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Member Spotlight and Gala Announcement: Kiwanis Music Festival

By Katie Owen

Every spring, venues across the city resound with the musical offerings of talented young performers.  Professional adjudicators offer constructive feedback and encouraging critique to performers of all ages and levels in a wide variety of disciplines including piano, strings, voice, brass & winds, recorders, guitar, harp, pipe organ, digital piano, speech arts, chamber music, choirs, concert bands, ensembles and orchestras.

Morgan Melbourne

Morgan-Paige Melbourne - Pianist  (Photo courtesy of Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph)

The Kiwanis Music Festival has been providing these opportunities to young musicians for 37 consecutive years and ran for many years prior to a brief hiatus in the 1970s.  Since its inception, the Festival has grown by leaps and bounds; it is now the largest youth services program in the arts in our community.

The Festival not only provides young musicians with performance experience, valuable feedback, and scholarships but also with a chance to network and make friends. Music is a universal language which transcends cultural divides and helps young performers develop empathy, tolerance, and appreciation for the wonderful uniqueness of one another.

Each year, the Festival celebrates the achievements of the most outstanding performers at the Highlights of the Festival Concert & Awards Ceremony where select performers are chosen to share their amazing talents. Performers of all ages and levels have the opportunity to be awarded with scholarships of up to $15,000. Save the evening of May 26, 2018 on your calendars for this great event.

However, music supporters and enthusiasts need not wait until spring to hear some great performances.

The Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph hosts its annual Festival Gala Concert on Saturday, February 10th at 7:00pm at the Guelph Youth Music Centre.  Two stellar young musicians, Pianist, Morgan-Paige Melbourne and Singer/Songwriter, Mikalyn Hay are the featured guest artists. There will also be local professional musicians and students who will be donating their time and talent to help raise funds for the organization.

This elegant evening will feature a delightfully eclectic concert as well as a drinks and hors d'oeuvres  silent auction, live auction, draw prizes, and raffle. Only 180 tickets are available, so advance ticket purchases are recommended. See https://gkmf.ca/gala/for more details.

Mikalyn Hay

Mikalyn Hay - Singer/Songwriter (Photo courtesy of Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph)

Mikalyn Hay, one of the featured performers in the upcoming gala concert, has participated in the Kiwanis Music Festival for the past 7 years. This year Mikalyn was recognized for her song writing abilities and was awarded with a scholarship, money which has gone towards furthering Mikalyn’s musical career. She regularly performs in the Greater Toronto Area, and is working on an upcoming album release. 

Mikalyn has found great success at only 15 years of age and expresses enthusiasm and gratitude for her experiences with the Kiwanis Music Festival:

‘Every single year, through your donations, young musicians like myself have a place to go to meet other musicians, learn, and keep the music community in Guelph growing. It gives us an annual goal to strive toward. On behalf of my family and fellow musicians, I sincerely thank you for supporting the Kiwanis Music Festival and encourage you to keep doing so. This festival is what brought my love of music to life, and thanks to you, thousands of students can participate every year, and we cannot thank you enough for providing us with that opportunity.’ 

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