It’s almost that time of year again for hundreds of lakecity musicians to take to the stage and perform in the annual Cariboo Festival.
For the entire month of April music and performance arts of all kinds will be showcased, judged and shared with the entire community. All of this is thanks to the hard work of the Cariboo Festival Society and their new president Juliana Lam.
Lam took up the mantle late last year and is herself a pianist in the Cariboo Gold Band who works as an optometrist at FYidoctors. She said that this year the lakecity can expect another great year with a talented team of adjudicators from across B.C.
“The committee has been very supportive of my new role,” Lam said. “I’ve just been learning how everything comes together from putting together the syllabus then registration to making the schedule. Our co-ordinators in each discipline do all the hard work for their category.”
This year there are 255 entries made up of 579 individual artists to the festival’s four categories: vocal/choral, speech arts, piano and instrumental/band. All of these performances culminate in the Honours Concert held April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Cariboo Bethel Church.
Lam hopes that all 579 participants get to reap all the rewards for their hard work. Preparing for a festival like this, she said, takes countless hours in preparation in the months prior to the event.
The Cariboo Festival, Lam said, helps foster a love and appreciation for all music can offer people in the Williams Lake community. Mixing adults and youth from across the community together in this way is also a great way to build relationships, in her opinion.
“Music is a universal language,” Lam said. “It’s a wonderful way to communicate and build relationships.”
For herself, music is her happy place and provides an outlet for her emotions. No matter what may be going on in her life, she can sit down for hours on end and simply play.
She invites the entire community out to the festival to experience the wide range of music they have on offer. Lam said it can be as a musician looking to take part next year, an organizer interested in joining the society or as a simple spectator, all are welcome.
Lam would also like to extend a special thank you to longtime Cariboo Festival Society members Betty Dryden and Sheila Wyse, who are stepping down after this year’s festival, for all their hard work.
The adjudicators for this year’s festival are as follows:
Speech Arts: Caroljoy Green
Caroljoy Green has been teaching speech arts and drama classes for many years to students from pre-schoolers to teens and even senior citizens. She feels passionate about helping speech arts students be empowered to “shine!” She is the high school drama teacher at Cedars Christian School, in Prince George, BC and also teaches speech arts and drama in a local school for grades 5-7. She teaches RCM Technical Theory Level 2 to a group of nine high school students, and a separate class of three adults.
Each year she helps several elementary classrooms prepare choral speaking pieces for the Prince George Speech Arts & Drama Festival. She serves as a sought-after substitute teacher for grades K – 12, including music. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with distinction, from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and has completed her RCM Grade 8 exam, with honours.
She is currently preparing her Grade 10 RCM exam. She has two grown children who both speak well, thanks in part to the speech arts training they received from Deborah McGladdery. In her free time, she enjoys green tea lattes, writing songs, and hanging out with her cuddly dog Sierra.
Piano: Maureen Hollins
Maureen Hollins has a Performer’s Diploma from both the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Victoria Conservatory of Music; a Bachelor of Music Degree in performance piano from the University of British Columbia; the Professional Development Program from Simon Fraser University; and a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Vancouver School of Theology. She was inspired by teachers Audrey Mallinson, Dale Reubart, Winifred Scott Wood and Jean Coulthard.
Maureen established her piano studio in Surrey in the late 1970s, and since that time has adjudicated music festivals throughout British Columbia. As a clinician, she presents master classes and workshops for teachers and students. An enthusiastic pedagogue, Maureen shares time between the roles of teacher, church musician, liturgist, mentor and collaborative pianist. She is an active member of the Registered Music Teachers, South Fraser Branch.
Maureen’s students are recipients of numerous awards from local festivals, the Victoria Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Maureen loves to teach. Sharing the skill of piano playing and discovering the meaning of music with young people continues to be a challenge and an honour.
Vocal/Choral: Sarona Mynhardt
Sarona has one goal in life, and that is to truly make a difference in the lives of the singers she works with. She firmly believes that through music a teacher does not only have the opportunity to teach music literacy and musicianship skills but those life skills and qualities that are universally important.
Those of love, compassion, humanity, respect, discipline, passion and joy! Born and raised in South Africa, Sarona completed her education degree in Pretoria where she majored in Math, Languages and Psychology, and specialized in Classroom Music, Voice, Choral Conducting, Drama, and Special Education. Her formal voice training culminated in postgraduate work at the Conservatory of Music at North-West University in Potchefstroom.
Band/Instrumental: Susan Aylard
Susan Aylard has travelled the world performing in Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Mexico, the U.S. and Ireland and of course, all of Canada. She started her violin studies before her third birthday at the Vancouver Academy of Music. During the high school years, her studies took her to private instruction at UBC and then on to post-secondary studies in Winnipeg at CMU and the University of Manitoba for her performance major.
Competing during her studies in Western Canada, she placed first in the Senior division at the BC Festival of the Arts, her “Sabeon Trio” twice competed at the National Music Competition and most recently she received the prestigious Okanagan Arts award. Teaching is also part of her passionate music career and she has spent years developing her Suzuki teacher training to combine it with her love of fiddling.
Cripple Creek has taken over for the Twinkle variations. A strenuous touring schedule has resulted in taking a step back from teaching, but Sue still makes time for the occasional workshop and adjudicating at festivals. After years of playing professionally in various Canadian orchestras and fronting the “Cats and the Fiddle” and “Rough Pearl” she has decided to limit her talents to the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, fiddling upstream with “Cod Gone Wild,” and recently she joined the internationally touring band, Rocky Mountain High, performing the music of John Denver.
Sue likes to describe her style as “rough pearl fiddling”. Her Baroque (translated to Rough Pearl) classical training is definitely evident in her arrangements and ability. As well as working freelance for other artists and recordings; she has 2 CDs that feature her fiddle playing as well as two CDs with Cod Gone Wild. Sue recently moved to White Lake with her husband and two kids but still manages the Maples Waterfront Resort in Sorrento. That is of course when she finds time between her family life and music career.