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L.A. Beat

Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival features live events and new concerts

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The Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival is back, March 20-April 1 with a full line up of talented performers from Southern Alberta and Lethbridge, plus a bonus concert.


This year there are 3,584 participants performing solo and with choirs, orchestras, bands and choirs, performing 753 pieces. Participants mostly come from Lethbridge, but there are a few of out of towners from Cardston, Taber and even High River.



“We have a full week of bands Tuesday to Friday and a full week of choirs,” enthused Jaimee Jarvie, the new general manager of the Lethbridge and District  Music and Speech arts festival.


“ It’s been great. It’s been a learning curve. It’s been amazing. But I’ve been involved with the festival as a performer or teacher since I was in Grade 1,” Jarvie said.

“It’s been a little easier because I already know a lot of the students and teachers. So it’s a joy to connect with them again and getting them excited about the festival again. It’s been wonderful, ”continued Jarvie, who has performed in the festival as part of several school, university and  community choirs as well as a solo performer.


There are performances every day beginning at 9 a.m. at Southminster United Church, St. Augustines Church and sanctuary,  Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Casa as well as the Owl Acoustic lounge. There are no performances at the Yates Theatre.


 There is also a new concert, opening the festival on Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in Southminster United Church.


The Musical Theatre Showcase Concert is March 25 at 2 p.m.and  The Stars of the Festival Wrap Up Concert is April 1 at 2 p.m.

The festival begins with Senior piano in the Casa Community Room, Monday,  March 20 and woodwind/ brass solo in St. Augustines sanctuary.


 The schedule and more details are at

Jarvie is excited to bring back handbell classes, Tuesday, March 21 at St. Augustine’s sanctuary as well as pipe organ, Friday March 24 also at the St. Augustine’s sanctuary   which they weren’t able to do because of Covid.

“ We weren’t  able to do those during the pandemic festival, but they’re back and we’re really happy about that,” she said.

 There will also be a special presentation of the U of L Guitar ensemble at the University of Lethbridge in W480, Wednesday,  March 29.

 Another special event is  the contemporary vocals class which takes place at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, were performers will be performing with a live backing band, Tuesday, March 21 from 6-8 p.m..

“That is so cool that 10 kids will be able to  sing with a live band. It is a great  experience,” Jarvie enthused.


She hopes people will come out to the shows.

“People are still getting used to in person shows again,” she said.


“As people get more comfortable with it we’ll see numbers increase,”she said.


“It’s important for kids to perform in public and express themselves in a safe space and  get to listen to each other and learn from each other,” she said, adding the adjudication  process is also important.


“It’s important for them to get an outside ear,” she continued, adding a few adjudicators have returned for this year’s festival and they even tapped some local talent to adjudicate  pipe organ (John-Paul Ksiazek) and handbells (Beth Cook).


“They’re world class adjudicators. It means a lot that some of them have come back to this festival,” Jarvie continued.


 Admission to each  performance is three dollars or  a program for $20 which gets you admission to all performances including the  big concerts. They accept debit, cash or credit.

— By Richard Amery, l.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 March 2023 11:17 )  
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