Close to 7,000 young musicians have come to Red Deer College to perform and hear from experts about their performance.
The Alberta Band Association’s Provincial Festival of Bands started May 7 and runs until the 17th. This is the 41st year the festival has been held at the college.
Bands from grades 6 to 12 from across Alberta as well as Saskatchewan and Manitoba, partake in the 10-day festival.
Tricia Howe, Alberta Band Association board member, said students have a chance to perform on a stage and then head in for a clinic with adjudicators, who are college professors. There is also a sight reading clinic for participants.
“It’s a great celebration of music and music education in the province,” said Howe.
“The festival experience is really cool for kids. They get to play on a large stage, instead of their gym, and they get to hear feedback from a professional musician.”
Adjudicators, educators and clinicians this year are: Brent Ghiglione from the University of Regina; Colleen Richardson from Western University in London, Ontario; Jacqueline Dawson from the University of Manitoba and Catherine Rand from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Howe said, though the feedback may be similar to what students hear from their band directors or teachers, it does help to hear it from a different person.
“It gives them a chance to know that music is part of a much bigger thing and the bigger picture of who we are.”
The performances, which run daily from 8:30 a.m .to 7:30 p.m. at the college’s arts centre main event stage, 100 College Blvd., are free to attend and open to the public