Local musicians who are looking to further their skills in piano, vocals, and band can register by Monday for the 64th annual Weyburn Rotary Music Festival. 

"The purpose of a music festival is to have an independent adjudicator come and evaluate work, and so any youth that are interested in moving to a higher level or having feedback on any of their musical talents, this would be things that they could do that with," shared Committee President Heather Sidloski.

The performances for piano will run from March 12th to the 15th, with vocal and band will be taking place throughout the week of March 19th and go to the 23rd, at various locations. 

"Everything will be posted on our website, and depending on a number of factors we go between the Cugnet Centre, the T.C. Douglas Centre and then our elementary school entries are done at both Legacy Park and at Assiniboia Park so we do have a number of venues."

She said one good thing came out of the Covid restrictions, which is that parents can take photographs of their own child's performance. However, no recordings of the adjudication will be permitted.

Adjudicators are yet to be named, but Sidloski said Weyburn's event has a reputation of being a well-run festival with high-calibre performances. 

"We're very fortunate that we have a number of very qualified teachers here and so we have attracted [very high calibre] adjudicators," she commented. 

The information from the adjudicators, who are recommended by the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, provides useful information both to teachers and to the students going forward, so they can improve in their own ways. 

"Also encouraging them that they are doing a lot of good things already," Sidloski noted, adding that they also have thousands of dollars worth of scholarship money to give to the top performers.

Many of Weyburn's musicians, in fact, also eventually go on to careers in the field.

"The new band teacher at the Weyburn Comprehensive Brayden Jensen started out with the Weyburn Music Festival, and then he carried on both in piano and the saxophone and went on, and now he's teaching at the [Weyburn Comprehensive School]," she shared. "Kendra Gonczy also went through the whole music festival, of course, Tenille Arts, Weyburn's hometown girl came up through the Weyburn Music Festival as well as Chelsea Woodard and so there has been a number, Jeff Lunde, also, he did more band, but he's now teaching band at St. Michael's School." 

Find registration details HERE

"On that website is the entry form, and the syllabus. It connects you to the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association and our deadline of course is also on there, which is Monday, January 23rd." 

She said so far they have more than 100 entries. 

"The Weyburn Music Festival is very fortunate to have the sponsorship of Rotary every year," noted Sidloski. "That helps us keep our entry fees as low as possible. We definitely have one of the lowest fees in the province, so that's thanks to Rotary. We have a few other sponsors, we don't have them all confirmed for this year, but [Prairie Sky] Co-op has been very generous in the past in donating fruit baskets for adjudicators, and Brady's in the past has donated flower standards for us to decorate the T.C., and Whitecap Resources has helped us with our halls and rental fees," she explained, adding that the Weyburn Young Fellows in previous years have also helped out with piano tuning.

The adjudicators not only contribute feedback, but they inform who will move on to the Stars of the Festival, which will be held on March 29th at the Cugnet Centre.