Hundreds of talented local musicians will be part of the 50th annual Estevan and District Music Festival.
The festival will begin with the vocal and speech arts components from March 16 to 18. The band and strings portions will be March 18 to 20.
The festival will pause during spring break for local schools from March 22 to 30, and then resume with piano sessions from April 6 to 10.
The highlights and awards program will be Tuesday, April 15 at the Estevan Comprehensive School's cafeteria. Top musicians in each discipline will be selected to perform, and bursaries and trophies will be handed out.
Music festival president Pam Dechief said there is going to be a lot of talent on display this year. A total of 620 registrations were received for the festival.
While the number is slightly down from 2013, the festival remains one of the largest in the province, Dechief said. Numerous participants have signed up in several categories.
The adjudicators will be Andree Dagenais of Brandon, Manitoba, for speech arts, David Dick of Regina and Jamie Fries of Moose Jaw for band, and Janis Smith of Regina for piano.
"They're looking forward to working with our students, and providing adjudication," said Dechief.
New for this year was an on-line registration system. About half of the music festival's participants signed up via the internet, Dechief said.
"It saved our volunteers hours of time entering names and classes on the computer," said Dechief.
The music festival will be moving more towards on-line entries each year, she said.
Dechief said they don't have anything special planned for the golden anniversary of the music festival, but she said it is a wonderful milestone that reflects the talent of the musicians, the dedication of the parents and volunteers, and the support of the community for the past 50 years.