Although it’s up in the air exactly what it could look like, Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival organizers are determined the show will go on next year.
The festival committee is actively making plans for the 2021 event in accordance with government health regulations.
It will be the 75th music festival since this year’s festival, which would have been the 75th iteration, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
“It was very, very, very disappointing,” said George Service, the festival committee chair. “I cried over that one.
“We actually cancelled it the day before the provincial guidelines came out, and the Anglican diocese sent out a note that churches could not be used, and that was one of our sites.”
One positive aspect was the Kiwanis organizers were able to host several of the events planned to celebrate the anniversary prior to the pandemic, Service added.
The 2021 syllabus is now available. It includes classes for individual competitions for voice, piano and other instruments, as well as duets and trios in those categories.
However, there are no classes planned for choirs, bands or choral speaking.
There will be requirements for physical distancing and masks, as well as sanitizing on surfaces such as piano keys. Plexiglass barriers will be in place where appropriate for voice and wind instrument classes.
“There are still lots of questions that we have to answer, but we think that we can do it,” Service said.
He said activities will be adjusted for online options should circumstances worsen with respect to the pandemic.
“We have to sort of play that by ear,” he said, “but we are making plans for a virtual festival if we can’t do it in person.”
Service said there will be a Zoom meeting with festival committee members and music teachers in the next week to discuss further.
Classes are slated to take place at Holy Trinity/St.Paul’s Anglican Church and Studio One at the Chatham Cultural Centre. The dates for the 2021 festival are April 5 to April 9 and April 12 to April 14.
Copies of the syllabus can be picked up at Frank’s Music Centre, Tony’s One Stop Music Shoppe and Musical Strings ‘N’ Things. The syllabus is also available on the festival’s website at www.chathamkiwanis.com/musicfestival.
Online registrations are encouraged and can be completed at the same website. The firm deadline for all registrations is Dec. 1.
Service said the festival is often a family affair that builds character and creates lasting memories.
“I think it’s very important for the participants,” he said. “It’s a goal that they set for themselves early in the year. They get lots of achievement out of it. It’s amazing how children dress up for it. It’s a big event in their lives when they do this.”