There is never a quiet moment during March Break at Vanier College. Every spring, the campus is invaded by thousands of young musicians from all over Quebec who come to participate in MusicFest Québec. This year, more 5,400 high school students aged eleven to eighteen, will be at Vanier from March 19 to 22, 2013 to perform with their concert bands, orchestras and choirs.
This is the fourteenth year MusicFest Québec takes place at Vanier, which is uniquely equipped for presenting simultaneous performances of symphony orchestras, string orchestras, concert bands, choirs and classical guitar ensembles.
Highlight of the year for music students
MusicFest is the highlight of the year for many music students in Québec. It’s the chance to come to Montreal and perform their music before élite adjudicators consisting of well-known orchestra and band conductors, choir directors, instrumentalists, teachers and recording artists. Vanier teacher and choir director, Philippe Bourque, has been invited to judge the choirs for a third consecutive year.
120 groups from all over Quebec
In all 120 ensembles will participate in this year’s event. Locally, seven English regional high schools, including John Rennie, Westwood, FACE and Marymount, will bring a total of 12 ensembles to the festival. Other ensembles will travel from such cities as Gatineau, Mont-Tremblant, Lévis and Cowansville.
A unique competition
Generally each musical group performs a maximum of three pieces in front of two adjudicators and is evaluated according to the quality of their performance and the given criteria in the evaluation form. While each group performs, the adjudicators who are equipped with microphones record comments on the performance as it takes place. Subsequently, each school receives a CD of the annotated performances of its students. As well, after the performance one of the evaluators meets with each group in a workshop and works with them on the technique and interpretation of their performance. At the end of the process the jury attributes the performing group with one of the following mentions: Gold, Silver, or Bronze, and the musical director of the group receives a certificate attesting the mention obtained.
A large exhibition room where students can gather to try out different musical instruments and buy music scores and CDs is always an interesting feature for everyone.
Open to the public
MusicFest Québec is open to the public. Performances take place in the Vanier Auditorium (A-103) and Room (A-250) and run every day from 9 am to 5pm, except the first day when performances begin at 10 am. Check the MusicFest schedule for details of daily performances.