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Cariboo Festival showcases local talent

The festival took place in early April in Williams Lake
Cariboo Festival competitors Parker-Barbie Testawich, left, Eloise Hobi, Abigayle Kotyk and Cassius Ford are invited to attend the BC Provincial Festival 2024 in Fort St. John, June 2 to 6. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Four Williams Lake area performers are invited to attend the Arts BC Provincial Festival 2024 in Fort St. John, June 2 to 6.

Eloise Hobi, Abigayle Kotyk, Cassius Ford and Parker-Barbie Testawich earned a spot after competing at the Cariboo Festival in Williams Lake April 4 through April 7.

All four performed on Sunday afternoon, April 14, during the Cariboo Festival Society honour concert held at St. Andrew’s United Church, which was one of the venues for the festival.

Perfomers, parents, siblings and friends filled the church to show support for the performers.

After singing O Canada, Quintent Plus performed Wellerman, arranged by Neighbour.

The choir received the top award for adult mixed community choir and Jessie Chapin won the choir directorship award.

Anabelle Plouffe recited So Many Teeth, by Yolen, for which she won the Adjudicator’s Choice Award.

Following Anabelle were the Hamilteens, comprised of Eloise Hobi, Ella Kruus, Keelie Duffy and Brooke Brown with a musical theatre number from the musical Hamilton of the Schuyler Sisters by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The group won youth vocal ensemble for the piece.

Riel Tate won an original poetry award for her poem titled Homework, about a cat eating her homework, which she recited during the concert.

Sarah Shoults, winner of an Angelkeys Expressiveness Award, plus a gold in a vocal ensemble duet and musical production Jr. B. She shared her piece Heart of Stone by Welch.

Jayden Greenridge played Square Dance on piano arranged by Alfred for which he won the Carson Encouragement Award.

Tina Yu played White Moon, by Ikeda. She received the senior achievement award.

Ella Kruus returned to the stage, this time solo to play the piano and sing A Stranger I Always Knew, a song she wrote herself. She received an AngelKeys Expressiveness Award and gold in Intermediate Musical Production.

Eloise Hobi performed I’d Give My Life for You, from Miss Saigon, by Schoenberg. She received a gold in concert recital class intermediate, and gold in musical production intermediate. She also received an adjudicators choice award.

Paolo Roland-Self performed an original composition titled British Columbia, which he said was inspired by the province’s topography. He received the intermediate achievement award and the Hummingbird Original Composition Award, as well as a gold in piano composition.

ParkerBarbie Testawich performed Jeunes fillettes, by Weckerlin, for which she won the Adjudicators Choice Award for singing an art song in a language other than English, a gold in intermediate musical production and intermediate art songs composed or arranged after 1900.

Bethany Bayne received an AngelKeys Expressiveness award for her piano rendition of Shooting Stars in Summer by Ikeda.

Willy Cody Holub recited her public speaking award piece about My Cat Potato.

Abigayle Kotyk sang On the Steps of the Palace from Into the Woods by Sondheim.

She received the highest gold standing in Musical Production Jr. B. She also received Gold in Musical Theatre Jr. B and self-accompanied Jr. B.

Closing out the honour concert was Cassisus Ford, who received the top intermediate musical production award and the highest gold in concert recital class. Cassius performed Someone is Waiting by Sondheim.

Harring Jennings, a member of Quintent Plus, was the concert M.C. He thanked the many sponsors who make the festival possible and all of the volunteers.

“Cariboo Festival Society is run completely by volutneers. We desperately need volunteers. We need your help for the festival to continue,” he said, adding the Annual General Meeting was taking place immediately following the concert.

Before the honours concert there was a spotlight honours concert featuring some of the festival’s other performers and placement winners.

It was a wonderful afternoon showcasing the dedication of teachers and students to learning the arts and the talent that flourishes from that hard work.

Cassius and Eloise attended the provincial festival in 2023 as well.

READ MORE: Three Cariboo youth qualify for Performing Arts BC

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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