Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival highlights performers with virtual concert

Over 250 musicians participated in the 2022 Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival (KKMF), which took place in an online format again this year. Eighteen participants were chosen for the Highlights Concert, which showcases local musical talent, and will air later this month.

Isabella and Charlotte Guan in the practice room before their performance at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts. Submitted image.

Elaine Pedlar, Chair of the KKMF Committee, stated that last year’s Virtual Highlights Concert was extremely successful, and a wide audience viewed the performances on YourTV and through the Isabel Digital Concert Hall.

“The decision to continue virtually this year had to be made last fall,” she explained. “There is a great deal of planning involved and, looking ahead, we couldn’t be sure what COVID restrictions would be in place by March 2022. Although we missed the opportunity to share the music in a live format, we were pleased to continue the tradition virtually for another year.”

Every spring, the Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival holds a performance festival to highlight local music students and their accomplishments. In the past, participants gathered in groups to play a piece for an adjudicator, who then provides a written and oral report on their performance. The adjudicators’ recommendations are used to choose students to perform at the Highlights Concert, win awards, and be recommended for the provincial competition.

During the virtual festival, participants recorded their performances and uploaded the video(s) to YouTube for the adjudicators to review.

“Entrants received a detailed adjudication report for each of their performances,” said Cherrilyn Yalin, a member of the KKMF Planning Committee. “Based on the adjudicators’ recommendations, our Highlights Committee chose eighteen performances to represent the ages and range of musical talent in the festival to be in the Highlights Concert.”

According to Yalin, the performers were recorded, one at a time, at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022. Their performances were “expertly edited and combined by the Isabel’s technical staff to produce the concert, which will be shown on YourTV (Channel 700) on March 24 at 8 p.m.,” she said. “As it has for the past several years, the Ballytobin Foundation provided a generous grant to cover the expenses at the Isabel.”

The adjudicators also selected 57 performers to receive a total of $4,475 in awards at this year’s festival, and recommended that 48 of the entrants should have the opportunity to participate in the Provincial Music Festival.

“The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association always donates funds towards awards,” Yalin said. “This year, they dedicated two awards to Xóchitl Rivera, who died earlier this year as the result of a traffic accident. Xóchitl had performed in the Music Festival before and would have done so this year. Coincidentally, the two dedicated awards went to performers who attend the same school Xóchitl went to and study with the same music teacher she did.”

This year, the Queen’s University Dan School of Drama and Music made an addition to the Festival’s array of awards. According to Yalin, the new awards gave recipients the opportunity to receive a free lesson/consultation from a Dan School faculty member of their choice. The awards were granted at the discretion of the adjudicators to students in grades 11 and 12 in the following categories: Voice, Piano, Composition, Strings, and Woodwind/Brass/ Percussion.

“Operating the Music Festival is a joint effort with our community,” Yalin expressed. “The Anna & Edward C. Churchill Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Kingston made significant financial contributions to the Festival’s operation. As well, many individuals, organizations, and businesses made contributions to the Festival, either through direct gifts or advertisements in our newsletter.”

The Highlights Concert will be aired on YourTV on Thursday, Mar. 24, 2022, at 8 p.m. The video will be available for online viewing after Friday, Mar. 25, 2022, at the Isabel Digital Concert Hall.

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