The Cariboo Festival is once again ready to go, with students and performers of all ages set to show off their talents on multiple stages around the Cariboo.
Beginning April 9, with the vocal and choral section, and continuing until April 19 with the band and instrumental performances, with speech arts and piano in between, the arts festival has something for everyone, and locals are encouraged to come out and see the performances and adjudications.
Each category is judged by a professional adjudicator, brought in from out of town, to give suggestions and guidance to the performers.
This year’s festival will see three adjudicators for the four sections.
Norene Morrow – Vocal, choral, and speech arts
Norene Morrow will be adjudicating the vocal and choral section from April 9-11 and speech arts from April 12-13 at the Evangelical Free Church.
Morrow began her career in the arts a similar way the students she will be adjudicating did – through choirs, music festivals, concerts and stage productions.
The experience led her to study music more seriously, earning performance degrees from the university of Manitoba and the University of Arizona.
From there, she taught university level vocal and choral music at a variety of universities, until moving to the Okanagan in 2001. There, she’s taught in community music schools in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon, as well as directed a variety of choirs.
Morrow says that while her background started traditionally, her musical training, along with her skills in a variety of art and craft mediums, have taken her on a journey in ways she could never have imagined.
During the past decade, Morrow’s association with the Kelowna Actors Studio has seen her in charge of set decor, costumes, props and, of course, a music director and performer.
At the studio, she teaches musical theatre performance classes, and gives workshops in performance skills and auditioning, preparing many youth for auditions and careers in the arts.
This season, Morrow is teaching at a private voice studio, is the director of a new theatre ministry at her church, and is working towards earning her teacher’s diploma in Speech Arts and Drama from the Royal Conservatory.
Alan Crane – Piano
Alan Crane will be adjudicating the piano section of the Cariboo Festival, on April 16 and 17, at the Calvary Church.
Crane holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia.
For over 35 years, he has been teaching a full class of students ranging from young beginners to pre-professional young musicians to adults, helping many of them to go onto careers in music.
Crane is also faculty with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, where he recently completed a term as Chair of the Piano Department.
Crane also teaches part time at the Langley Community Music School, where he served as the co-ordinator of the piano program.
Crane’s skills are not limited to teaching – he is a founding director and pianist with the Vancouver concert series West Coast Chamber Music, is a sought-after accompanist and has presented numerous solo recitals in Canada and the UK.
A member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association, he adjudicates numerous performances throughout the year, and is also a member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Alan Matheson – Band and instrumental
Alan Matheson will be adjudicating the band and instrumental section of the Cariboo Festival on April 18 and 19 at the St. John Lutheran Church.
Matheson is a Vancouver-based pianist, trumpeter composer and arranger.
His history in music is one of performance, big band tributes, and jazz.
Matheson graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and has studied with Vincent Cichowicz, Stephen Chatman, Barbary Butler, Joe Newman and Clark Terry.
Currently, he teaches at the music schools at the University of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Community College, where he instructs jazz piano and trumpet; and at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music where he lectures in jazz history.
As far as performances go, Matheson leads his big band, nonet, septet and trio, and has written arrangements for jazz legends Clark Terry and Bud Shank.
Additionally, Matheson has conducted big band tributes to Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong, and has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Louis Bellson and Phil Woods.
His big band arrangements and compositions have been performed by jazz musicians around the world as well as a variety of jazz ensembles.
His first CD, Intrada, was released in 2004, and his newest CDs, Duetti and Summer Evening (recorded in Finland with bassist Wade Mikkola) were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Matheson’s septet was featured alongside the Pacific Baroque Orchestra at the 2016 Vancouver International Jazz Festival where they premiered his composition Chaconne for baroque and jazz chamber ensembles.
Most recently, Matheson and bassist Mikkola released a new CD Souvenirs celebrating the music of esteemed Finnish composers Jean Sibelius, Toivo Kärki, Erik Lindstöm and George de Godzinsky.
Schedules for the Cariboo Festival are available at cariboofestival.ca.