Cowichan Music Festival 2018

One of our students rehearsing “If I Were A Bell” from Guys and Dolls

It was another very successful year at the Cowichan Music Festival, and we are so proud of our students at Forte, all of whom prepared and performed pieces with great vocal technique, poise, and musicality.

This year we had a number of voice students performing in both the classical voice and musical theatre categories. They got to hear a variety of songs performed by students from throughout the Cowichan Valley, and they were adjudicated by top notch adjudicators: Adele Clark and Rebecca Haas.

We thought we’d share just a sprinkling of the thoughts shared by the fabulous adjudicators.

Highlights from the Cowichan Music Festival Voice Sections:

Classical voice was adjudicated by the extremely knowledgeable (and incredibly entertaining) Adele Clark. Music theatre was adjudicated by the very accomplished Rebecca Haas. Students were encouraged to:

  • Ensure correct singing posture to allow for poised breath – keeping weight forward on the feet, knees unlocked, spine tall (especially the back of the neck!), chest lifted, etc.
  • Drop the jaw – we loved the “blah blah” exercises!
  • Think of a musical phrase as being one single word from start to finish.
  • Go for it! If you’re going to use choreography or movements in musical theatre songs, use them with purpose and intention.
  • Keep songs “in your book” for months or even years. Sometimes you can grow into a song over time as your voice and body mature and as you gain experience and skill.
  • Purchase “musicians earplugs” – hearing protection that allows you to hear sounds but protects your ears from damage. We are exposed to many more loud sounds compared to the past (movie theatres, concerts, earbuds) and it’s important to protect your hearing.
  • Listen to various styles of music – not just the mainstream songs you hear on the radio – it’s good for your ears and for your brain to process different styles. There’s a reason Mozart’s music has been famous for hundreds of years!

The Cowichan Music Festival is a wonderful opportunity for students to perform outside of our studio recitals, as well as to be adjudicated by talented adjudicators and exposed to a variety of music they may not have heard before. The festival is also a qualifier for the Provincials, and scholarships and bursaries may be awarded to students who meet specific criteria with top marks. If you’re interested in entering the Cowichan Music Festival, talk to your teacher and get ready for 2019!