A local piano teacher and mom went to the Star Valley Arts Council back in 2011 with an idea to start a piano festival to give students an opportunity to perform and receive feedback to encourage progression in their playing. The Star Valley Arts Council loved the idea and agreed to be the financial backer and responsible entity of the project. That mom was joined by another mom and pianist, Cecily Crook, and they put together the first festival at the Star Valley High School in June of 2012. They invited Schulamit Hoffman (originally from South Africa) who was teaching at the College of San Mateo in San Francisco, and had taught at Idaho State University, Brigham Young University Extension, University of Cape Town, and the University of Witwatersrand. Ms. Hoffman adjudicated for 2 days and worked with approximately 50 student pianists, a dozen local piano teachers, as well as conducting a community choir of more than 20 adult participants. It was a marathon 2-day event, but the final concert was outstanding, and the first recipient of the Star Valley Rotary Club Music Scholarship was awarded funds to attend a collegiate music camp. Thus began a wonderful partnership with the local Rotary Club, and the festival continues to grow. Now more than 100 students participate in piano, voice, strings, organ and musical theater events.
A committee of local music teachers and parents chooses guest clinicians to invite; sets the schedule of workshops, adjudications, lessons, rehearsals, and concerts; advertises the event and oversees the registration process; arranges accomodations for the guests; sets up and searchs out sources of funding and scholarship donors, as well as running the event from start to finish. As soon as one festival ends, the next begins! Funding for the festival comes from the Star Valley Arts Council (through membership donations), from the Wyoming Arts Council Arts Education Grant (through funding from the Wyoming Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts), as well as private and business donations to the Star Valley Arts Council, and through student registration fees, which account for approximately 1/3 of the needed funds. We are deeply grateful to the volunteers who give of their time and talents to make this event possible, and affordable, to our student musicians. We continue to be grateful to the Star Valley Rotary Club and Silver Star Communications, who provide the student scholarships to university summer music camps that are awarded each year.
Becoming a member of the Star Valley Arts Council provides necessary funds to ensure the continuity of the Star Valley Jr. Music Festival! You can also donate directly to the music festival by making a donation to the Arts Council and specifying that your donation funds are for the festival.
If you are a student musician, parent of a musician, or a local teacher, encourage your students and friends to participate.
Attend the Honors Concerts to show your support of the festival and for the student musicians who put so much effort into the performances you will see.
If you have participated, give us feedback on what you liked, didn't like, or what you would like to see in the future. Your comments are very important to the committee when making decisions about scheduling and guests!
If you would like to help organize and run the festival, we welcome your efforts!!! You can sign up for service opportunities at the festival at JustServe.org or contact us through the form below, and we'll put you to work!