Music will sweeten the Prince George air starting on Sunday. The Annual Prince George Music Festival showcases the talents of our young and established performers alike, playing as individuals, ensembles and large groups to test their skills.
The very best are selected to perform at the Showcase Recital for up-and-coming talent and the Festival Gala for the top scores. Some will also be recommended to move on to the provincial competition in spring.
This year's events list follows this schedule:
Vocalists: Feb. 21-24
Choral singing: Feb. 25
Piano: Feb. 22-27
Strings and Instrumental:
Showcase Recital: 5:30 p.m. on March 5 at Vanier Hall
Festival Gala: 8 p.m. on March 5 at Vanier Hall
"These concerts will feature award-winning performances selected by our adjudicators, across all disciplines," said Gina Bialuski, one of the many volunteer organizers who helps carry out the festival each year.
One of the most important elements each year is the set of adjudicators that come to Prince George to assess the talent. These professionals are always standouts in their field of music and also have an aptitude for nurturing the next generation of talent.
This year, the three adjudicators are:
Strings and Instrumental: Jeff Plotnick
Piano: Catherine Bundt
Vocal & Choral: Rhonda Sylvester
Plotnick recently retired after completing his 30th season as Principal Second Violin with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as concertmaster of the Calgary Bach Society and the Calgary Festival Chorus Orchestras. Plotnick often appeared as violin soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic as well as the Calgary Bach Society, and has been heard in frequent performances as a solo and chamber recitalist.
As an educator, Plotnick has been a faculty member with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal College and the Amici String program, in addition to summer seminars in places like Banff and Nelson. He was the founding director and conductor of Mount Royal's Intermediate String Orchestra.
Since his retirement, he has become an adjudicator in high demand.
Bundt is a graduate of the UBC Piano Performance program where she studied with Jane Coop and participated in master classes with Fanny Waterman Menahem Pressler, Elly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen.
She has been a B.C. Registered Music Teacher for the past 30 years and served several terms on the South Fraser branch executive council and festival committees.
She is active throughout the region as an adjudicator and Royal Conservatory of Music examiner. She is frequently on the performance stage, maintains a busy studio in Surrey and hosts frequent house concerts.
Sylvester grew up in Stettler, Alta., where she was mentored by the acclaimed Elaine Pitt and her highly successful choral group Pitt's Pets. Sylvester caught the professional performance bug and obtained her education at Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Red Deer College and the University of Alberta.
She went to Germany where she both honed her own singing and taught budding vocalists for two years. Her students and her choirs have a track record of international success.
She also has a long list of musical theatre credits, her favourites being Nunsense and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She was also a soprano soloist for Edmonton's Concordia University Orchestra production of Handel's Messiah.