Entertainment Local

Ballet Camrose shines at Camrose Music Festival

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Ballet Camrose was the big winner at the Camrose Music Festival this past week as the group took home two of the three big awards, including the coveted Rose Bowl for their “Love Oneself” performance. 

It is the first time in the 36-year history of the festival that Ballet Camrose has won the top award. Ballet duo Jocelyn Olsen and Kristen Pearson also took home a special Canada 150 award that comes with a $150 scholarship for their dance to “Hallelujah.”  

Meanwhile, James Rostad earned the Multi Talent award, which comes with a $300 scholarship, for his efforts in Piano, Speech and Voice. 

Festival president Katelyn Palo was impressed with all of the performances she saw this year. The Canada 150 Award was a highlight for her this year as went to the highest mark in any genre of a performance of a song by a Canadian author/composer and arranger while Dance entries had to have both a Canadian song and choreography. 

“We are celebrating the sesquicentennial this year and the music festival was right on board with that,” said Palo.  

There were 10 different performers and two choirs who received recommendations from the adjudicators to advance to provincials in 15 different categories, along with four more as getting tabbed as provincial alternates. Keysha Swanson received recommendations for Music Composition 16 and under, Vocal Solo 16 and under, Musical Theatre Ballad 16 and under, and was named an alternate for Musical Theatre Uptempo 16 and under. Rostad received recommendations for Speech Solo Senior, Musical Theatre Solo Ballad Senior, and is an alternate for Vocal Solo senior. Kyra Gusdal was recommended for Musical Theatre Uptempo and is an alternate for Vocal Solo Girls 16 and under.  

Camrose Camerata was recommended for Provincial National Choral 19 and over, while Chorazz! for Senior High School Choir. Other provincial recommendations were Sonja Rostad (Piano Solo 16 and under), Keaton Mah (Vocal Solo 16 and under), Gracie Yelland (Vocal Solo senior), Monika Hemperger (Musical Theatre Ballad 12 and under), Chad Nichol (Musical Theatre Uptempo 12 and under), Logan Lessmeister (Musical Theatre Uptempo senior), and Juanita Hohm (Brass Solo senior). Hannah Nichol (Musical Theatre Ballad 16 and under), Emily Jackson (Musical Theatre Solo), and Talia Dewalt (Musical Theatre uptempo senior) were also named as alternates. 

The seven adjudicators this year were Dan Davis (Band Instrumental, Community Music), Sherri Birdsell (Dance), Patricia Tao (Piano), John Wiebe (School and Community Music), Joyanne Rudiak (Speech Arts), Maria Medlow (Strings), Bill Hamm (Vocal and Musical Theatre). 

“I know the kids came away with new stuff,” said Palo. “A lot of times they’ll either reiterate what the teacher is saying or they will give a little bit more to stretch them.” 

Next year’s festival is slated for April 16-20, 2018 with the Grand Concert on April 24. The entry deadline is Feb. 10. 

Palo says they are in need of several volunteer positions to be filled including festival secretary, computer operator, recording secretary, treasurer, fundraising coordinator, ad hoc members, and publicity. For more information contact Palo at 780-672-9389 or Cathy Kennedy at 780-679-0722.  


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