Message from the Chairman of the Board - Festival 2016

The 56th Kiwanis Music Festival is here after a busy year of implementing a new computer system. The new system was designed around your suggestions for improved electronic access for entry and payment. We’re not finished, and have already started making improvements for next year. Our hats are off to Tom Okanski and Valery Didinchuk for leading the way.

With any new installation there are always difficulties and four individuals have gone beyond expectations in getting us ready to produce this year’s Festival. They are our administrator, Charlotte Cleland, along with Nora Stinson, Toni Swart and Pat Barrett. The Board sincerely thanks them for all their efforts!

Some new and exciting additions and new awards for 2016 are found in the “What’s New” page in your 2016 program. I would like to highlight: 1) Pipe Organ Accompaniment: The Lutheran Social Services Organization has generously donated significant prizes to all Pipe Organ classes. This has been done to foster Church Organ students, as there is a need for future Church Organists in all Churches. A workshop for Hymn and Service Playing was recently held to encourage young non-professional Pipe Organ students to enter the Hymn and Service Playing Classes. 2) Elementary or Secondary School students with Special Needs may enter Instrumental, Vocal or Speech Arts classes that have been designed for them. We are proud to offer this opportunity.

We want to thank those new solo trophy donors who came forward so that we could have full representation in the solo trophy classes. The William Lindsay “Bill” Cleland Memorial Award for Piano/Strings was created to honour Bill who gave so much help and dedication over many years to our Festival. It started with donations from The Kiwanis Club of Forest City-London and The Board of the Kiwanis Music Festival. It ended up being a significant Award due to the generosity of so many of Bill’s family, friends and relatives. It is a great recognition to Bill and it will help many students over the years.

For those who had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Stars night held last May, you know what a terrific night it was. When you see and hear a night such as this, you quickly realize what is being accomplished by the great music education we have in our community. Both participants and audience tell us that it is the highlight of the Festival! The 2016 Stars Night will be held on May 24th at Centennial Hall. It is a terrific night of music and recognition of our performers in our community. Mark the date in your calendar.

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Festival and encourage you to take in as many events as you can. It’s the best entertainment in town when you have the opportunity to see and hear many young musicians doing their best. There’s nothing better than the look of satisfaction on their faces once they have accomplished that.

Jim Scott
Festival Chair