By Sulz, Dave on December 6, 2019.
The Lethbridge Branch of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ARMTA) began their annual Canada Music Week Recital and Student Awards Presentation, held Nov. 23, with a special First Nations Culture presentation by musician Mikael Schmidtke and artist and educator John Chief Calf.
Schmidtke, a Grade 12 student at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, performed one of his own compositions on guitar and spoke about his approach to composing. Chief Calf displayed a number of his original works and spoke about the influence of Blackfoot heritage, culture and history in his work as an artist and how being connected to nature enhances the creative process for music and visual art.
The presentation was sponsored by a William Andrews grant from the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA).
During the recital which followed the presentation, 25 students performed selections by Canadian composers including Anne Crosby Gaudet, Christine Donkin, Nancy Telfer, Pierre Gallant, Talivaldis Kenins, Linda Niamath, David Duke, Clifford Poole, Jean Coulthard and Ian Tyson.
At the conclusion of the recital, 44 awards totalling over $2,200 were presented to students for the highest marks in practical and theory exams during the December 2018-August 2019 examination sessions, including the ARMTA Recognition Fund Student Awards given to four students with the highest marks in both a practical and theory exam – Julia Verhoef, Bethany Aleman, Alexandre Ceban and Jessie Irwin.
In addition, the following ARMTA Milestone recipients were recognized for their years of provincial membership during the presentation: Betty Jo, Radley, 40 years; Christine Rogers, 35 years; and Lorrie Wittke, 25 years.