Rotary Music Festival Awards Gala

38th Annual Festival wraps up with Awards Gala featuring an impressive line-up

Taylor Huber

The 38th Annual Rotary Music Festival has now completed its lengthy judging of performances by 1,165 regional youths, choirs and bands. In front of a packed Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Leduc, dozens of talented youths who had competed in the Festival were recognized and heralded.

On Sunday, April 26, the Awards Gala featured an impressive lineup of amazing young performers who wooed the crowd with violin and piano solos, a memorable piano trio, speech, clarinet and musical theatre numbers.

Aside from the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards and recommendations to “Provincials”, special scholarships and awards were announced by the articulate Master of Ceremonies Tina Van Boom and presented to each recipient by Leduc’s grande dame, the lovely Myrtle Smyth.

The Thaddeus Lake Showmanship Awards went to Cailye Klooster, Ben Smith and Julianne Simard. The Thaddeus Lake Music Foundation was created to remember a young man taken too soon, who loved music and the stage, and dreamed of offering underprivileged kids access to music lessons and instruments.

Three young ladies performed a fun and intricate piano piece: Taylor Huber, Julianne Simard and Jennifer Littlewood are Karen Lake’s students. They symbolized the fun, spirit and technique that can be reached through dedicated practice and a love for music. Kyle Sagert, a cute, 8 year old piano virtuoso, is a New Sarepta Elementary student and Leduc County resident. He amazed the audience with his confidence and spirited talent. Val Baron, band and choir director at Beaumont’s J.E.Lapointe School was the proud recipient of several awards.

The Rochelle Goebel Memorial Scholarship rewarded the talent and hard work of Julianne Simard and Taylor Huber. A generous sponsor decided to double the cash award so the two youths wouldn’t have to share the award money. As per a seven-year agreement with the Festival, The One Radio Scholarship for Top Senior Performer in any discipline was shared by Emma Stout, Katherine Abass and Joshua Taylor. He regaled the audience with his confident and spirited closing number, “If I were a rich man”, by Jerry Bock.

In the Speech, Instrumental, Vocal and Piano categories, a long list of regional youths were recognized: space will not allow for that list to be published, but if you are the supportive parents of a youth pursuing a musical education, Kudos to you! In its program, the Rotary Music Festival listed the sponsors who make the Festival possible each year.Among regional municipalities and clubs such as the Elks and the Lions, Mix-Cor Aggregates and Edmonton Piano Centre were the only commercial entities.

A lot of planning and dedication goes into the Annual Rotary Music Festival. Volunteers, students and their teachers join together in an impressive week of competition and the culminating Awards Gala. A concert not to be missed, each year in April!

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