Madalyn Clempson

Madalyn Clempson

VIDEO: Chilliwack well-represented at Provincial Performing Arts Festival in Kamloops

Heading to the provincials from Chilliwack are four musicians, three dancers, six individual vocalists, and two choirs

More than a dozen talented Chilliwack kids and young adults have been recommended to go to the Provincial Performing Arts Festival in Kamloops at the end of spring after taking home trophies from the 70th annual Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival.

On the list are four musicians, three dancers, six individual vocalists, plus two choirs.

Madalyn Clemson, 14, (left) is one of the vocalists. She’s going to Provincials for junior musical theatre.

“I had always wanted to be a pop singer, but then I found musical theatre and I was like ‘whoa, this is so much better’,” says the young singer.

At the local Lions Fest, she sang her way to gold with ‘I want it now’ (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), ‘I’m not that Girl’ (Wicked, the musical), and Quiet (Matilda, the musical).

Madalyn has been singing for as long as she can remember, and for the past seven year she’s taken singing lessons with instructor Lisa Scyner at the Chilliwack Academy of Music.

“I like becoming someone else,” she says about singing. “Musical theatre is my favourite — I get to become a different character for every single song that I do, which is quite fun because I get to look deeper into the role and what they were feeling at that time.”

Being involved for a few years with Chilliwack School of the Performing Arts has really lifted her acting talent.

And is shows.

This is the third time Madalyn will be representing Chilliwack for musical theatre at the Provincials. She went in 2015 and 2016.

And although she has years of competitions under her belt, and has performed dozens of songs on stage, she admits that she still gets nervous.

Before going on stage, “I’m usually quite nervous,” she says. “But as soon as they call my name and I go on stage, no longer am I nervous.”

The minutes leading up to a competition, she needs to settle her nerves. So, she goes into a bathroom stall where the acoustics are fantastic, and she simply sings.

“Singing calms me down.”

Madalyn likes to sing everywhere, but her favourite place to sing?

“The chicken coop! I like singing to the chickens and they actually listen,” she laughs.

(Project Dance images, above, courtesy of Ian Redd Photography)


Representing Chilliwack in the dance categories this year for the Provincials are three girls who all hail from the same dance studio, Project Dance.

Eden Wedel, 11, won in the junior stage division, Hannah Bateman, 15, won for intermediate stage, and Brooke Thomas, 16, won intermediate modern.

“It’s an honour to have even one dancer from a studio recommended to Provincials, as there are so many good dancers who compete at festivals,” says Project Dance owner/director, Amanda Quinton. “To have three students from Project Dance selected from one competition is absolutely amazing.”

She describes Eden as serious, driven and smart; Hannah as kind, always happy, and determined; and Brooke as talented, poised, funny and destined for the stage.

All three girls take their dancing very seriously, and they’re hard-working, adds Quinton. This is not the first time they’ve gone to provincials.

This year, Eden (pictured above, centre) will be performing her stage dance to ‘Never Had a Friend Like Me’ by Ne-Yo.

She says it’s a “very big privilege” to be heading to provincials again. “Knowing that I made it this far is amazing.”

Hannah’s stage dance is to the song ‘Bonjour Paris’.

She says she’s “honoured” to once again be heading to provincials.

“I am excited to meet new dance friends from all over the province. I am also really looking forward to performing,” says Hannah (pictured above, left). “I love everything about dancing. It makes me feel free, and it is a place where I can be 100 per cent myself.”

Brooke (pictured above, right) went to provincials last year as a ballet representative.

This year she danced to ‘Beneath the Veil’ and ‘Dark Eyes’.

Going to provincials means “it’s a chance to compete and take classes with others from all over the province and to learn from the adjudicators,” says Brooke.

“Brooke is also a beautifully well-rounded dancer, but focuses more on contemporary/modern and ballet,” says Quentin. “She goes away to ballet school each summer for additional training.”

The Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival (which ran Feb. 4 to March 9) is one of several competitions across the province where kids and young adults compete to go to the Provincial Performing Arts Festival hosted by Performing Arts BC.

Singers, dancers and musicians who are recommended to provincials will represent the city from whichever competition they won. For example, a dancer from Chilliwack who wins at the Langley festival would be representing Langley at provincials even though she’s from Chilliwack.

Not all competitors who are recommended to go to provincials are able to make it, often due to financial reasons.

Here’s a list of the Chilliwack talent who won at this year’s Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival.

Dance:Intermediate Modern – Brooke ThomasJunior Stage – Eden WedelIntermediate Stage – Hannah Bateman

Musicians:Junior A Piano – Madison BrechtIntermediate Piano – Melissa WiebeSenior Piano – Samantha SterkenburgIntermediate Strings – Solchan Kim

Vocals:Junior Musical Theatre – Madalyn ClempsonIntermediate Musical Theatre – Grace McCormackSenior Musical Theatre – Bethany CaldwellJunior Classical Voice – Nia’druan SchoeffelIntermediate Classical Voice – Stephanie CornishSenior Classical Voice – Jolene DeveaultPaul J. Bourret Choral Nomination – VOX (from G.W. Graham)David Ouchterlony Choral Nomination – Treble Makers (GWG)

To help offset the costs for the musicians and singers heading to provincials, there will be a Music Honour Performance on Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at Broadway Church (46611 Maple Ave.). Admission is $10, or $25/family (up to four people). Tickets available at King’s Music (45450 Luckakuck Way).


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