Carter Johnson has won many awards for performance and pedagogy and organizers say he will be a real asset at this year’s carnival.

Annual celebration of music gets underway next week

Every year in late April hundreds of music students, teachers, relatives and friends gather for an eleven day celebration of music in our community.

The 29th annual Music Week, sponsored by the Campbell River Friends of Music, begins next Tuesday (April 19).

One of only a few non-competitive music festivals in B.C., Music Week offers pianists, singers and string players the chance to work with an experienced master teacher in a non-threatening and collaborative setting.

In a departure from traditional music festivals, Music Week offers even very early beginners the chance to perform.

The Carnival portion of the festival – April 29 and 30 – will feature Carter Johnson as its master teacher, working with students from the earliest stages of piano study to RCM Grade Two. Johnson is well known in his home town of Campbell River and is finishing his second year in the School of Music at UBC. He has won many awards for performance and pedagogy and will be a real asset at this year’s Carnival.

Singers, performing many styles of vocal music, from classics and folk songs to musical theatre and jazz, alone and in ensembles, are one of the highlights of Music Week, drawing big audiences. Cantabile, the vocal portion of the festival, is on April 22 and 23, with master teacher Sara Partridge, from Victoria.

String players, including individuals, groups and fiddle, make up Pizzicato. They will work with Kathryn Wiebe on April 19 and 20, while pianists occupy the bulk of the festival schedule from April 25 to 29. The Fiesta master teacher will be Bernard Duerksen from the lower mainland.

One of the high points of Music Week every year is the Ruth Scott Chopin Competition, now in its eighth year.

On Sunday evening, April 24 at 7:30 p.m., twelve students will perform piano music by Chopin, with the winner – as chosen by Bernard Duerksen – taking home a prize of $500.

This is always an exciting event for both the audience and the participants. Admission is by donation.

Ruth Scott, who died in 2008, was one of the founders of Friends of Music and a much-loved member of the musical community. Her friends, colleagues and family instituted this Chopin competition in her name.

The festival always concludes with a Finale Concert of some of the best music making from Fiesta, Pizzicato and Cantabile. This concert, open to the public by donation, will take place at Trinity Presbyterian Church at 1:30 on Saturday, May 7.

All Music Week classes take place at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Simms Road.

They are open to the public for a modest fee, or with an 11-day family pass costing $5.