28 Aug Provincial Singing Festival 2011
Festival 2011 Awards[/caption]
My experience in the Ontario Provincial Singing Festival in 2011 is the subject of today’s post.
Before making my way to the Sir Wilfrid Laurier University Music Facility in Waterloo, I had to qualify in the local singing festival in Thunder Bay in the musical theatre category. Truthfully, I was the only one in the boys category at the time, but in order to qualify for provincials, a participant still has to receive a score of eighty-five or above to receive an adjudicator’s recommendation for the Provincial Singing Festival.
The song I sang for the local Thunder Bay festival was one of my all time favourites, “This is the Moment” from Frank Wildhorn’s musical, Jekyll & Hyde. It was certainly nerve racking to perform this piece as it was one I spent many hours and days practicing to perfection and at the time was a song I always wanted to perform since listening to Robert Cuccioli, the original Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde sing the same song.
After the girls finished their songs for their category and the adjudicator was finished marking, I waited in anticipation to hear my results. To my surprise, I not only received a ninety-five for my mark and a qualification for the Provincial Singing Festival, but I also received a high enough score to receive a medal for my score. I was very happy and humble with the results, but the pressure was back on as I needed to prepare for the Provincials.
Moving forward to the day of the Provincial Festival, I was as ready as I could be in terms of performing for the festival, but I was completely nervous and anxious. The structure of the festival was that the thirty performers would be split into two groups, so fifteen performers would be adjudicated by one adjudicator and the other fifteen would be adjudicated by the second adjudicator. I was in Group A that was adjudicated by Elaine Overholt, the vocal teacher that trained the Hollywood greats, such as Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, to some of the top trending artists on the charts today, such as Shawn Mendes and Coleman Hell (shoutout to my hometown boy).
It goes without saying that my anxiety levels were through the roof when I heard I would be adjudicated by her, but I believe that anxiety fueled the fire in my heart to perform to the best of my abilities for her. I performed “This is the Moment”, along with a song titled “I’m Not That Smart” from the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as a contrasting piece.
After both of the groups performed, Elaine and the second adjudicator, Louisa Burgess Corbett, reconvened to decide their top four picks to move on to the final round for placing. I was half ready to pack up my costumes and start the road trip back when I heard my name called for the final round. I was flabbergasted that I was chosen.
For the final performance, I was asked to perform “This is the Moment” one more time for both Elaine and Louisa. If I thought my anxiety level was high before, I am pretty sure I would have to create a new scale of measurement for it. Needless to say, I performed the song again to the best of my abilities and left in the hands of the adjudicators.
While I was backstage, I saw one of the performers whom I thought was sure to win it all. For a young woman that was around the same age as I was (fifteen or sixteen), both my mom and I agreed that she deserved the win.
The moment of truth came when Elaine and Louisa began handing out the medals. Third place was for another young boy, I believe his name was Bruce. I started expecting to hear my name for second place because I felt that young woman deserved the win.
After what felt like an eternity for them to announce second place, they awarded it…to her! I was shocked because in my heart of hearts, I was sure she was going to win. But that shock turned to overwhelming joy when they announce that I would receive first place for the musical theatre category.
Still to this day, I cannot believe I won. It was an extremely humbling moment for me and it was also the moment that I felt my passion for singing became a truly gifted ability after all my years of training with Denise. It gave even more fuel to the fire of my drive to pursue my dream career of acting and singing on stage today.
All I really have left to say is thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to Denise Krawczuk for continually helping and supporting me to prepare for the provincial festival, also to Larry Tarof for playing my accompaniment on the piano, but also to my parents that support me each and every day. I certainly could not have done it on my own.
That’s all for now…so stay tuned for the next blog on Cole’s Notes!