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Orangeville and District Music Festival celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Marni Walsh

The Orangeville and District Music Festival (ODMF) celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Gala at Westminster Church in Orangeville on the evening of May 15.

Gala performers were all scholarship winners from the annual festival.

The three day music festival ran May 1 - 3, presenting young musicians from across the area with the opportunity to perform for a professional adjudicator and win scholarships to further their studies.

The Orangeville and District Music Festival began in 1998, founded by Music Director Rob Hennig and Westminster Church Registrar Lynne Smith.

Since 2002, Lynne Smith has continued to head the festival along with the ODMF committee which includes Joy Bell, Laura Curtis, Shirley Jemmett, Jane Lanktree, and Susan Moritz.

The 20th festival took place, as is tradition, at Westminster United Church on Broadway with Paul Coates presiding for adjudication.

Mr. Coates has an active career as both a singer and an accompanist and holds ARCT diplomas in piano and voice, as well as a Master of Music from the University of Western Ontario.

The adjudicator did a wonderful job guiding and supporting the young musicians throughout the three day festival. His critique included technical and presentation tips, and stressed “the importance of being mindfully present” and “celebrating the whole student.”

The ODMF committee calls the annual event “an excellent learning experience” for young musical performers” which showcases local talent to the community.”

The 20th anniversary scholarship recipients performing at the Gala included:


Piano:  Nathan Mailhot, William Gray, Aidan Sheehan, Caden Whitfield, Olivia Jin, Priya Seeraj-Turinga, Natalie Savona, Aliyah Leahy, Brooklyn Kirk, Lukas Rohner-Tensee, Justin Nanuska, Mariko Kato, Ben Kalverda, Owen Hambly, Hannah Tervit, Daniel Milone, Daniella Chernov, Emma Brisson,Thomas Nguyen, Sonia Chernov, Tiffiny Haluschak. Duet:  Roshni & Priya Seeraj-Turinga

Accordion:  Irina Lukic

Guitar: Xavier Leahy

Handbells:  Heavenly Metal of Westminster

Violin: Isabella Rohner Tensee

Vocal Soloists:  Tahira Devonshire, Emily Gilbart, Jasalie Zumbach, and Darcey Baker; Duet:  Mayah & Skyla Birch; Choir: Headwater's Concert Choir led by Robert Hennig.


Ms. Smith and the committee express their gratitude for the generous support and donations from community sponsors.

To learn more about the Orangeville and District Music Festival, visit
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