Editor's note: the following also appeared in the Feb. 26, 2013 print edition of The Compass.
Organizers of the 43rd Carbonear and area Kiwanis Music Festival have some 750 reasons to be feeling good about this year's musical extravaganza.
That's how many entries have registered for this year's competition, which runs from March 9-15 at four venues in Carbonear (see related fact box for complete details). Grand concerts are also scheduled for March 19, 20 and 21.
In all, that represents some 2,300 participants, which is about 100 more than last year.
The up-tick in registration is - excuse the choice of words - music to the ears of organizers.
"Things are coming together exceptionally well," said Danny Button, president of this year's festival and president-elect of the Kiwanis Club.
There's a 14 per cent increase in registration in vocal categories (choirs, musical theatre and individual performance) this year, which is described by Button as "very positive."
As a result, organizers have been forced to increase the number of adjudicators. Traditionally, three musical experts have been hired to assess the performers. That number has now grown to four.
They include Catherine Robertson from the University of Waterloo, retired music teacher Jacinta Mackey Graham of St. John's, Susan Gagnon, a longtime faculty member with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ontario, and well-known voice teacher Linda Fletcher of Oakville, Ont.
Graham will adjudicate the choirs, while the three others will assess those competing in instrumental, piano and vocal categories.
Button credited much of the growth to the enthusiasm and professionalism of music teachers in the region. He made special mention of Anne Whelan (Carbonear Collegiate), Robert Colbourne (Crescent Collegiate, Blaketown), Tiffany Smith (Baccalieu Collegiate, Old Perlican) and Deanne Delahunty (Amalgamated Academy, Bay Roberts).
All four have competed at the festival as young performers, and now support the festival by encouraging and mentoring a new generation of singers and musicians.
Meanwhile, Button said plans for the festival are coming together smoothly, thanks largely to the roughly 60 volunteers who lend their talents and time, and the business community who contribute so generously to the 80 awards and scholarships that are up for grabs, valued at some $8,000.
The festival has also developed a reputation for its enthusiastic audiences, and Button hopes that tradition will continue this year.
"Adjudicators have often commented about the great community support for the festival," said Button.
It costs roughly $40,000 in total to organize and run the festival, Button added, and every dime is worthwhile.
"It gives children an opportunity to participate as well to be be adjudicated and take part in the social aspect of the festival," Button stated. "Socially, it helps children to understand that they're able to compete and have fun doing it."
The following is a breakdown of the Carbonear and area Kiwanis Music Festival, by the numbers:
• March 9-15 - date of competitions;
• March 15 - Rose Bowl competition, starting at 7 p.m.;
• March 9 and 10 - musical theatre;
• March 19, 20 and 21 - grand concerts, starting at 7:30 p.m.;
• 4 - number of adjudicators (three from Ontario, one from St. John's);
• 4 - number of venues (Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre, Carbonear Collegiate, Bethany United Church and Salvation Army Citadel)
• 34 - number of sessions;
• 176 - number of classes;
• 749 - number of entries;
• 21 - number of schools represented from the Trinity, Conception and Placentia areas;
• 46 - number of school choirs;
• 4 - number of community choirs;
• 17 - number of school bands, including concert bands, traditional bands, jazz bands, fiddling groups and recorder groups.
Source: Kiwanis Music Festival