Music Festival started Monday, March 7 | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Music Festival started Monday, March 7


    The 71st annual Drumheller and District Music Festival begins this Monday. This is the  largest and longest running musical event in the valley.

    Entry Secretary Tracy Kakuk has been busy with approximately 350 entries to the festival, that runs until the final concert on March 18 at Greentree School.
    Paula Vogstad, with the help of many local businesses,  are getting ready to thank adjudicators with exceptional gift baskets.
    Programs for the festival are available at Riverside Value Drug Mart, Wade’s Jewellery, and the World’s Largest Dinosaur.
 Joan Bell
    Joan Bell holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Alberto Guerrero. As a teenager, she earned both LRSM and ARCT diplomas in piano performance. She also studied organ and choral conducting at the Royal School of Church Music in England.
    Joan Bell has been teaching piano for many years and her students have earned many Silver Medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music, many scholarships and awards in the Calgary Kiwanis Festival, and have placed first in the national Canadian Music Competition, open to students from across Canada.
    She maintains a very busy studio in Calgary, where she teaches students from the beginner level to post-ARCT levels. She is committed to the concept that one of the purposes of teaching music is to instill in students a life-long love of music, both as performers and listeners.
Rhonda Sylvester
    Ms. Sylvester also holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance (Honours) from the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, and a music diploma from Red Deer College majoring in vocal performance (honours).  She has also obtained her ARCT Vocal Performance through the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music with First Class Honours and completed the high level Conservatory Canada Exams.
 Ms. Sylvester’s study of voice and choral has taken her to Europe where she lived in Kassel, Germany, and worked as a choral director and English assistant in Friedrich’s Gymnasium, a school whose prestige is focused on orchestra and choral programs. 
    Ms. Sylvester is also a part of the operatic duo “The Darling Divas” with dramatic soprano Karen Fawcett.  The Darling Divas' goal is to promote and expose the music and life of opera to small town communities within the central Alberta region. 
    Ms. Sylvester currently resides in Stettler, where she has an active vocal studio and choral program.  She is active in the community theatre program and has been the musical director for the local productions of The Music Man, Pets, Till We Meet Again, Ready, Steady, Go, Fiddler On the Roof, and My Fair Lady. 
    In addition to musical director, Ms. Sylvester also played the role of the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense and Nunsense Two: The Second Coming.   
    In addition to her numerous local, provincial and national Music Festival awards, Ms. Sylvester has also been awarded the prestigious Stettler and District Music Festival Association Award of Excellence, for the nurturing and development of musical expression in the life of the community.
Sarah Gieck
    Sarah Gieck is a freelance flutist based in Calgary, Alberta. A regular substitute in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, she also teaches at the University of Lethbridge and plays principal flute with the Lethbridge Symphony. Sarah has also performed with the Red Deer Symphony and the Calgary based Alberta Winds and Altius Brass Ensembles. Sarah is an active chamber and solo musician, performing in concerts throughout central and southern Alberta. In January of 2009, Sarah was invited to perform in the New Music Festival at the University of Calgary, where she performed Robert Aitken’s My Song for two flutes alongside the composer himself. In the spring of 2010 Sarah appeared as a guest artist with the Musaeus String Quartet in Lethbridge and the renowned Land’s End Chamber Ensemble in Calgary. Sarah received an invitation to perform in the Windy Mountain Music Festival hosted by the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod in 2009 and 2010 and will appear again this summer. 
    Sarah has eleven years of teaching experience, teaching students of all ages and levels. Her students perform consistently well in RCM Examinations and local competitions and festivals.  Several of her students have been chosen to represent Lethbridge at the Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival in Edmonton. Sarah has been a music instructor for the Penhold Summer Music Training Program and MusicCamp Alberta at Red Deer College, both programs working with young teens in a band and private lesson setting.  
    Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calgary, a master’s degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and an artist’s diploma from the University of Cincinnati. Her primary teachers have included Gwen Klassen, Peter Lloyd and Dr. Bradley Garner. In 2004, Sarah won the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals National Competition, earning a CBC Radio 2 broadcast of her winning performance. Sarah has been a prizewinner in several other competitions including the Canadian Music Competition and Central Ohio Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition. In 2009, Sarah participated in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and enjoyed taking part in their first live web cast concert. Aside from playing the flute Sarah spends her time with friends, family and a very special cat.

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