Festival Highlights

My experience running the 2020 Canada Music Week E-Festival was a great one, and full of lots of creative music making from around our great country. The E-Festival, started by Past-President Tiffany Wilson, has been running for a few years now. Of course when it was first started, it wasn’t thought of as a replacement for a traditional festival as it has become now with COVID-19. The need to share our music and our student’s achievements is still as important as ever, and this platform does just that.

Here is a little run down of the festival for those who are interested in how it went and may want to send in students to the spring festival in March.

The first step was to think of a vision statement for the festival. This was late summer, and it was (is) a time of great uncertainty for both the health of our country’s people and cultures. We didn’t need another competition, we needed a safe space. We also wanted to feature Canadian music and have the festival during Canada Music Week. We knew there was a lot of music out there that wasn’t being performed at festivals because it wasn’t in a syllabus, didn’t have a grade/level associated with it, or didn’t exist yet. We wanted to hear compositions, covers, arrangements, folk tunes, and improvisations – the works. We wanted to celebrate the breadth and diversity of all Canadian music, culture and the students and teachers who make up the mosaic.

Our vision statement became: “Be part of a national celebration of Canadian diversity through the learning and sharing of music.”

We got rid of the following: marks, standings (gold, silver, etc.), the need to have a score included, the need to memorize. All those things that get in the way and increase self-doubt in some students. Getting rid of the barriers that stop many students from participating in this kind of opportunity made much more music possible.

Next we posted a need for adjudicators. We gave registered music teachers who have always wanted to adjudicate the opportunity to and to give them experience if they are applying for other festivals later on. We ended up with 24 adjudicators from almost all provinces and territories who were excellent judges. They were kind, they gave encouragement and also lots of helpful suggestions on the performances. New this year, we gave the adjudicators the option to do a written or a video response

Then the students’ got to work making their videos. We had many creative entries, over 260 of them! We heard a lot of original compositions, lots of adults and students of all ages, ensemble work, pianists, violinists, fiddlers, singers, and more. We saw videos made in Canada’s backyard, with horses, mountains and oceans in the background. We heard personal stories from many students about why they love Canadian music and even stories of how this festival introduced them to Canadian music as a newcomer to this country.

We heard tributes to lives lost in Nova Scotia, deaths due to COVID-19, and new songs of hope.

We have so much talent and passion in our great country, and it was an honour to facilitate a platform by which it could be shared.

Congratulations to the winner of the $100 Long & McQuade Gift Card: Ceilidh Gruman, student of Kasha Derechey in Alberta.

-Liz Craig, E-Festival Chair

Name of performer(s) Title of Piece Composer Province Teacher or adjudicator name
The Incredibows! Synchronicity - Wagmatcook Grads of 2020 Serena Eades - Morgan Toney BC Serena Eades
Riqiang Wang The Gentle Waltz Oscar Peterson ON Susan Robinson
*Adjudication of above* MB Nancy Nowosad
Chloe Chan Fairy Tale Chloe Chan ON Julia Tchernik
*Adjudication of above* NS Megan Thibeault
*Adjudication of above* BC Serena Eades
Ethan Funnell Sailing Ethan Funnell ON John Beaton
**adjudication of above* BC Serena Eades
Laura Vignale The Cowboy Christine Donkin ON Susan Barak
*Adjudication of above* BC Serena Eades
Elijah Mok A Lonely Wind Over Bear Lake This Morning Christine Donkin AB Kathy Park
*Adjudication of above* BC Serena Eades
Frederique Laplante  Caroussel de glace Mélina Claude QC Mélina Claude
*Adjudication of above* ON Natasha Finlay
W. Kirk Smeaton In Memory of Herbie MacLeod Jerry Holland ON Taryn Chaykowski
*Adjudication of above* BC Serena Eades
Rafael Brisebois ANGRY VIOLISTS Rafael Brisebois BC Laura E. M. Webster
Aidan Lao The First Snowfall Aidan Lao ON Michael Esch
Stephanie Gao Tickled Pink David Mcintyre AB Esther Bing
Brian Wang Scherzo David Dahlgren NL Heather Kao
Hana Lopez Moris mouse goes on an African safari Sarah Konecsni AB Sarah Konecsni
Charlotte Bown Grey Foggy Day Eddie Coffey NL Leslie Hewlett
Caitlin Zhang Pursued Nancy Telfer ON Eleanor Gummer
Jennifer Bao-Tran Dang et Sephanie Bao-Chau Dang Fake ragtime Waltz Composed and arranged by Mélina Claude QC Christiane Claude
Mia Alfing-Marchl Nova Scotia Song Arranged by Debra Wanless ON Christine Gardhouse
Emma Chee The Loon - A Fantasy Emma Chee AB Esther Ling
Sadie Nesbitt Someone Handed Me The Moon Nancy White ON Christian Bell-Young
Kathy Bayley Moon Over Birkenau Steve Bell AB Lisa Kiernan
Malia Datta Tiger Isabel Ecclestone MacKay AB Frances Ewington
Keriana Lily Hodson Covid in Canada Keriana Lily Hodson ON Wendy Petch
Seanne Buenafe In Memoriam to the Victims of Chernobyl Larysa Kuzmenko MB Jacqueline Ryz
Carly Montgomery Enough Carly Montgomery ON Christian Bell-Young
Noah Mok Jazz Exercise No. 2 Oscar Peterson AB Carmen Bartel

Next E-Festival - Spring 2021

Information - Coming. . .