Longtime local music leader Sherry Rempel was honoured during the grand concert of the 42nd annual Stettler and District Music Festival, as the winner of the 2010 annual Award of Excellence.
“It is such an honor to be chosen for this award, and I feel humbled to be added to the list of superb past recipients,” said Rempel, who has served as president of Stettler and District Music Festival for the past 10 years.
“Although I don’t feel worthy, it is very encouraging to realize that my work is appreciated.”
Music has been a love and passion since she first took piano lessons at seven years of age, as a pianist for various community choirs, schools, and her home church Erskine Evangelical Free Church.
Serving as an accompanist for Christmas concerts with Rhonda Sylvester are definite highlights.
“When playing for the school, I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas programs, as well as the Grade 5 production of ‘Tom Sawyer’ in 1998.”
“Actually, anytime I have the opportunity to accompany is a highlight.”
She is very grateful for the many musical opportunities in the community.
“I would just like to thank everyone for this wonderful honor and especially to the tireless festival committee,” said Rempel.
“It takes many great workers to pull off festival each year and they’re a terrific crew.”
”Thanks also to my family who have survived the numerous years of my busyness without too much complaining.”
She looks forward to many more years of being musically involved in the community.
“Stettler and District Music Festival has been very blessed to have had Sherry serve as president for the past 10 years,” Rhonda Sylvester said as she highlighted Rempel’s musical service before she presented the award.
“Not only has she been a committted and well-organized president, she also spends hours upon hours volunteering in various disciplines throughout the festival.”
Since moving to Stettler 20 years ago, Rempel has served in nearly every aspect of the Stettler musical community – from school chorus, community choirs, and musical theatre to church musician and piano teacher.
She has been an active festival volunteer and board member for over 15 years.
Rempel first volunteered as a pianist for Stettler Elementary School Show Choir when her oldest daughter Candice decided that she wanted to be part of the choir.
Together with Joan Rushton, these two ladies shared six years of making music with over 200 students.
She also shared her musical abilities with loca; community choirs, Voices in Time and Just Friends, as well as lending her time and talent to her church as an active musician.
Of course, all this extra accompanying only touches on the highlight of Rempel’s musical career.
For over 16 years, she was also a very active piano teacher.
Her generous spirit and light-hearted sense of humour made her very popular with her students.
Sylvester further wrote:
My first association with Sherry was when I was searching to find an accompanist for my own voice students and choirs, including Gracenotes. I placed a call to Sherry and to my delight, she agreed to come play.
Little did either of us know at the time that we would still be going strong 14 years later.
Sherry and I have collaborated on hundreds of songs throughout those 14 years and I have really come to rely on her, especially when it comes to planning.
Every year, The Gracenotes choir goes on a three-day retreat to prepare for its Christmas concert as the two ladies plan meals, games and activities to keep the girls busy when they are not singing and many hours of planning.
Sherry then takes care of buying all the groceries, and prepping for all the meals.
She also finds a little extra time to plan surprise tricks to play on the girls every year.