News and Events

Students excel at annual Rotary Music Festival at MHC

March 23, 2015

When Lyle Rebbeck, woodwinds instructor at Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) Conservatory of Music and Dance was asked about the benefits of the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival for students, he explained that the annual event is about more than just where a student places but also an opportunity to build self-confidence, motivate learning as for some, even reignite a passion for music.

“I really believe that the study of music is more than just about music; it brings us face-to-face with ourselves and provides us an opportunity to grow as people, in ways that affect all areas of our life,” says Rebbeck. “Not everyone goes on in music but everyone has to interact with others, and at some point, for example, may have to stand up in front of a crowd and make a presentation. These experiences allow our students to get up and perform, and the whole process teaches them valuable life skills.”

A number of students from the conservatory participated in this year’s music festival, which was held March 2 to 19, 2015 at the Culture Centre and Eresman Theatre at Medicine Hat College. Students competed in categories including: voice, piano, guitar, strings, brass and woodwind, speech and musical theatre.

“We are proud of everyone that participated in this year’s Rotary Music Festival,” says Karoline Fox, interim manager, visual and performing arts. “This festival is always a welcomed event on campus and it brings an energy that we look forward to, year after year.”

This year, the results were very positive for students at the conservatory. Amongst the recipients were cellist Graham Schaufele won the Rose Bowl, while Dan Goulay, Brian Taylor and Kenaniah Schnare, received the William P. Taylor award as a saxophone trio. 

Rebbeck explains that in his area alone two students were recommended to proceed onto provincials, including flutist, Rachel Hurley and saxophonist Dan Gourlay.

“Music students from MHC rank very well not only provincially but when weighed against the rest of the country. The instruction they receive is really some of the best that is happening across Canada. The music festival just bares that out,” says Rebbeck. “So we can be really proud of our conservatory; both because of the level of instruction we are able to offer and for the talented and dedicated students in the city.” 

Students who have been recommended on to provincials will be competing at the end of May in Edmonton, Alberta.

For more information on the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival visit If you are interested in learning about the programs offered at the conservatory visit