February 28th to March 16th 2023
In 2023 the Prince Albert Music Festival celebrates its 75th year. To mark the occasion we are gathering memories of Music Festival and sharing them with our community.
If you have been part of festival as a performer, volunteer, committee member, or audience, we would love to hear your memories! Please share one or tell us what Music Festival means to you by sending us a note at:
The Prince Albert Music Festival runs from February 28th to March 16th 2023 throughout Prince Albert. For specific dates and locations, see pamfa.ca.
Interested in performing in festival? Register by January 14th 2023. Visit our website for registration details.
I participated in Festival from Grade 5-12 on saxophone and voice (and then again for years as an adult). I absolutely loved the experience, the camaraderie and friendships developed with other participants, the adjudications, the atmosphere of excited nervousness in the room when we were anticipating our class, being on stage and performing, and being able to listen to everyone else that had prepared for the festival. My mom remembers me saying once that I looked forward to Music Festival as much as Christmas!
What I really liked about music festival as a kid was how it helped me to become comfortable on the stage and not so scared.
Hi, I’m Jude and I am 8 years old. Last year I played piano in the Music Festival and I had fun doing it. I liked being able to play for other people, and it was nice to hear other performers. It took a lot of work and practice but it was worth it. I also received a $50 scholarship which was very exciting! I will be in the Festival again this year!
It is a sunny January afternoon and my mom and I are sitting in her living room planning for Voice Festival 2023. The infinite keeper of memories, my mom pulls out a newspaper clipping from a decade ago! It is a picture of a very dear student, Jody Jordan Johnson, and myself after the musical theatre solo competition (my favorite genre). Seeing this article so many years later prompted me to reach out to Jody and reconnect to see where this smart, independent, and lovely lady ended up. She is working full time as a dental hygienist, married, and just had a sweet little girl! What a wonderful way to start the new year! I hope I am able to reconnect with another student in 2023!
My Music Festival years were some of the best in my life! This was several decades ago, but it could have been yesterday. Forever will I be grateful for life lessons learned in preparation, in practice, and in rehearsals for voice competition. Often I would enter 3 or 4 classes, and have 6 or 7 new songs to learn and memorize. Your knowledge was further enriched by gaining insight into the lives and times of a host of poets and composers!
It was always heart thumping to wait for that adjudicator to come on stage, but to me the most anxiously awaited moments were always at Provincial Finals. You gave your best! With fondness I remember my 1st Scholarship of $25.00. (Then, it was the top amount!) I was so happy I thought I won an Academy Award! My winning song was a German folk song, sung in that language. As years went by I saved all my scholarship money so I could buy my own piano. To this day I count it as one of my most prized possessions.
I feel I am a stronger person because of the Music Festival. Any local or provincial recognition I received then, and present, was totally through confidence gained in the joy of music competition.
It is difficult to leave the Music Festival and I was again drawn to serve on the Festival Committee, challenged by nearly every capacity from President to Publicity, and even volunteer. As my music teacher always said: “You will never be lonely if you have music in your life!”
“I grew up in the small town of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, where there was an active music festival community. Festival was one of my favorite times of the year. Although I may not have loved practising as much as I should have, I did love the chance to perform in public. I played solos and duets on the piano and clarinet, did a little singing, and accompanied friends and other music students in vocal and instrumental disciplines.
One year, when I was in Grade 10 or 11, my friend Sheila and I decided we really wanted to ramp up the excitement level. Instead of playing our usual duet, we approached our teacher to ask if we could do a two-piano duet. Our teacher was enthusiastic about the idea, but told us she would have to check with the venue to see if two pianos could be provided. This was, of course, in the days before electronic instruments made it easy to move pianos around. As luck would have it, my Dad was the pastor of the church where piano festival was held. Far be it from him to turn down his daughter’s request to do something fun with her music. He agreed, perhaps rashly, to handle the move of the piano from the basement up to the sanctuary.
The basement piano was one of those enormous, heavy, bulky old beasts that practically take a team of horses to move. After church on Sunday, my Dad tapped a group of men to do the move. I watched them groaning and straining and tripping over each other as they moved that monster up the flight of stairs. The unanimous chorus once it was in place was that “We hope you have a lot of fun doing this, because you are never doing it again!” Sheila and I DID have enormous fun doing that duet. And, true to their word, once the piano had been dragged back down to the basement, they never moved it again! I am thankful to each of them and to the community of Shaunavon for supporting me and the music students of that community in so many ways. I am delighted to be paying some of that back now as a member of our Festival committee in Prince Albert. I hope our participants leave this festival with memories and stories and a sense of being part of our music community here.”