(Back row) Alastair McLellan

(Back row) Alastair McLellan

A classical performance

Bulkley Valley musicians recently picked up a number of prestigious awards at music festivals throughout the northwest.

Bulkley Valley musical talents were on the circuit this year picking up a number of prestigious awards at music festivals throughout the Northwest.

Wolfgang Loschberger, a local piano teacher had a couple of students recently return from the Lakes District Festival for Performing Arts in Burns Lake, as well as the Pacific Northwest Music Festival in Terrace and the Nechako Performing Arts Festival in Vanderhoof, with some promising results.

Elena Goddard and Alastair McLellan both performed perfectly winning top provincial nominations as well as invitations to perform at concert galas throughout the Northwest.

Gregory and James Baxter performed for the first time at the Lakes District festival as well as Aidon and Conor Murphy and Nathanael Wittwer.

But as Loschberg explains part of the key to success is having veteran students who are dedicated to their talent, which for Loschberger is sometimes a rarity.

“To have these students for many years, I feel very lucky,” he said.

“It’s also important to choose a piece that the student is really motivated for. For Allister he was very motivated for Mozart’s Fantasia and he really hooked up with that piece and worked so hard on it, and then he made it.”

Smithers has always been a hub for essential arts in the North and continues to grow with new talent every year.

Goddard competed in Burns Lake and won her category with top marks. She was also awarded a small scholarship in Terrace for the highest marks in the Beethoven category, where she performed two movements of a Beethoven sonata that was perfect to the rhythm.

“I think the attitude towards musical education is very positive in Smithers,” said Loschberger.

“My goal is always if I realize there is talented kid around, I challenge the students and they respond to that and they grow with the challenge.”

However, it was McLellan that will be heading to provincials at the end of the month to perform Mozart’s Fantasia and hopefully will return with some much deserved hardware.

“We know the competency level is very high at provincials so we are happy to participate,” admits Loschberger.

“My hope is that Allister will experience this environment and be inspired to continue to pursue music.”

McLellan will be in Nanaimo for provincial competition later this month.