.00)

Tommy Boyd

Carole Naylor Memorial Scholarship, donated by Liz Naylor:  RCM Graded Grade 5 and over ($50.00)

Anastazja Scott

Pizazz Music Studio:  8 years and under ($50.00)

Linus Skomorowski

Dan & Joyce Stevenson:  9 years and under ($50.00)

Falyn Charbonneau

Butler Family Foundation:  10 years and under ($50.00)

Alexandrine Bergeron

Gordon & Donna Thompson:  11 years and under ($50.00)

Joaquin Jubilana

Butler Family Foundation:  12 years and under ($50.00)

Gabrielle Quitoriano

John & Kelly Lefevre: 13 years and under ($50.00)
Emily Groves

Butler Family Foundation: 14 years and under ($50.00)
Greyson de Padua

Mitch & Sheila Holash: 15 years and under ($50.00)
Regan Boyd

Marilyn Lohrenz: 17 years and over ($50.00)
Anthony Stergios

Beta Sigma Phi Preceptor Chapter, Gertrude Cote Memorial: Canadian ($100.00)
Kayla Branscombe

Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers: 20th/21st Century Composer, 15 years and over ($50.00)
Noelle Lambert

John & Deborah Piggott: 20th/21st Century Composer, 14 years and under ($50.00)
Hannah Quitoriano

Bob & Lorna Gibson: Duet, any age ($50.00)
Kayla Branscombe & Darby Branscombe

Mont. St. Joseph Home Auxiliary, Lesley Larrea Memorial Scholarship: Parent/Child Duet ($125.00)
Jude Skomorowski & Brock Skomorowski

Mont. St. Joseph Home Auxiliary, Lesley Larrea Memorial Scholarship: 1st or 2nd year performing in the festival ($125.00)
Théodore Lambert

Butler Family Foundation:  Open Scholarships ($50.00)

Katriane Skopyk
Austin Mack
Naim Robertson
Greyson de Padua
Gabrielle Quitoriano
Joaquin Jubilan
Neda Robertson

Ted Pechey, Tim Pechey Memorial:  Open ($100.00)
Anthony Stergios

Mont. St. Joseph Home Auxiliary, Vera Doell Memorial:  Open ($100.00)
Emilie Lambert

Prince Albert Superannuated Teachers:  14 years and under ($75.00)
Emilie Lambert

Prince Albert Superannuated Teachers:  15 years and over ($75.00)
Alex Rensberry

Bruce & Gladys Goertzen Memorial:  Open ($100.00)
Noelle Lambert

Harris & Diane May:  Open ($100.00)
Hannah Quitoriano

Optimist Club of Prince Albert:  Achievement Award for Highest Mark in a Solo Performance, 14 years and under ($50.00)
Neda Robertson

Optimist Club of Prince Albert:  Achievement Award for Highest Mark in a Solo Performance, 15 years and over ($50.00)
Anthony Stergios 

Ted Pechey:  Living Canadian Composers ($200.00)
Lea Lambert

Ted Pechey:  Living Canadian Composers ($200.00)
Anastazja Scott

Butler Family Foundation:  Outstanding Performer, 14 years and under ($200.00)
Anastazja Scott

Kiwanis Club:  Outstanding Performer, 15 years and over ($200.00)
Anthony Stergios