Friday, April 3 is set aside at this year’s Battlefords area music festival for featuring local strings instrument performances. There are sessions in the morning, afternoon, and evening in the acoustically lovely space of the Third Avenue United Church. Adjudicating the strings sessions is Anna Marie Bekolay. Bekolay brings diversity and expertise. Bekolay is a soprano, violinist, teacher and adjudicator and performs with many ensembles in and around Saskatoon. She runs Anna Bekolay’s Studio teaching for voice, violin, recorder and fiddle. In 2006, she received a gold medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for the highest mark in the country on her associate diploma exam in voice performance.
Bekolay’s current projects include: a classical vocal album in collaboration with Deborah Buck, under the stage name, Anna Maria Soparlo: Songs in Loving Memory of My Father (2017), Back of the Bus (Celtic), The Stephanies (pop/folk), The Whiskey Jerks (Klezmer/folk/jazz),Mac Talla Quartet (classical/pop/folk), Troubadours du Bois (Renaissance),a brand new project called Phantasma (exploring operatic vocals over heavy epic bass and drums) and a variety of freelance collaborations including performances with Flamenco Borealis and Free Flow Dance, a recent retirement party that involved some music from the musical Billy Elliot, arranged and directed by Deborah Buck and a Fringe play Brel! (July 2017), based on the music of Jacques Brel, where she was both musical director and performer. Bekolay’s singing was also featured recently at the 2017 Saskatchewan Wearable Art Gala in the collaborative presentation of the wearable art piece Faceted Wing by Nadine Jaggi.
This year’s festival dates are March 24 to April 4. Band entries open the festival Tuesday, March 24, Vocal and choir entries to begin Sunday, March 29, musical theatre and speech arts being Tuesday, March 31, piano classes start Thursday, April 2 and strings are on Friday, April 3.
“Sondheim is the Shakespeare of the musical theater world.”― Mandy Patinkin