Music, speech arts students advance to provincials

Music and speech arts students picked to represent the CDMF Performing Arts Festival at the provincials next month shined at an honours concert this week.

On Sunday, the youth who will advance to Performing Arts BC sang classical and musical theatre tunes, recited traditional and modern scripts and tickled the piano ivories before a crowd of 80 at the Hyde Creek Community Church in Port Coquitlam.

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Emceed by former city councillor Michael Wright and filmed by Tri-Cities Community TV, the showcase was the culmination of two months of adjudication of students from around the Lower Mainland, hoping to gain a spot in the provincial competition.

And among those chosen to be in Powell River in May is Eric Liang, last year's Performing Arts BC runner-up in the national piano category (Liang also clinched the event's Linda Stobbe Memorial Award for best performance of a concerto in the class).

Other CDMF pianists joining Liang at the provincials are Sue Wang, Markus Masaites and Karin Chan. Classical vocalists Sophia Strang and Roshaan Saulnier also got CDMF nods while Jeffery Wallace and Madison Simms were selected for musical theatre. In speech and drama, CDMF tapped Alexandra Yang, Darren Sayson and Wing Wing Fung.

CDMF president Harold Peters said he heard from adjudicators who "thought our competitors were of the highest calibre of any festival" and he recognized the parents, teachers and students for investing hours in the arts.

Also in the audience at Sunday's honours concert was Vivienne Bennie, who helped to launch the performing arts festival in Port Coquitlam 63 years ago.

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