Musical performers of all ages, skill levels, and disciplines will be on full display over the next couple of weeks, as the long-standing Moose Jaw Music Festival kicked off last week.  

The event started on Mar. 15 with the Choral Performances section of the event at the Zion United Church.  

The Vocal, Musical Theatre, Spoken Word, Piano Strings and Band sections of the festival will kick off on Mar. 26 and will run through until Mar. 30.  

A Scholarship Competition will be held on Mar. 30, at the Zion United Church at 7:00 p.m., followed by the Final Awards Concert on Apr. 2 at Zion at 2:00 p.m. 

The generous support of the festival’s sponsors allows the provision of a number of scholarships and awards to the performers who most impress the adjudicators. 

Moose Jaw Music Festival band coordinator, Janie Fries says that this event has benefits for all performers no matter their skill levels.  

“They grow a lot every time they perform,” says Fries. “It takes a lot to get up in front of an audience and perform on your own. A lot of work goes into the performance that we don’t see as part of the audience. They gain self-confidence and there’s much more than just the music that goes on.” 

In total, 324 students will be taking part in the festival this year with ages ranging from 6 to 20 years old. Most of the students involved come from a private music teacher, but there are some that are a part from school bands in Moose Jaw or the surrounding area.  

One student taking part in the music festival is Grade 12 Vanier Collegiate student, Emily Closs.

Closs will be performing eight songs – six of them are musical theatre and two are folk songs. 

“It’s fun to be with the other people that are involved with voice teachers all over Moose Jaw,” explains Closs. “You’re able to get feedback from the judges and feedback that you may not normally get from your voice teacher.” 

A lot of work goes into rehearsing for an event like this for Closs. She and her music teacher rehearse two to three times a week to get prepared for the music festival. 

You might recognize Closs from her role in the “Freaky Friday” production that took to the stage of the Mae Wilson Theatre on Nov. 17.  

In terms of the music festival, she is looking forward to getting to know the adjudicators and getting the opportunity to watch the other performers.  

Fries concluded by saying that the festival is in need to volunteers to help as door attendants at each of the venues and as secretaries to assist the adjudicators.  

People can sign up online where they will see a more detailed schedule, and description of volunteer duties, or they can contact them by email at   

You can follow along with the Moose Jaw Music Festival or learn more about the event by visiting their Facebook page.  

(With files from Cory Knutt/Discover Moose Jaw)