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Monday, December 11, 2023
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Countdown to 75

Countdown to 75
Trombonist Rylee McKay will be among those performing at the 75th anniversary concert on Monday, April 24. -- Submitted photo.

The Prince Albert Music Festival celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and they’re doing so the best way they know how: with a gala concert. The concert will take place on Monday, April 24 at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. Showtime is 7 p.m.

In building up to the gala, organizers caught up with some Prince Albert Music Festival alumni who will be performing. This is the first of five installments the Daily Herald has published. We’ll publish one a day until the concert on Monday. Today’s feature is on trombone player Rylee McKay.

Rylee McKay, Trombonist

1. How did you come to play the trombone?

I went to Vickers, which, unlike many elementary schools, has mandatory band class up until grade 8. I started these band classes in grade 5, where I was told to list my top 3 instrument choices. Funny enough, trombone was my third option, following bassoon and saxophone. My band teacher, Mr. Acorn, decided on trombone for me and I’d say that ended up working out pretty well. I chose to continue playing trombone in grade 8, and then into high school. I was even fortunate enough to play in the Provincial Honour Band a few years ago.

2. Tell us a little bit about the piece you will perform at the Gala Concert on April 24th.

I will be performing “Hallelujah” originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen. I chose Hallelujah because it is slow and well known, which made it easier to learn as I already had a good idea of what it was supposed to sound like. The slow tempo made it, in my opinion, easier to express emotion throughout the song. I find I have lots of freedom when it comes to the dynamics and articulations in this song. I think most people have heard the original, and if not I would encourage them to! I am beyond honoured to be able to perform this song and hopefully I do it justice.

3. What is your favourite part of performing?

I love performing emotional pieces. They allow me to show off the beauty of music and its ability to express feelings through a means other than words. For these reasons, my favourite part of performing would be the opportunity to connect with the audience and show them the hard work and passion that I have put into whatever piece I am performing.