June 13th, 2024

Rotary Festival will be jam-packed with performances

By KENDALL KING on February 22, 2023.

The upcoming Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival is once again open to group entries for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.--NEWS FILE PHOTO


Approximately 1,000 performers will take part in the upcoming Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival, returning Mar. 5-19.

A longstanding annual event, the amateur music festival offers local performers an opportunity to share their skills with peers, the community and professionals from a variety of disciplines, who provide constructive feedback as well as adjudicate.

Festival director Delynne Lorentzen is looking forward to the many solo and group performances which will comprise this year’s festival as roughly 1,000 participants are expected to partake.

“This is an exciting year because this is the first year that we have our group entries back,” Lorentzen told the News. “So, we’ve got orchestra and we’ve got the choirs back for the first time in three years.

“As far as numbers, we have about 700 solo entries. And then with our group entries, we’re close to 1,000 participants, which is super exciting because it’s almost back to normal.”

Among the disciplines showcased at the festival are junior and intermediate/senior vocal; junior and senior piano; speech; speech and guitar; musical theatre; brass and woodwind; string, brass and woodwind; strings; orchestra and choral.

The festival will begin with adjudicated performances, held at several locations across the city including St. Barnabas Church, the Medicine Hat College theatre, the Cultural Centre’s Black Box Theatre, choir room and recital hall.

The Rose Bowl, the festival’s public showcase, will follow adjudicated performances on Mar. 17 at MHC’s theatre. As well as sharing their talents with the community, top performers, as determined by adjudicators, will compete for the Rose Bowl trophy and the Rotary Scholarship.

The festival will wrap up Mar. 19 with the Stars of the Festival award presentation evening, held at St. Barnabas church.

“This festival really (offers participants) a foundation for the rest of their lives,” said Lorentzen. “(Some participants) are going into the arts, of course, but a lot of these kids are going into other fields. But they all say that the festival gave them confidence. So, we work really hard to make every kid feel valued, and we’re so proud of them.”

Lorentzen welcomes community members to share in that pride by attending scheduled festival events.

“The festival is open to the public,” said Lorentzen. “And we just love to see the community support these kids because they work really hard.”

The full festival schedule can be found online at rotarymusicfestival.com.

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