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Providence Music majors claim numerous performance awards
2016-03-30
 
Festival season is an exciting time for the Music students at Providence. Not only do they get to showcase the pieces they’ve prepared at events such as the Southeastern Manitoba Festival and Winnipeg Music Festival, but they also tend to excel in their categories.
 
This year was no exception.
 
Competing in Winnipeg earlier this month, Blumenort’s Ben Kroeker finished first in four vocal classifications—20th/21st Century Arts Song, Bach Aria, German Lieder, and Grade A Oratorio—and came second in the Opera Aria category.
 
He was awarded the Herbert and Audrey Belyea Trophy for his English Arts Song and German Lieder performances and credits his instructors with his musical development.
 
“The level Providence has among Music faculty is amazing,” he says, adding that incoming students can expect to participate in a “great program.”
 
Providence Voice Instructor Ray Giesbrecht points out that Kroeker competed at the “highest level” in the Winnipeg Music Festival.
 
“Ben devotes much time and effort into his singing and together with his musical ability will continue down a path of excellence,” he says.
 
Like Kroeker, Luna Kim acknowledges the role her professors played in her formation as a musician—something the now-accomplished pianist out of Winnipeg didn’t expect to become when she arrived on campus four years ago.
 
“I came here not thinking I would major in Music,” she says.
 
Impressively, she finished first in the Baroque Composer class at the Winnipeg Music Festival and first in each of the Bach, Mozart, and Romantic Composer classes at the Southeastern Manitoba Festival in Steinbach.
 
Her success was capped off with a Provincial Recommendation medal—something fellow Providence pianist Rachael Bloemendal also received after her showing in Steinbach.
 
Bloemendal, of Southwestern Ontario, earned first-place designations in the Canadian and Classical Composers classifications, finished second in the Romantic Composers section, and came third in the Baroque Composers category.
 
“Providence provides a lot of opportunities to perform,” she says, adding, “The faculty really help you out with that.”
 
Dr. Darryl Friesen, Assistant Professor of Piano and General Music Studies at Providence, believes both Kim and Bloemendal will go on to be difference-makers in their respective communities, “be it through teaching, performing, or further studies.”
 
He adds: “They have both discovered gifts and passions unknown to them prior to their time at Providence, and they continue to bless me with their teachability and eagerness to excel at their craft.”
 
All three students say they’ll miss the Providence community when they graduate in the spring. The community, meanwhile, can be proud to have been represented with such distinction.
 
(Top photo, from left to right: Rachael Bloemendal, Luna Kim, Ben Kroeker.)
 
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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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