Weyburn's Onello Bahingawan recently participated in his first Winnipeg Music Festival, where he was the proud recipient of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society Trophy and a runner-up for the Rainbow Stage Trophy.

Bahingawan was awarded the Gilbert and Sullivan Society Trophy for his top vocal performance, which is awarded for the most outstanding performance in a competition of winners of Gilbert and Sullivan classes.

Bahingawan was the runner-up for the Rainbow Stage Trophy, which is awarded for the most outstanding performance in a competition of winners of Musical Theatre classes.

He is currently attending the University of Manitoba in the Desautels Faculty of Music, pursuing a bachelor's of music and music education. "The school has been so great with performing opportunities," he gushed.

With encouragement from his private study teacher, specifically in regards to musical theatre classes, he decided to go for it, by entering the Winnipeg Music Festival this year. 

"I chose to enter into five classes, which I'm getting the sense now that that's kind of out of the norm," he reflected. "I thought it was what everyone else was doing, so I panicked when my other colleagues started mentioning they were only doing one or two."

All of his classes occurred this week he said, with a performance everyday and the awards night held on Thursday, March 9th. 

It means a lot to win the Gilbert and Sullivan Society Trophy, he explained. "It shows that the work that my private study teacher and I are doing in terms of building vocal technique and expanding throughout different kinds of genres, is working."

"I come from a pop background, not necessarily anything close to the classical side or musical theatre side. Being in the Faculty of Music has been kind of tough, more so just having to go through a learning curve, that not a lot of my other colleagues have gone through." 

He shared winning this award also speaks to the help he received from his high school teachers in Weyburn. "Colleen Weimer was able to introduce me to the musical theatre aspect of music-making as a whole, and I credit a lot of my success towards that."

Bahingawan added that he wanted to thank all of his past music teachers, as they have definitely given him a collective experience to share with music as a whole.

"Colleen Weimer introduced me to the idea that music was something that could be taken up professionally, and helped show me the ropes. Tanya Cameron directed my grade 11 musical theatre show, Mamma Mia!, with WCS, and I had a blast doing that. Holly Butz took charge of the choirs in Weyburn, and got me inspired to take up music education as well."

Onello Bahingawan