Battlefords Music Festival piano adjudicator announced

Over the last few weeks, three of this year’s Festival adjudicators were introduced. Marcia McLean, the adjudicator opening the Battlefords Music Festival, for vocal solo, duets, ensembles, and choir entries from Saturday, April 1 – Monday, April 3. Wayne Toews is scheduled to adjudicate band entries from Tuesday, April 4 – Thursday, April 6. Toews will also adjudicate Strings entries on Friday, April 7. Speech Arts entries, adjudicated by Ian Nelson, are scheduled during same dates as band. Lynn Ewing will adjudicate the final musical discipline, piano entries. 

Lynn Ewing, a native of Saskatchewan, has taught piano, music theory and singing for many years in Saskatoon. Of particular note has been her work with special needs students, including visually handicapped students and students with autism spectrum disorder. Her students have distinguished themselves locally, provincially and nationally as recipients of diplomas, scholarships and competition prizes. In addition to teaching, Ewing also enjoys performing both as singer and as pianist in a wide variety of settings either as a collaborative artist or as a soloist. She works as a music adjudicator in western Canada and has examined for Conservatory Canada. Lynn holds diplomas in piano and singing from the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto and Trinity College of London, UK. She also has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and a B.Ed. from the University of British Columbia. 

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A past president of both the Saskatoon Branch of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association and Musical Art Club, Ewing was pleased to serve for many years as a senator representing the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association in the University of Saskatchewan Senate. Currently, Ewing is Chair of the Lyell Gustin Memorial Piano Scholarship Competition and Trinity College of London representative. She has also worked as treasurer for the Gustin Trounce Heritage Committee during the restoration of Gustin House. She serves as an executive member on both her local and provincial music teachers associations. President of the Saskatoon Symphony Society Board of Directors, Ewing is a passionate advocate for the arts in our community. Married to Bill Feldbruegge, she loves attending concerts and family gatherings, performing music and walking on our beautiful riverbank with her German shepherd.

Once entries are compiled and the program organized, official dates and times for the various disciplines will be officially set. Meanwhile the tentative discipline schedule is voice/choir April 1 – 3, band/instruments/ensembles April 4 – 6, speech arts/musical theatre April 4 – 6, strings on April 7, and piano winding-up the festival April 7 – 9. With the overlapping schedules, solo participants are requested to email the committee if they are part of an ensemble such as band or choir to help with coordinating the festival program. It is also helpful if teachers entering ensembles email a list of participants so as to minimize schedule conflicts. The festival will culminate with a celebratory Gala at the Dekker Centre where highlights will be showcased and awards distributed. Email with any questions or if you are interested in volunteering.

A personal shout out to singer Al Jarreau who died recently. I studied vocal jazz extensively when I was young. I remember in the early 80's being thrilled to be back stage with some other students while Al Jarreau was performing. Those of you experienced with on-stage monitors (the only option before high tech wireless ear-piece monitors) while performing in a large venue with amplified sound, know how difficult it is to maintain balance and pitch without a source of immediate sound feedback for the live performer amid the other simultaneous musical sounds. My friends and I were blown away when he would wander beyond that sound safety net, yet maintain perfect tuning and texture balance. It was unforgettable. He was and is an inspiring singer, musician, and artist.

“I grew up the son of a Seventh Day Adventist minister, so I was really close to the church and sang church music between sips at my bottle, you know? I sat on the piano bench next to my mother. She was the church organist, so that music is deeply inside of me.”  - Al Jarreau

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