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Benefit concert showcases local talent

The annual benefit concert for the National Music Festival will be held this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the TransCanada Theatre.

The annual benefit concert for the National Music Festival will be held this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the TransCanada Theatre.

The National Music Festival is an organization of volunteers from across the country serving tens of thousands of young musicians.

“The festival's main objective is the development and encouragement of Canadian talent in the performance and knowledge of classical music,” said Marlene Skeet, concert organizer.

Skeet and fellow concert organizer June Chittick started the benefit concert 15 years ago, after the main sponsor of the National Music Festival pulled out.

“We are talking about thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Skeet.

“The two of us wondered if we could do something to help keep the National Music Festival in our country. We decided to run a benefit concert.”

Every year, Skeet and Chittick aim to raise at least $1,000.

“As a result, we now give the second place award to voice across Canada and that's a $1,000 award. We have been really successful so far,” said Skeet.

“There are some people that know about us and come all the time. But a lot of people don't understand what this benefit concert is about.”

Skeet says she is concerned that if the National Music Festival folds, it would affect the provincial and local levels.

“Every year, costs go up and we have to support the provincials and the provincials support the national. We don't want it to die.”

After 14 years at Olds First Baptist Church, Chittick and Skeet were able to move locations this year.

“We are excited about that,” said Skeet.

The concert will showcase 19 vocal, musical theatre, and instrumental performers from this year's Kiwanis Music Festival.

“They are performers that have received awards at our festival,” said Skeet.

“They are not necessarily the ones that are being sent to provincials. We are showcasing other children.”

Tickets for the concert will be sold at the door.





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