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Be entertained by Squamish's talented young performing artists on Sunday

Howe Sound Music Festival Highlights Concert features highlights from the annual Howe Sound Music Festival.

Want to see some of the most talented youth in town perform in person? 

If you answered yes, you are in luck. 

You will have your chance this weekend. 

The Howe Sound Performing Arts Association presents the Howe Sound Music Festival Highlights Concert on Sunday, May 29 at St. John The Divine Anglican Church.

Back in March, 12 youths from the Howe Sound Music Festival were selected to represent the festival in Performing Arts BC Provincials in piano, classical voice and musical theatre during the week of June 6.

The concert features those who had a gold showing at the festival. 

"These were recommended adjudicator performances for piano, musical theatre and classical voice participants. And so, it just really highlights different moments that were special in the festival that the standout performances as the adjudicators, you know, thought, 'Wow, this needs to be in a concert,'" said PJ Elliot, the festival's executive director.

This year, the annual festival saw a 15% growth in attendance over 2019, which is the comparable year, due to COVID.

"We have 53 classical voice entries, 51 musical theatre entries, and 111 piano entries, Elliot said, noting with the growth in town, Squamish could use a performing arts venue of its own. 

This March's festival, held at St. John The Divine, was also the longest — stretching out over a week — Monday through Sunday. 

While the festival was able to run through COVID-19 there wasn't an in-person concert, so this Sunday's performance is a welcome one. 

"This is the first time we've been able to celebrate and have a highlight concert, and just really come together as a community and celebrate these youth who have worked so hard," she said. 

The concert will include 25 performances over the span of about 90 minutes, Elliot said.

The youth recommended to go to the provincials are: 

Intermediate Piano Delegate

Sylvan Ashbaugh

Junior Piano Delegate

Estelle Joel 

Junior Piano Alternate/Merited Participant

Lia Braun

Junior Piano Merited Participant

Stella Schwartz

Intermediate Musical Theatre Delegate

Zora Jajic

Intermediate Alternate/Merited Participant 

Sonoma Brawley

Intermediate Merited Participant 

Katie Moran

Junior Musical Theatre Delegate

Sephira Drzymala

Junior Musical Theatre Alternate/Merited Participant

Lia Braun

Intermediate Classical Voice Delegate

Lucy Gill 

Intermediate Classical Voice Merited Participant

Cameron Gillie

Junior Classical Voice Delegate

Vanessa Steinberg

Junior Classical Voice Merited Participant

Melanie Booth

The provincials run June 5 to 9th and are virtual this year. Youth compete and participate in adjudicated sessions, master classes, coaching, workshops and technique classes with adjudicators in four different levels: Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Provincial Excellence.

Howe Sound Performing Arts Association pays the entry fees for Squamish participants. 

The festival and the provincials are great opportunities for Squamish performers, Elliot said. 

"They're connecting with their peers, they're meeting kids from other schools, they're hearing different music genres that they could be interested in," she said, adding she always asks the students after the festival what they gained from it. 

"One of my favourite ones was, 'I remembered how supportive our community is of young performers and how grateful I am to have an audience cheering me on.' That's why we do this."

Concert details

What: Howe Sound Music Festival Highlights Concert 

When: Sunday, May 29, starting at 2:30 p.m. 

Where: St John The Divine Anglican Church, 1930 Diamond Rd

Cost: $20 available at the door; free for HSMFestival participants and with Festival Admission Pass.