ARTIST INFORMATION

It’s a new decade and the Kiwanis Festival for the Performing Arts in Stratford is excited to be presenting GAMESHOW FOR THE CENTURIES: Celebrating the 20s!!  Not only 2020 but also the 1920s … 1820s … 1720s … and 1620s!   Originally designed as a live concert, this caper through the centuries has been transformed into an online gameshow incorporating recorded performances and other fun facts.  The “Name the Century” contest invites viewers to identify not only the performances but also other dimensions of culture through the centuries.  All entries are eligible to win prizes courtesy of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Janelle Spa & Boutique, RossBikeWorks, The Barkery and more, to be drawn monthly.  Hosting the fun is the versatile Rod Beattie who joins the ranks of Alex Trebek and Monty Hall in masterminding the proceedings.   Talented artists who are all intimately familiar with the music festival experience, either as participants, adjudicators, or both, have generously provided recorded excerpts of the performances intended for the live concert:

Currently teaching voice at Western University, soprano Barbara Dunn-Prosser has performed with symphony orchestras across North America as well as the Canadian Opera Company and the Stratford Festival.  She knows the festival experience well, as both a participant and adjudicator.

Canadian-born Lara St. John is a violin soloist and musical maverick. She has owned her own label, Ancalagon, since 1999, on which she has released albums that range from classical to new commissions to folk music and more. Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old, made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra when she was 10.

Triple threat Shannon McCracken moves comfortably between opera and oratorio to musical theatre and cabaret, while maintaining a busy teaching practice.  We are delighted that she will be working with Kiwanis Festival Stratford over the coming season.

“Eclectic Celtic” composer and singer, Loreena McKennitt has said that “music chose me rather than me, it.”  Critically acclaimed world-wide, Loreena is also a staunch support of Kiwanis Festival Stratford as she believes in putting back into the community – “there have been those before you (who) have done the same and you are reaping what they sowed.”

Ben Smith has performed as piano soloist and chamber musician across Canada and the United States.   Currently serving on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School (GGS) and the Taylor Young Artist Academy at the Royal Conservatory, recent seasons have included two concerts in Carnegie Hall and most recently, as soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Hart House Orchestra.  A laureate of numerous competitions, he has now added adjudication to his activities.

Pianist Petya Stavreva is in demand as both a performer, educator, and adjudicator, currently maintaining two teaching studios while completing her Doctor of Musical Arts. We are delighted to confirm that Petya will be working with Kiwanis Festival Stratford over the coming season.

Bass-baritone Dan Van Winden is the new Music Director of Avondale United Church.  He developed a passion for performing during his participation in the Woodstock Rotary Music Festival and his years in the Musical Theatre program at Woodstock Collegiate Institute.  He has a Masters of Music, Vocal Performance and Literature from Western University and has recently added adjudicating to his activities.

David Warrack  made his first appearance on radio at age 5 and has been working ever since in a varied career as a Composer, Conductor, Pianist, Vocalist, Lyricist, Librettist, Arranger, Orchestrator, Music Director, Director, Satirist, Comedian, Actor, Poet, Producer, Impresario, Bon Vivant, and Hockey Coach.  He doesn’t dance, though.   We are delighted that David will be working with Kiwanis Festival Stratford over the coming season.

“Gameshow of the Centuries: Celebrating the 20s” will go online before the end of September and remain live, allowing ongoing entries.  Tickets are PWYC with a minimum donation of $5, and will provide the purchaser with access to the video + “Name the Century” entry form for 24 hours.   All entries received will be eligible for a monthly prize.  Watch Kiwanis Festival website and social media for the link!

** All proceeds support the Kiwanis Festival for the Performing Arts – Stratford**

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