Fredericton Music Festival

In the fall of 1947, with impetus from James Manchip and a financial commitment from the Fredericton Rotary Club, an organizational meeting was held for the first Fredericton Competitive Festival of Music. Members of the Rotary Club formed the nucleus of the first executive. Dr. A.S. MacFarlane became president;  Justice W. J. West, vice-president; and James Manchip, executive-director.  

The first festival, held April 21-24, 1948, in the auditorium of the Provincial Normal School attracted 448 entries. Organizers were able to cover all the expenses with entry and admission fees, leaving the Rotary donation intact. The long tradition of scholarships given in conjunction with the festival began with a $100 scholarship donated by the Knights of Pythias for the outstanding performer of the first festival.

By 1952 there was such an increase in entrants that it was necessary to hire two full-time adjudicators. By 1954, there were 624 entries; in 1966, 725 entries; in 1981, 780 entries; in 1988, 1524 entries.  By 1996, 1735 entries dictated the need for the services of seven adjudicators with sessions being held in six venues and lasting two weeks.

From its inception, the Fredericton Music Festival Committee, composed solely of volunteers, has been responsible for all aspects of the organization and operation of the festival.

National Music Festival

Fredericton Music Festival Representatives

2023    Amadeus Orchestra Sistema NB - 1st place, String Orchestra

             Muriel Falkenstein - 2nd place, Developing Artist Stream, Voice

2022    Vivian Ni, strings - 1st place, Emerging Artists Stream

2021    Sarah MacLoon, musical theatre – 1st place

             Emma Heung, strings - Developing Artists stream – 3rd  place

2016    Vivian Ni, strings – 2nd place

2014    Vivian Ni, piano – 3rd place

2014    Vivian Ni, strings – 3rd place

2007    Trio Beausoleil, Chamber Ensemble - 3rd place

              Jeremy VanSlyke, Matthieu Deveau and Jaeyoung Chong

2006    Maureen Batt, soprano - 2nd place

1996    Measha Brueggergosman, soprano

              - 1st place and Grand Award Winner

1993    District 18 Girls’ Choir directed by Dianne Wilkins

              - 1st Place in Dr. & Mrs. JKF English Choral Class

1978    Shari Saunders, soprano – 2nd place

1976    Shari Saunders, soprano – 2nd place

1975    Jonathan Bayley, flute – 1st place

James Manchip

(photo courtesy of Faces of Fredericton - Keith Minchin)

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