ST. JOHN, N.B./ Fort Kent– On May 2 and 3, Melanie Saucier of Fort Kent competed in the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music, an international competition in classical composition in St. John, New Brunswick, earning the second place Aliant Award for the Intermediate Performer as well as the David and Joan Stillwell Memorial Award for outstanding vocalist in her category.
Saucier is a seventeen-year-old vocalist who has competed for ten years. Her singing teacher, Leola Dionne from Grand Falls, introduced Saucier to the festival.
“It’s one of the larger, well-known festivals,” said Saucier. “The amount of talent that was presented was absolutely phenomenal.”
Dionne brought four of her students to the N.B. Competitive Festival of Music who competed in the intermediate and senior categories this year.
“We work together as musicians and in-between classes we’re great friends, but there is that competitive edge,” said Saucier.
Although the young vocalist has competed in this festival as a junior previously, this is the first year she competed in the intermediate category. In this festival, vocalists, pianists, and instrumentalists all compete for the same prizes in the final event, the Founder’s Night Concert.
“It’s always an honor and a pleasure to place. This being my first year [as an intermediate competitor], this is a huge step. It’s rare to be able to do this in one’s first year.”
From her success in this competition, judges nominated Saucier to compete in the New Brunswick Provincial Music Festival in Sackville, New Brunswick on May 31 through June 2. In the upcoming festival, competitors will compete against others in their own disciplines.
“It’s educational,” she said. The adjudicators give competitors feedback on their performance. Saucier’s father said the judges are all well-known in their fields, many of whom are also university professors or music teachers.
Saucier said next year she will be able to compete as a senior and is hoping to be nominated to the National Festival.
The high school student has high aspirations, saying, “I want to obtain my doctorate.”
She hopes to become a professional opera singer.
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