Weyburn will soon celebrate its musical legacy with the annual Rotary Music Festival returning for it's 66th year. The two-week event will see distinguished adjudicators visiting the community to grade the performances of various instrumental groups, choirs, and soloists as they compete for cash scholarships and the opportunity to perform at provincial and national level festivals as well. While only students under the age of 18 are eligible to win a scholarship, there are also non-competitive classes that offer anyone the chance to receive feedback and recommendations from top-tier judges in the pursuit of perfecting one's craft. Bands, pianists, and choirs will need to register by January 22nd in order to be featured in this unique showcase. 

President of the Weyburn Rotary Music Festival, Heather Sidloski, shared that performances will be taking place at various locations within Weyburn. Solos and smaller ensembles are expected to perform at the Tommy Douglas Centre, larger bands and high school choirs will be featured at the Cugnet Centre, and other students can expect to play at Legacy Park Elementary. Sidloski said that the Festival requires close coordination with teachers to make sure everything runs smoothly.

"We have the three high school band and choir directors on our board. So, we're very happy to have Holly Butz, Brayden Jensen and Jeff Lundy, who will be looking after most of our facilities. They will be helping us with those arrangements with where things are going to take place," she said, crediting their extraordinary commitment.

During the Festival, spectators are welcome to take in the piano performances from March 11th-14th, vocals from March 17th-19th, and bands from March 20th-22nd. Although no recordings or photography are permitted during these graded performances, a special concert recognizing the scholarship winners will follow, presenting an opportunity to take in all of the very best offered in this year's Festival.


Students will be able to earn up to $600 in scholarships as recommended by adjudicators, further funding their musical education. Aside from the possibility of earning a cash prize, the invaluable feedback is another major draw to enter into the festival. But Sidloski said that there are other motives to consider as well. 

"I see it bigger than that," she revealed. "It takes a lot of building of children to get up in front and perform in front of people. And I've told a lot of people, it's not that most kids will be concert pianists or professional musicians, but everybody needs to get up in front of other people and perform at some point in life. Whether it's at your work, to public speak, whatever the situation may be, and those are some of the life skills that students can build here."

Sidloski continued by saying that the quality of this music festival is a great reason for spectators to take in the performances.

"The quality of music in our community is amazing, we get a lot of compliments from our adjudicators," she raved. "We're well known in the province for the quality of the music in our city. And that's thanks to a lot of wonderful music teachers, so they get a lot of credit. It goes back to the Helen Davidsons of the community and the June barbers, all of those that had very high levels and we've always had a high standard for our festival for a lot of years."

With oversight and support from the Saskatchewan Music Festival, Weyburn's event is one of nearly 50 others taking place across the province. Signing up to take part in this massive cultural event is done online before the January 22nd deadline, through the registration link provided by the Weyburn Music Festival Association: 2024 Entry Form