The 100 Mile Festival of the Arts is cancelled for a second year but local music students will still have a chance to showcase their skills.
Piano teacher Ginny Lou Alexander will hold a private Concert Recital Festival in her own home for her 10 students on June 3, allowing them to play before Marilyn Buyar, a festival adjudicator. Each student, along with Alexander and Buyar will perform solo, for COVID safety, while any family members wishing to listen will be in her sitting room.
Each student will play a concert group on the piano and will be judged on one adjudicated sheet for however many pieces they play. Having an end goal to work towards is key when learning music, Alexander said, and all 10 students will receive a certificate at the end.
“It’s actually giving me a lot of joy, excitement and anticipation,” Alexander said. “I was just really happy to come up with this idea. I don’t want anyone to think this in competition or conjunction with the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts, it is not.
“The students need some end place to go with their performance. They shouldn’t study music for years and never play a festival, never play an exam, never play for anybody. Music is meant to be shared.”
Her students are as excited and eager as she is, she said, especially those who were unable to perform in the 2020 festival.
Alexander typically helps organize the festival but said they had to cancel it, partly due to COVID-19 but also because many students were unable to attend lessons consistently. While it’s unfortunate they can’t hold the event at Martin Exeter Hall in 2021, she said her fellow organizers intend to host it next year.
Alexander, who has taught piano for 50 years, said her greatest joy in life is teaching people music.
“I just really enjoy being able to give people the gift of music because I believe it’s one way people can express themselves. Music is the universal language and people need to be able to express themselves in a language anyone can understand.”