Annual Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival ready to hit the stage starting on Feb. 15

A youth choir performs for the adjudicator during last year's Kiwanis Music Festival at Festival Hall in Pembroke. This year's festival begins on Feb. 15 and continues through March 5, concluding with the Festival of Stars on March 21. Submitted photo

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The annual Kiwanis Club of Pembroke 71th Annual Music Festival kicks off Feb. 15 at Festival Hall in Pembroke.

Participation is once again strong with 484 registrations in the five categories of dance, strings, instrumental, piano and vocal.

The public is invited to come out and take this opportunity to enjoy the musical talents of our region’s many performers. The dates are Dance: Feb. 15, Piano: Feb 19-21, Vocal: Feb 25-27, Strings and Instrumental: Mar 4-5. A detailed schedule is posted on the Pembroke Kiwanis web site and on the Festival Facebook Page.

“You’re going to hear great performances of individuals, duets, ensembles and choirs. Contestants always enjoy an appreciative audience” said Raghavan Vijay, co-chairman of the festival.

Entries have been accepted from all over Pontiac and Renfrew counties.

The Festival will be sharing the celebration this year of the 40th Anniversary of Festival Hall.

“It is gratifying to know that the Kiwanis was a large supporter of the construction of Festival Hall in 1979 and that the Kiwanis Festival has been able to use this wonderful venue for our signature project for the youth in our community since the hall opened,” said Kiwanis Club of Pembroke President Roger Steinke.

Mac Plaunt, past president of the Pembroke Kiwanis Club and Music Festival committee member noted that once again, the Music Festival committee has lined up a first-rate cadre of adjudicators who will spend several days in Pembroke providing their observations, encouragement and grading to each participant, all with the objective of helping students improve their musical skills.

The adjudicators this year will be: Rebecca Reinhart with over eight years experience in dance, chorography and adjudication from Toronto, Dr. Joseph Ferretti studied in United States and performed throughout Europe, United States and Canada and is currently in the Music Faculty of the Wilfred Laurier University, Allison Arends a Canadian soprano who graduated from the music programs at University of Toronto and University of Victoria who has numerous awards, and Dennis Carpenter who graduated from Western University Faculty of Music and has taught strings and instrumental music with the Toronto and Scarborough Boards of Education as well as being the head adjudicator for Music Alive.

The culmination of the festival is the ever-popular “Festival of Stars” concert on Thursday, March 21 at Festival Hall. Admission is free with donations accepted.

This year’s Festival promises to be another great opportunity to experience the great talent in the area and encourage the stars of tomorrow. The Pembroke Festival has over its many years seen the start of some great musical careers. We are proud to have had on stage April Verch – Canadian Grand Master and Canadian Open Champion Fiddle Champion, Joshua Hopkins – renowned international opera baritone, Jonathan Pilatzke – Canadian Open Step Dancing Champion, Trevor Grahl – composer/performer, Matthew Leigh – Zurich Opera, and Jamie Loback – University of Ottawa professor and director.

Let the show begin!

Programs are available at Pembroke Public Library, Bob’s Music 105 Pembroke St. W, and the Boys and Girls Club, 1144 Lee Street, Pembroke.

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