Stettler & District Music Festival kicks off April 15th

Popular event wraps up with a Grand Concert on April 28th

Featuring all kinds of terrific artists in band, piano, vocals and choral, speech and musical theatre, the annual Stettler & District Music Festival kicks off April 15th at the Stettler Performing Arts Centre.

Some of the entries will be showcasing their skills at the Alliance Church.

Having first launched back in 1969 as a three-day event, today’s Festival runs for nine days and can attract hundreds of entries, said Wendy Staal, the Festival’s board chair.

More than 100 volunteers help out each year as well to ensure everything runs smoothly.

“It’s run on donations from community-minded sponsors,” said Staal, adding that the Festival can boast many speech, vocal soloist and choirs that have been recommended to go onto perform at the provincials.

This year promises, yet again, to hold all kinds of top-notch entertainment for the community to enjoy, along with the Festival being of course a tremendous learning experience via adjudication for the participants.

Folks are invited to come watch the performances, and donations will be accepted at the door.

A portion of those donations also support various scholarships and summer workshops.

The Festival wraps up with a Grand Concert on April 28th which will showcase those who have earned the highest marks as well as the Adjudicator’s Choice winners. Tickets for this special event are $15 each and are available at Wells Furniture. Programs are $5 each as well.

In terms of ages, virtually anyone can take part.

“We have a six-year-old, and we have a grandmother-granddaughter duo,” explained Staal, referring to the span of ages that are welcome to sign up. “It’s open to all community members,” she said, adding the only difference for those over 18 is that they aren’t eligible for the scholarships.

“But we welcome every age,” she said. “And if you can’t find a class you would like to enter, we can make you a class.”

According to the Society, the Stettler & District Music Festival wasn’t always known by this name.

“The first music festival started on May 17th, 1933 and was just the Stettler Music Festival. It was sponsored by the teacher’s association and included only vocal classes with four categories: rural schools, open, high school boys and high school girls. This format continued until 1952 excluding the years of 1941 – 1945. At that time, it was discontinued.

“In 1969, an interested group of people decided to form the Stettler Music Festival Association, which was a part of the Alberta Music Festival Association.”

The purpose of the Festival is and has always been, “To promote the appreciation of and participation in music, speech arts, musical theatre and dance in the citizens of Stettler and District.”

For more, check out www.stettlermusicfestival.com or find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler and District Music Festival’.

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