Vocal adjudicator many-faceted musician

Festival Fanfare

Now that the entry dates have officially closed for the 2021 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival, we can start introducing this year’s adjudicators.

Chris Kelly, born in Prince Albert, will adjudicate vocal entries this year. He studied piano with Janet Wendland and was a member of the Prince Albert Boys’ Choir under the direction of Margo Fournier, eventually serving as their accompanist and director of junior choirs. Kelly entered the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan as a piano performance major and voice minor. He studied voice with Dorothy Howard and earned a double major, completing performance and academic requirements in both voice and piano. In 1996 Kelly earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied under Alvin Reimer.

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Kelly has been a sessional lecturer in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Music teaching voice and serving as an accompanist. He has also taught keyboard skills and musicianship. He maintains a private voice and piano studio and performs regularly in recital, opera and oratorio. Kelly has also instructed music theatre classes and accompanied at Saskatoon dance studios.

He has performed as guest soloist with the Saskatoon and Regina Symphonies in Handel’s Messiah and Verdi’s Requiem and in the U of S University Chorus performances of Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Saint Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Bruckner’s Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. He has also had numerous leads, chorus, and accompanying roles with Saskatoon Opera.

In addition to teaching, Kelly accompanies singers and instrumentalists, coaches, adjudicates, and is a church organist and choir director. He and his wife, Paula, have two sons Graham and William. Kelly is a member of the Saskatchewan and Canadian Registered Music Teachers Associations.

Festival vocal classes are currently scheduled for Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 20.

With 2021 Festival entries in hand, the festival committee is adjusting the dates so that all the entries may be heard between April 19-24. 

There will be performances in piano, vocal, musical theatre, speech arts, strings and instrumental solos. Two school bands will submit recordings and there are six entries in vocal and piano excellence classes. This year, two entrants can be recommended to each provincial class instead of just one.  Those entries will be submitted by recording, so the students (and teachers) will gain some skill in that process; different than a live performance.  The recording skills will probably serve everyone well as we move into the future post-COVID. 

A recorded gala concert including the announcement of award winners will be created and made available for viewing. The committee is still working out those details.

Keep in mind that volunteers are needed for the festival. Those who would like to add their name to the volunteer list can talk to any committee member or email l.sander@hotmail.com. Also pleaseencourage youth with visual art interests to create musical-themed entries for consideration in the annual drawing contest! The deadline is Feb. 26. Images should be on 8.5 by 11 inch paper in a medium of choice (black ink, pencil, coloured pencil, marker, crayon, acrylic, pastels, water colour) with a white background. 

Many inspiring musicians passed away in 2020 including drummer Jimmy Cobb. Cobb shared the historical jazz scene stage with the best of the best. From an interview posted on JazzWax in 2009:“There’s a moment on Miles Davis’s Stella by Starlight in 1958 that crystallizes drummer Jimmy Cobb’s brilliance. As Davis holds the final note of his trumpet solo and John Coltrane comes in on tenor saxophone, Jimmy’s seamless change from wispy brushes behind Miles to solid wood rim shots to support Coltrane completely changes the mood and energy level of the standard. What had been, up until that moment, a sound akin to tiptoeing on hot gravel instantly felt like a breakaway gallop. Once Coltrane wrapped, Jimmy once again swapped sticks for brushes behind Bill Evans’ solo.”Jimmy Cobb1949 – 2020




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