Memorial will play a major role in helping mentor music lovers of all ages in western Labrador next week.
The university has once again partnered with the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) to present the Labrador West Music Festival, which runs from March 19-24.
The event was revived last year after a 25-year hiatus and was such a huge success organizers decided to increase the festival to a full-week.
Roughly 700 participants will take part in 130 workshops throughout the week.
The festival is a friendly, non-competitive event promoting the importance of music education. Students will spend the week learning the finer points of music and showcase their talent at a gala concert on Saturday, March 24.
Dr. Christine Gangelhoff, a visiting professor in Memorial’s School of Music and Catherine Fitch, a per course instructor, will also be in western Labrador to adjudicate the festival, along with well-known pianist Averill Baker.
Memorial and IOC will award two scholarships to students in Labrador West to attend the school, as well as a Merit Award for best performance at the gala, which will be attended by Lt.-Gov. Edward Roberts.
“This festival is so valuable on so many fronts,” said Linda Nuotio, manager of Memorial’s Labrador Institute offices in Lab West. “It gives our musicians, many of whom are children, a first-class venue for performances.
The feedback, encouragement and advice from adjudicators of such standard and experience is invaluable. I think the festival raises the community’s awareness of the talent and opportunities in our midst and widens the range and quality of musical entertainment available in our area.”
One of the highlights of the festival will be a special performance by the festival’s adjudicators on Thursday, March 22. Proceeds raised from the recital will go towards the scholarships Memorial and IOC will award during the gala concert.
Ms. Nuotio said the level of excitement and support for the music festival is tremendous with musicians young and old looking forward to the week’s performances and workshops.
She said the success of last year’s festival – and the enthusiasm for this year’s event – is a good indicator the arts scene is alive and well in western Labrador.
“With the tremendous growth of this festival, it is evident that such arts are valued and promoted here, especially through the generous sponsorship of many of the local employees,” she noted.