The Sault Music Festival carries on a longstanding tradition with a twist

Area music students will get live audio/video of their performance at a showcase concert series at the Loft

Almost every Canadian interested in music and the arts has heard of the Kiwanis Music Festival.

It has one of the richest histories of any Canadian musical event.

Although now locally renamed the Sault Music Festival, the event continues to grow and evolve, providing even more opportunities for artists in the area.

In Sault Ste. Marie, the festival has 85 years of history.

It began in 1937 on the initiative of the Algoma Music Teachers’ Association (affiliated with the ORMTA in 1946) and the Kiwanis Club.

In the 1970s, the festival was the second largest competition festival in Ontario.

Now in 2022, the festival is not only alive and well, but moving with the times.

Coordinated by the Algoma Conservatory of Music, the festival will not only feature showcase performances by local music students, but will capture those performances in an audio and video format for students to take home.

“The music festival will be organized as a series of traditional concerts which will take place from April 7 to 10,” says festival coordinator Dr Carolyn Hart, who works with the director of the Conservatory, Guy Traficante, and the music teachers on the festival.

Performances will take place at The Loft, the new state-of-the-art venue on the top floor of the Algoma Conservatory of Music.

“Their performances will be recorded with multiple cameras and state-of-the-art audio recording…[taking] advantage of the new recording studio.

Hart says organizers are thrilled to be able to document each participant’s performance.

“We not only have the capacity with state-of-the-art equipment, but also with professional audio and video engineers.”

Leading the festival’s audio recording and production is Juno Award-winning performer, writer and producer Greig Nori (Treble Charger).

It is complemented by the cinematic skills of director Dan Nystedt, who will direct the video production of the performances.

The Sault Music Festival is a competitive event in that participants have the opportunity to be nominated to participate in the Ontario Provincial Music Festival (OMFA).

“OMFA requires participants to be recommended by their local music festival.

This year, up to three participants in each category can be recommended.

Hart says the decision to launch the festival’s new format was more of a natural evolution than a response to the pandemic.

“The slight change in format is a natural progression from what has come before,” Hart says.

“The response to the pandemic is that we have learned that we can hire referees from anywhere in the world.”

As with competitive festivals, performances will be reviewed by “highly specialized judges”.

This year’s judges are Dr. Charlene Biggs, Denise Gamez, Irene Tandberg and Dr. Matt Warnock.

“After reviewing the recordings, they will send helpful feedback to each of the performers,” says Hart.

Registrations for the festival have recently closed

“We have received all the registrations and are in the process of programming the various recitals. Everyone who registers will perform at one of the recitals.

In addition to the festival performances, there will be a Showcase Festival held this summer specifically for amplified bands and soloists.

“The public is invited to attend any or all of the recitals,” Hart said, adding that all recitals at the music festival will be offered in support of Ukraine.

For more information on the Sault Music Festival – including dates, times and a list of artists – visit the Sault Music Festival website. website or contact the organizers by e-mail.

About Ethel Nester

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