When an institution in Chatham-Kent like the Kiwanis Music Festival can say it’s been around for 75 years, it is a reason to celebrate.
In the spring of 2020, the iconic Festival will be celebrating 75 years of giving a platform for talented young people to showcase their musical abilities, be it voice or instrumental. If you ask the thousands of students who have taken part in the Festival, it is always a fond memory, and for some, the launch pad of a career in music.
There are many notable Festival alumni who have gone out into the world to share their gift, playing concerts all over the world; from singers to pianists to flautists. The yearly event is an incredible opportunity for up-and-coming artists to experience their first taste of competition, a live audience and all the ceremony that goes along with it.
It’s a chance to do their best and have a professional advise on what they did great and what they can improve on to hone their craft.
For some, it’s just a fun experience they can look back on, but for all, being given a showcase for their musical pursuits is a gift not all communities have.
Funding for the arts in schools, such as school choirs or orchestras, is dwindling and when there are funding cuts handed down, these are usually the first to feel the pinch.
Arts and music, though, are an important outlet for kids – as important as sports or academics clubs in promoting mental health and well being.
Not all kids are jocks or super smart, so we need to keep the funding and support for the arts and music programs alive in schools and in communities, and that is exactly what the Kiwanis Music Festival has been doing for 75 years.
Hopefully, with the help of music teachers across the municipality, kids will continue to take advantage of the opportunities the Festival provides for a fun and competitive outlet for musical talents.