Phil Roberts, a piano adjudicator at the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival last week and a teacher at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s School of Music in piano performance, was the person who brought forward the praise for Rotarians and their organizers of the festival.
Not really surprising in that some of the festival’s top talents end up his way or with his peers at the music program at the university.
But this time around it was a little different as he was able to relate first hand to some of the students that are involved in the university’s programs, including Evan Smith, Stephen Eckert, Marigold Benoit and Sarah Bartlett.
That’s not bad considering the size of the Bay St. George area and what the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival was able to produce in the way of successful pianists.
That’s not all as other participants in the festival have gone to do great things; including Debra Scurto-Davis, a pianist and vocal coach who made her life’s goal the promotion of excellent artistry, principally through educating others.
She is on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where she coaches and teaches English, French, Italian and German diction; and The Shipley School, where she has a studio of 30 pianists.
There are many others who have gone through the Stephenville Rotary Musical Festival and participants in many other festivals across the province that have achieved and gone on to bigger and better things.
In addition to those accomplishments, the festivals provide much more for the participants and the community.
By being involved, participants learn a number of values that will assist them as they proceed through life including: patience, engagement with others, learning new skills, as well as improving positive emotions and well-being.
Watching young people making their way into the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre, you see not only self-assuredness but people that are dressed to take on the task at hand.
The new clothing, manicured nails and groomed hair are all indications that the business community are gaining from this event. Then there are those who come from out of town and make it a true outing event, including hitting the restaurants for a bite to eat.
Bus drivers, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, department and clothing stores all gain from people coming into the town for the festival and spending money.
The advantages of music festivals cannot be overstated and as the adjudicator Roberts indicated, those who put them off, from the Rotary members to the organizers, are truly awesome people.