Piano adjudicator firm believer in lifelong learning

Festival Fanfare

The final musical discipline featured at the 2016 Battlefords area Music Festival is piano. I am confident the high quality of local piano students will not go unnoticed by this year’s piano adjudicator, Peggy L’Hoir. Peggy is an experienced and innovative teacher, clinician, collaborative artist and composer. She holds an associate diploma in Piano Performance from Trinity College, London and has been sharing her enthusiasm for music with students for over four decades. She is a firm believer in lifelong learning, and consistently embraces every opportunity herself to learn more about the art of teaching, performing and composing.

While at home in Biggar, Peggy guides a large class of students through piano, theory, accompanying and composition, from beginner to associate level. Students from her studio have been recognized winning top honours at their local festival, the SRMTA Student Composer Competition, the Jean Coulthard Music Writing Competition, the Alberta Piano Teachers Association Music Writing Competition, CFMTA Young Composers Competition and silver medals in Piano Performance from the RCME. Peggy’s most recent success in the area of composition include having her composition for piano, Ants on the Sidewalk, appear in Northern Lights – Level Two, published by the Canadian National Conservatory of Music. Peggy is a Past President of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association (SRMTA), and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA), having had the opportunity to serve on many committees within these associations. In 2005, her passion for Canadian music led her to be an integral part in the SRMTA’s Centennial Publication, From Prairie to Pine – Piano Solos by Saskatchewan Composers and, most recently, in 2011, From Prairie to Pine – Piano Solos by Saskatchewan Composers – Volume 2.

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Other musical adventures have seen Peggy as the assistant musical director for New York is Big But this is Biggar, the Musical (2000) and musical / choral director from 2001 – 2016 for productions as Fiddler on The Roof,  Carousel, The Wizard of Oz,  A Family Affair, Oklahoma,  Cinderella, The Apple Tree, Godspell, Lucky Stiff, The Wiz, Shrek, The Addams Family Musical and Beauty and the Beast. Community activities result in many events and programs, including the Heart of the City Piano Program (a program designed to provide musical instruction to those facing financial or sociological obstacles), and many local fundraising concerts featuring local and guest artists. Peggy also enjoys being musical director of her local church choir as well as performing with The Group, an eclectic easy listening group. Some of her favourite pastimes include spending time with her family and friends, as well as cooking, reading, crafting and fishing.

In response to the higher than usual band entries this year, the band dates have been expanded to Tuesday through Thursday, April 19 -21. With the adjusted schedule we were granted an alternative adjudicator, Grenfell-born, Brian Unverricht who attended the University of Saskatchewan, majored in piano, graduated with the first Bachelor of Music class in 1971, and pursued further studies in New Jersey, Australia, Strasbourg (France), and the University of Calgary. This year’s vocal adjudicator, Dianna Woolrich, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice with great distinction from the University of Regina, where she also completed course work for a graduate degree in music theory and taught for some years as a sessional lecturer. The Musical Theatre and Speech Arts adjudicator, Julia Jamison, teaches voice and acting in the Department of Drama at the University of Saskatchewan where she has directed numerous Greystone Theatre productions. Strings adjudicator, Catherine Cosbey, is a Canadian violinist and avid teacher in her hometown of Regina, holding degrees from Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Yale School of Music.

The festival is still in need of volunteers, especially door greeters and adjudicator secretaries. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact volunteer coordinator Kelly Day at gkday@sasktel.net, by cell 306-441-0992, or in the evenings at 306-937-3322. Kelly will be happy to discuss job descriptions and available opportunities to enjoy the festival while supporting smooth sailing of the event!

Congratulations to John Paul II Grade 12 student Bradley Osecap, this year’s festival program cover contest winner! His beautiful musical-themed art work will adorn the 2016 program cover. Thank you to all youth who submitted such creative and imaginative entries. Several will be used within the pages of the program and displayed at festival venues for all spectators to enjoy.

“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colours in your mind”
– Maria Cristina Mena, The Collected Stories of Maria Cristina Mena

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