On a wet and blustery Sunday November 26th, 2017, performers and audience gathered to celebrate Canada Music Week in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, made festive with balloons, streamers and maple leaf flags, large and small — evidence of the decorating skills of teachers Wendy Guimont and Katharine Nimmert.
This local celebration and performance of Canadian compositions, mounted by the East Kootenay Music Teachers’ Association (EKMTA) is representative of similar events across Canada.
Here, though, we must boast of the Kootenays’ one-of-a-kind emcee, Arne Sahlen, who, with his characteristic gusto and wit, and appropriately sporting a red blazer, skillfully punctuated the event with a stream of humorous and instructive remarks.
Thirty-two talented piano, violin and voice students gave polished performances of Canadian compositions including those of Alberta composer Christine Donkin, whose fun titles ranged from “T Rex Goes for a Stroll” – the monster’s heavy tread depicted by pounding chords — to “Computer Chatter”. Also included were renditions of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson’s “Jazz Exercise” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. A couple of students even performed their own compositions! Thanks to our three accompanists: Ellen Bailey, Tim Plait and Sooyeun Lee.
Following the recital, EKMTA distributed a variety of awards to their students, including scholarships for voice, piano and strings (based on Conservatory exam performance), as well as awards to students who had composed their own original compositions.
Finally, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, “Canada 150 achievers” – those students who leading up to the event practiced a total of 150 days, notably including the summer period – were rewarded with pizza and goodie bags.
Thanks to photographer, Cara Webb and to the EKMTA for organizing this, their most popular annual event.
EKMTA is a non-profit organization that aims to educate and musically enrich the community. For more information, please see our Facebook page ‘East Kootenay Music Teachers’ Association’, or call our President, Wendy Guimont, at 250-417-9897.