MusicFest Canada, originally established as the Canadian Stage Band Festival (CSBF), is a national educational music festival in Canada. It was founded in 1972 by Robert Richmond (the founding president), Gary Wadsworth, and Paul Miner. The CSBF added vocal and concert band components in 1981 and 1985, respectively. The name was changed to MusicFest Canada, in 1987, embracing the instrumental jazz, concert band and choral/vocal jazz divisions. In 2012, in partnership with the National Arts Centre, they added a 4th orchestra/strings division.
MusicFest Canada is an invitation-only event. Ensembles must earn an invitation by performing at an outstanding level at one of the 54 affiliated festivals from coast to coast. The average attendance at The Nationals is about 8,000.
Ensembles are adjudicated by noted Canadian and U.S. professionals in the jazz, band, orchestra and choral fields. Classifications are either by age (Jazz and Choral) or by an established level set by test piece (Concert Bands and Orchestras). Performing ensembles are ranked according to gold, silver, and bronze; awards and scholarships are also presented to individual musicians.
In addition MusicFest hosts 6 national honour ensembles; the Woodshed Canadian Percussion Ensemble, the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, the Thomastik-Infeld Canadian String Orchestra, the Ellison Canadian Concert Choir, the Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band, and the National Youth Jazz Combo.
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