Groups and individuals from throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond took part in what was formally known as the Kiwanis Fraser Valley Music Festival. (Festival photo)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s International Music Festival is now open to budding Langley musicians

Vancouver Area Youth Arts Society took over hosting duties after local Kiwanis clubs folded in 2018

The 21st Annual KPU International Music Festival will take place from April 2 to May 22 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Langley campus this spring, and is already inviting musicians to apply.

Produced by VAYA (Vancouver Area Youth Arts Society), which has been a long-standing partner of KPU’s music department, the festival offers classes for students of piano, strings, woodwinds, voice, composition and harp.

Sessions and workshops for chamber ensembles, choirs, orchestras, jazz bands and concert bands are also offered.

Lorne Fiedler, executive director of the festival, said despite the name change and absence of Kiwanis, VAYA will still be providing great opportunities to budding musicians.

“The last of our supporting Kiwanis Clubs folded in 2018, so no longer being affiliated with Kiwanis International, we made the change,” Fiedler said. “We were very fortunate to have KPU step in as a title sponsor.”

READ MORE: Langley teacher’s 49 year music career recognized by Royal Conservatory of Music

The organization was founded in the spring of 1999 and became a non-profit society and registered charity in 2001 – supported by three area Kiwanis Clubs until 2018 when a lack of new volunteers forced them to close.

The festival will run for two weeks at Vancouver’s St. James Community Square alongside the events at the Langley post-secondary campus, 20901 Langley Bypass.

“Our festivals are open performers of all ages and levels, the vast majority of whom are ages four to 18. It gives them an opportunity to perform in front of an audience and receive valuable feedback from respected music educators,” Fiedler explained.

“We are also members of Performing Arts BC and Musicfest Canada. Outstanding soloists have the opportunity to be recommended to compete and win large scholarships at the Provincial Level. Bands and choirs have the opportunity to compete nationally by attending our festival,” he continued.

The festival hosts an average of 6,000 participants annually.

The early bird deadline for entries is February 10.

After that, registrations will be accepted if space is still available, though a small late fee will apply.

The 2020 syllabus, adjudicators bios and online registration information is available at www.vayafestivals.ca.

“We are always looking for sponsors and award donors as well as volunteers to assist in our classes,” Fiedler added. “Anyone interested can reach me at gm@vayafestivals.ca or 778-868-0426.“

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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