Next Monday kicks off the first day of the 61st annual Kindersley & District Music Festival, a celebration where local music students have the opportunity to perform. 

St. Paul's United Church will host senior piano, vocals, and instrumentals while junior piano is at the Norman Ritchie Community Centre and the bands will play at the high school in Kindersley.  

Chair of Kindersley & District Music Festival, Cheryl Glass, is keen for aspiring young musicians of the community to showcase the talents they've been working on.

"I think it's really important to be able to help kids develop their passions," said Glass. 

The nine-day event will include piano, woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, vocal arts, musical theatre, chorus and choir, as well as ensembles. and bands. 

"It displays their excellence, they get to come and learn about how others play," Glass noted. "They get coaching from highly skilled adjudicators about how they can make it better."

James McCarthy and Gailand Kern are among the adjudicators for this year's festival.

"It increases their confidence because getting up in front of a group of people is hard," said Glass. "But our audiences are also very supportive so they're always getting a lot of positive feedback when they get up and play."

Entry fees were $15 for a solo or duet, $25 for ensembles, and $50 for bands with entries closing Feb. 2 of this year. 

"We have kids as young as four doing their very beginning piano pieces," Glass said. "To our high school kids who've been doing this for years and bringing us very highly technical pieces, it's quite exciting to come and watch."

Festival participants are also eligible to receive a scholarship if they participate in at least two classes of the same discipline, while bands, ensembles, and choirs are determined by merit. 

"Anybody who wants to come out and watch, there are schedules out on our Facebook page, you'll see posters around town about where and when," concluded Glass. 

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