A week packed with instrumental, choral, musical theatre, vocal and spoken performances culminated with a showcase of the top talent at the Twin River Musical Festival (TRMF) on April 2.
“The degree of musicianship was just top notch,” said festival president Elaine Kimpinski. “The quality of the students and the amount of effort that they put in is exceptional and beyond.”
The festival committee was very encouraged by the number of instrumental participants this year. “The instrumental portion of our festival which has grown dramatically with a total of eight bands participating this year. We’ve never had that many bands,” said Kimpinski. Over 600 students converged on the festival on Tuesday. Communities like Warman and Martensville have launched school band programs in the past couple of years, she noted.
More choirs were represented as well: four or five compared to the usual one or two.
Participants ranged from age four to high school graduates. “We had a higher number of mature students who are in post second education, returning to the festival this year,” said Kimpinski. “They’re trying to qualify for provincials so this is a stepping stone for them which is great.”
The adjudicators recommended that Amy Hildebrandt, Jaclyn Froese, Alayna Moxness and Sophie James-Cavan represent the festival at the Provincial Finals in June. Only certain classes qualify for provincials and a certain grade level and piece level must be achieved.
Performing before an audience offers risks and rewards. “From a performance point of view, you always perform, and you know the little mistakes you’ve made, you’re well aware of whether you’ve had a great performance. Sometimes the best performance ever is at a festival,” Kimpinski said.
But the opposite can happen too, where there’s a memory loss, or something is “just not clicking that day and you flub up. That disappointment is huge, but that’s part of the whole festival experience, having those joys and frustrations. You do get the wide gamut of emotion, the tears and the joy and everything in between.” Students are to be commended for taking the risk and shooting for the rewards.
One of the mature entries was speech artist, Ethel Quiring, a regular and beloved performer at the festival. Quiring often wins an award at the TRMF and this year was no exception. Prior to the festival she was asked to bring back her plaque from last year so it was available for this year’s winner.
When she accepted her award in the Senior Performing Arts Category, she got some laughs when she said, “I took the plaque off the wall, but I left the hook.”
“I always love her story-telling. She has inspired so many kids,” said Kimpinski.
Kimpinski acknowledged the many volunteers who make the festival happen. “What stood out to me is the amount of work and effort the volunteers put in. The whole community just gets behind the festival.”
They’ve practiced hard, they’re polished up, and now they’re ready to unleash their talent, not just before adjudicators, but for appreciative audiences. That’s about the only kind of audiences you’ll find at the Twin Rivers Music Festival.
The Festival will bring together instrumental musicians, speech artists, vocalists, bands and ensemble groups for a celebration of performing arts in Dalmeny, March 27 to April 2.
Festival president Elaine Kimpinski is new in the role this year, but has served on the board for close to four years. As a music teacher she has sent students to the festival for over ten years.
“The festival is a great opportunity for young musicians to showcase their musical talent,” said Kimpinski. “It’s also a fantastic place for community members to sit and listen for a couple of hours to some great performances.”
Kimpinski says she loves how the adjudicators interact with the participants. “They encourage them and they give them something that they could improve on to take that performance up to even the next level.” Several adjudicators are lined up, from North Battleford and Regina.
Now in its 16th year, the TRMF draws participants from nearby communities like Langham, Osler, Warman and Martensville and some from Saskatoon. A real treat for festival regulars is to see how the kids blossom from year to year.
We’re really excited this year that we have more and more school bands coming. In years past we’ve had one or two and this year I think we have three or four,” said Kimpinski. Bands from some Prairie Spirit Schools, including Warman and Martensville, are participating.
Kimpinski really appreciates how the town of Dalmeny embraces the music festival. A surfeit of volunteers provides support in every way they can. The week-long event enjoys diverse support from local businesses as well as grant funding.
The festival wraps with a Competition Awards Concert on Sunday, April 2.