June 24th, 2024

Former Lethbridge resident nominated for MusiCounts award at Junos

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 28, 2023.

Heidi (Fellner) Wood has been nominated for the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year. Submitted photo

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

When Canada’s Juno Awards are televised from Edmonton on March 13, former Lethbridge gal Heidi (Fellner) Wood will be front and centre and hoping her name is called when the winner of the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year is announced.

Wood, who was born and raised in Lethbridge, has been nominated for the award for the third time, and hopes three times the charm. But even though she hopes to win and feels it’s “an absolute ginormous honour” to be nominated, she wants the win more for her school than for herself.

Wood teaches choral music at the Joane Cardinal Schubert High School in Calgary, and points out the winner of the award also receives money for the school at which the winner teaches.

Parents of the students she teaches, as well as students and staff at the school, nominated Wood for the award, and when she learned in December she was one of five finalists, and the only finalist from Alberta, she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. That was one of the hardest secrets she’s ever had to keep, although she confesses she did tell her father, Erwin Fellner, who still lives in Lethbridge.

The MusicCounts Teacher of the Year Award was established in 2005 to recognize and honour an exceptional Canadian music teacher. To date the award has celebrated the accomplishments of 17 music educators across Canada who strive to preserve the livelihood of music education in their school and community.

Wood teaches two traditional and two jazz choirs at her school, and she directs an adult community choir and a professional choir. She also taught choral music during 13 years of teaching at Calgary’s Lord Beaverbrook High School. So it’s no surprise music has always been part of Wood’s life, starting when she was just a child.

“I couldn’t stop singing when I was a little kid,” she says.

Her parents, who were both educators in Lethbridge, encouraged her, and even enrolled her in various singing groups, including the Anne Campbell Singers, a once well-known and popular choral group in the city.

Wood, who attended Lakeview Elementary School, Gilbert Patterson Junior High School and the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, received her BA of Music and BA of Education at the University of Lethbridge and her MA in Music (opera), from the University of British Columbia.

Wood is excited to attend the Junos next month, not only to see if she wins the award, but because she will be part of the Juno celebrations with all of its various events, such as the Song Writer’s Circle.

“It’s like professional development on steroids.”

Wood will also be in Lethbridge next month to adjudicate choral music during the Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Art Festival.

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

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