Hundreds of young pianists, singers and speech arts students from around the Lower Mainland will make their way to Port Coquitlam over the next month, hoping to clinch a spot at the performing arts provincials.
And beside the adults accompanying them will be about two dozen volunteers, helping the performers check in and offering support before they take to the stage.
The volunteers at the 67th annual CDMF Performing Arts Festival lend a hand for a variety of reasons, said volunteer co-ordinator Pat Bradley, who is also the festival vice-president.
Some have had children in past competitions while others have been recruited by friends and neighbours to assist at Trinity United Church, where the event will start on Monday.
“I have a real interest in the people and the music,” said Judi Carroll, who handles the front-of-house duties. “It’s so exciting when they walk through the doors and the tension is building. Some of the talent is just unbelievable to watch and hear.”
This year’s fest will see a total of 520 entries in the categories of piano (Feb. 10 to 21); speech arts (Feb. 24 and 25); classical voice (March 2 and 3); and musical theatre (March 4 to 6).
CDMF president Michael Wright said the organization has its largest piano component to date, with a 30% increase over last year (the competitors will play on a Yamaha C3 grand piano that has been loaned by Tom Lee Music).
Adjudicators Akiko Tominaga (piano), Susan Bertoia (speech) and Melanie Adams (vocal) will select the best performances and advance the winners to the honours concert; the latter event will be held April 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Trinity United.
At that time, 65 trophies will be handed out and the names of the CDMF representatives at the provincials will be announced. The Performing Arts BC Association of Regional Festivals hosts its contest in June in Cranbrook.
Entry to the CDMF Performing Arts Festival at Trinity United Church (2211 Prairie Ave., Port Coquitlam) is free of charge. Visit cdmffestival.ca for more information.