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(Posted 10:30 a.m., May 19)

Local musicians earn bevy of awards at Kiwanis Music Festival
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Rebecca Kalinger from Orléans holds up the Sandrine Craig Memorial Trophy she received at the Kiwanis Music Festival Highlights Concert last night at the Centrepointe Theatre. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Kiwanis Music Festival has been providing young musicians in the National Capital region a stage on which to perform and have their work judged by a registered adjudicator for the past 62 years.

Originally called the Ottawa Music Festival, the name changed when the Kiwanis Clubs of Ottawa took over responsibility for the event in 1985. This year more than 5,000 musicians and singers took part over a 26 day period at 16 different venues.

Rebecca Kalinger, 13, has been a regular at the Music Festival for the past five years. After starting out competing in piano, she branched out to musical theatre and speech arts. This year competited in piano, speech arts and classical vocal. A scheduling conflict prevented her from competing in the musical theatre category.

As it was, Rebecca did exceptionally well, winning her second straight Sandrine Craig Memorial Trophy for the highest score among 12- and 13-year-olds in speech arts as well as the Pauline Taylor Award for Speech Arts and the Miriam Anderson Memorial trophy for junior vocal. She was also invited to perform her monologue during the festival Highlights Concert which brings together the top performances from the month long competition.

For her monologue, Rebecca chose a part from "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" in which the character Huldah tries to gain the attention of Rebecca and her friend Emma Jane in their school dormitory. She found the piece in a book of monologues at the library.

"I searched through the book for something that suited my age and I thought this was the best one," said Kalinger after her Highlights Concert performance at the Nepean Centrepointe Theatre on Friday night.

In winning the Sandrine Craig Memorial Trophy twice, Rebecca joins fellow Orleans resident Steffi Didomenicantonio who was also a two time recipient before gaining fame as Steffi D. in last year's Canadian Idol contest.

Asked if she drew any inspiration from Steffi, Rebecca quickly answered in the affirmative.

"I really admire the way she does so many things and does everything so amazingly," said Rebecca who is no stranger to having to do a lot of things at the same time and doing them well.

During the Kiwanis Music Festival she took part in 10 classes in three different disciplines in six days. In January, she received First Class Honours with Distinction on her Grade 6 Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) voice examination and in February she received her fifth trophy from the Gloucester Music Teachers' Association for having achieved the top mark on her Grade 7 RCM piano exam. She also found time to take part in the Trinity Exams for Speech and Drama and earned distinction for scoring over 85 per cent.

Equally adept at musical theatre as she is classical vocal, Rebecca recently received word that she's been accepted into Canterbury High School's vocal music program for next year.

As for her participation in the Music Festival, Rebecca says she looks forward to being able to perform on stage every year in front of an audience and an adjudicator.

"It's a great opportunity to perform and get professional feedback so you can improve and you get to see the other musicians and find out what they're working on," said Rebecca. "I really look forward to it."

But Rebecca wasn't the only east end resident to pick up an award at this year's music festival. Claudia Chan, 17, won the Grace I. McGugan Trophy, the Sybil Pink Grobba Trophy and shared the Janet Mooney Trophy with Michel Ross in the piano competition. She also picked up three scholarship awards totalling $400. Fellow east end Viviane Clemont-DuPont received the Dr. Otto Bettman Memorial Trophy in junior vocal and along with the Kiwanis Club of Manotick Award for junior vocal 10 and under worth $75.

Other cash award and scholarship recipients included pianist Eliza Lei from Orléans, who received Royal Canadian College of Organists Award of $300 in Junior Open Organ; Ellison Owen from Orléans won the Harmelodic Music Club Award in the senior open vocal division worth $300; Marie-Luc Seguin-Lemay from Orléans received the Bill Navan Memorial Award worth $300 in senior piano; Valerie Lamelin from Rockland won the Muriel Shearer Memorial Award and the Cammie Howard Memorial Award wiorth $150 each for clarinet; Orléans resident Nadia Petrella earned a Canadian Centennial Choir Scholarship worth $250 and the Ottawa Welsh Society Scholarship worth $300 for her senior open vocal performance; and Christine Yoo from Orléans earned a $250 scholarship in Senior Open Violin Grade 10.

Other scholarship recipients included Mimi Lam from Orléans who won the Laurentian Junior Music Club Award and the Gladys Barnes Memorial Scholarship worth $150 each in senior piano; Melanie Lauziere from Gloucester won the Musicare Award worth $100 for flute; fellow Gloucester resident Sydney Clarke won the Sister Mary Brendan Lynch Award for junior vocal 14 and under worth $100; and Kelly Aminian from Gloucester received a $75 award in senior pedal harp.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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