Adelle Ellis
Times Reporter


Several schools in Strathmore have a proud history when it comes to the performing arts, especially when looking at choir performances at the Drumheller and District Music Festival.
Indeed, three schools in Strathmore walked away from the adjudicated festival last year after having won all four available school music awards.
The schools in Strathmore hope this year will be no different. The 87th Drumheller and District Music Festival will be taking place on March 20 to 31.
“Music festivals provide a beautiful performance venue and adjudication by a choral expert,” said Carolyn Steeves, music specialist with École Brentwood Elementary School. “The choristers gain experience and confidence from the experience along with the excitement of the performance. The choirs use these performance opportunities to goal set.”
Last year, École Brentwood Elementary School won the T.E. Keele Trophy for the highest mark in school chorus Grades 2 and 3, as well as the G. Fred Anderson Memorial Plaque for the highest mark in school chorus Grades 4 to 6.
This year, École Brentwood Elementary School senior and junior choirs will both perform four selections, while the primary choir will perform five. All three choirs will be accompanied by piano, flute, viola and percussion, and the songs will be sung in either one, two or three parts.
“The choirs take a great deal of pride in their performances and work hard to achieve excellence. They always want to sing their best and represent their choir and their school the very best they can,” said Steeves. “They are thrilled when they reach their goals and know they gave it their all.”
Crowther Memorial Junior High School (CMJHS) has also done well in previous years at the Drumheller Festival, winning the Rotary Club Trophy last year for the highest mark in family and community music.
Unfortunately, CMJHS will not be attending the festival this year, as their choir is growing and they are more focused on performing within the school and in the community. In future, the school hopes to once again attend the festival.
Last year the Strathmore High School Glee Choir took home the W.R. Dean Memorial Trophy and the DDMJA Scholarship for receiving the highest mark in a school chorus. This year, 20 students in the Glee Choir will be performing three songs at the festival.
“It’s great for them to have the opportunity to share what they’ve been working on and to get some feedback,” said Deanne Bertsch, Glee Choir director. She added that the feedback is helpful for the young singers to help them grow. They will be holding a concert in the upcoming months where they will sing the same songs.