It’s not too late to catch the last couple of days of the 2021 Battlefords Music Festival. Free livestream viewing is at https://www.dekkercentre.com/live_streaming.html.
The festival closes with three days of piano sessions scheduled for the morning, afternoon and evening of Thursday, April 22. On Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24, sessions are scheduled for the mornings and afternoons.
Piano adjudicator, Janet Tieckur, grew up in rural Saskatchewan After completing music degrees from Prairie Bible College and the Royal Conservatory of Music, she has had her compositions performed at many concerts, new music festivals and on CBC radio. Her pedagogical compositions are now listed on many different syllabi across the country. Passionate about sharing music with those in her community and beyond, Tieckur is a member of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects and the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association.
Vocal sessions concluded April 20at the Dekker Centre with vocal adjudicator, Chris Kelly. Kelly is originally from Prince Albert. He earned with a double major, completing performance and academic requirements in both voice and piano at the University of Saskatchewan. He received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Western Ontario. Chris has been a sessional lecturer in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Music teaching voice and serving as an accompanist.
Band sessions concluded April 2. A last-minute change of adjudicators brought in Jim McCarthy. McCarthy is an established freelance musician with accolades in a wide range of skills: performing, composing, arranging, studio production, music education and instrument design and building. He graduated from Australia’s University of Adelaide in 1996 with a master’s degree in music performance – percussion. He has maintained annual tours in Australia performing with Musica Viva in Schools as well as running various master classes and clinics. He also arranges music for school bands and produces sequences and recordings for The Fun Music Company. Additionally, he runs a web-based business that focuses on designing and building custom percussion instruments, as well as a subscription website that produces video tutorials for marimba technique and monthly critiques of percussion performances on YouTube. On his website, makeamarimba.com, one can see a variety of do-it-yourself or build-for-yourself kits for marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones and glockenspiels.
Gala performances will be recorded one at a time Tuesday, April 27 at the Dekker Centre. Students chosen by the adjudicators will be contacted about a schedule. The celebratory showcase of these performances will be created for online viewing.
The gala should be available for viewing via the Dekker Centre website a few days after the recordings.
Despite navigating a pandemic, access to the Dekker Centre professional stage and concert grand makes for memorable performance experiences. The Dekker Centre professionally accommodated all needs in order for the festival to proceed amid complicated health restrictions. Only participants, their teachers, accompanists, adjudicators, volunteers and Dekker Centre staff were allowed to enter the building. Safety precautions for those attending in person included mask use, contract tracing information, assigned seating, social distancing, designated spots for storing instrument cases, no use of backstage areas and frequent sanitizing. Ensemble performances submitted recordings so as to keep the number of people in the theatre at one time to a minimal.
Here’s to the 2022 festival being less complicated. Here’s to all the students, teachers, family and supportive public making the festival safe and possible during the unique times of 2021.
‑ Trini Lopez(1937- 2020), an American singer, guitarist, and actor. His first album included a cover version of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer,” which earned a Golden Disc.