Students of the Shuswap Music Festival receive recognition and awards in celebration of their achievements at a previous Gala Concert. (Submitted)

Annual Shuswap Music Festival in Salmon Arm goes virtual

Young musicians will perform over video to be critiqued

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some innovative changes for the annual April Shuswap Music Festival.

The board of directors has organized a virtual event that offers an opportunity for students to perform and receive the constructive critique of professional and acclaimed musicians while respecting health and safety protocols.

“There will be no gala concert showcasing talented young musicians and no choirs, ensembles, and duets,” said Susan Wolff, Shuswap Music Festival Board of Directors

“Despite that, the central focus of the festival continues as a supportive learning experience for young musicians.”

Participants will perform on video at home with piano, strings, or vocals and then upload it to YouTube to send to the judges.

Judges will respond to each entry by email. Provincial COVID-19 protocols allow schools to offer band programs, so bands will perform at their respective schools and be adjudicated in person.

Although there won’t be a gala concert, the video performances of the winners of awards and scholarships can be viewed on the website at

As in previous years, adjudicators will recommend top performers to advance to this year’s virtual B.C. Performing Arts Festival scheduled for June 2 to 5.

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Salmon Arm Observer