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Tuning up for 40th Kiwanis Music Festival


Every Spring for the past 40 years the hills around Carbonear have come alive with the sound of music. This year the Kiwanis Club of Carbonear is holding its 40th Music Festival. The 2,200 young musicians and vocalists from Trinity, Conception and Placentia Bays who will be in Carbonear later this week and next for the event are among the tens of thousands of young people who have taken to the festival stage over the past four decades.

Martha Gregory

Every Spring for the past 40 years the hills around Carbonear have come alive with the sound of music.

This year the Kiwanis Club of Carbonear is holding its 40th Music Festival.

The 2,200 young musicians and vocalists from Trinity, Conception and Placentia Bays who will be in Carbonear later this week and next for the event are among the tens of thousands of young people who have taken to the festival stage over the past four decades.

Taking their cue from the Kiwanis Club of St. John's, which had already been hosting their own music festival for several years, the Carbonear Kiwanis Club first adopted the idea of hosting a regional festival here in May 1970.

The first local festival was held at Davis Elementary school auditorium in 1971, when Klotz Kwan, a lab technician at the old Carbonear Red Cross Memorial Hospital won the first Senior Rose Bowl sponsored by the Newfoundland Margarine Co. Susan Ash won the first Junior Rose Bowl introduced in 1976. Two years ago (2008) the club introduced a Choral Rose Bowl, which went to the Carbonear Collegiate Choir directed by Ann Whalen, who had won the Senior Rose Bowl back in 1980. Whalen is an example of one of the participants who has returned to the area as a music teacher in the school system.

Names of all former Rose Bowl winners are included in this year's festival program.

Looking back over the festival's history, Milton Peach, festival president for the 2010 event said, "the response over the past 40 years "has been extremely rewarding for Kiwanians and the (estimated) more than 100,000 students who have participated."

This year's festival will see some 580 entries in 177 classes. It will include 42 choirs and 21 schools will be represented.

The 31 sessions will take place at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre, Bethany United Church, Salvation Army Citadel and Carbonear Collegiate.

The seven-day competitive portion of the festival gets underway this Saturday, March 13 with two days of musical theatre at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre. It will reach a crescendo March 23 and 24 with two grand concerts both followed by presentations of awards.

"Apart from the Rose Bowl awards, the Carbonear Kiwanis Club offers a number of scholarships and cash awards provided by the club, the corporate sector, individual donors and community groups," Peach pointed out.

After nine years of coordinating the festival, he noted, Charlene Strickland will be retiring as festival coordinator following this year's event.

He suggested: "The festival continues to provide a unique opportunity for all performers to share their musical talents with the people of the area."

Over the past 40 years, he said, "the festival has given our young musicians the chance to perform publicly on stage and receive feedback from professional adjudicators."

Adjudicating this year's festival are: Janet Fothergill, piano; Kathryn Domoney, vocal and Martha Gregory, instrumental.

Janet Fothergill, piano

A graduate of piano performance from both the Royal Conservatory of Music and Trinity College of Music London, England, Janet Fothergill has pursued extensive studies in piano pedagogy.

As a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music for over 30 years, Fothergill teaches piano, pedagogy, theory, and musicianship.

A member of the board of RCM Examiners, she has travelled throughout the country, encouraging young Canadian talent.

Fothergill frequently adjudicates at music festivals across Canada and United States and conducts clinical workshops on a wide range of subjects including Canadian contemporary music, theory and musicianship.

Fothergill was selected to become part of a committee working on the new 'Royal Diploma Program', which was launched at the Royal Conservatory of Music in September 2007.

Kathryn Domoney, vocal

A graduate of the University of Toronto, and former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, Kathryn Domoney is firmly established as one of Canada's leading singing artists.

In works ranging from baroque and classical oratorio to contemporary opera, conductors throughout Canada and the US have admired her assured vocal technique, elegant musical style and poised presentation

Domoney has appeared with many of Canada's leading orchestras, opera companies and choral groups, in a variety of works.

In addition to her busy performing career, Domoney gives master classes to young singers, and has adjudicated vocal classes at music festivals throughout Canada, including Peterborough, Carbonear, Owen Sound, Edmonton, Thunder Bay, Kingston, Victoria B.C., Belleville, St. Catharine's and Toronto.

Martha Gregory, instrumental

Raised in Rochester, N.Y., Martha Gregory studied violin, piano and singing at the Hochstein School of Music, Eastman School of Music and Roberts Wesleyan College.

As a student she performed several years with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and later the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Gregory started her teaching career with a U.S Government Programme in inner city schools.

When she moved to Canada in 1974, she continued her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music, also playing with the North York Symphony and coaching strings in Toronto schools.

She has been involved with festivals for 25 years, first as president of the Pickering Metro East Music Festival, and currently as executive director of the Pickering GTA Music Festival. She is currently president of the Ontario Music Festival Association.

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