Supporting Music Students

I am excited to share with you some of the less visible but very important work that The Valley
Concert Society is doing to support the talented music students in our community.
The Valley Concert Society Bursaries You are doubtless familiar with the two bursaries of
$500 each that the society offers annually to support students with the significant costs of an
advanced musical education. The bursaries honor two founding board members of the society,
Paul Moritz and Marjorie Nixon. We have just now invited applications for the bursaries and
look forward to presenting the winners at our concert on April 8 honouring the Young

Masterclass Next month brings another exciting opportunity for string musicians. We are
planning to hold a masterclass with clinician Nancy Dahn. Nancy comprises half of Duo
Concertante as the violinist along with her husband, the pianist Timothy Steeves. The duo will
perform for The Valley Concert Society at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on
Friday, February 11. The masterclass will take place the next morning February 12 at Peace
Lutheran Church.

It is a thrill for us to see the young people benefitting from the supportive and expert guidance
they receive from the nationally and internationally esteemed musical professionals that we
enjoy hearing in concert.

The Beth Nickel Memorial String Award There is an exciting new opportunity that The
Valley Concert Society has announced to music teachers. The Beth Nickel Memorial String
Award is being offered for the first time this year.
Beth Nickel was a talented violist and a committed music teacher who made important
contributions both in the community and in the school system. Just under a year ago, Beth passed
away after a short battle with cancer.

The Nickel family has created an endowment fund in her name at the Abbotsford Community
Foundation. The goal is to support students of string instruments with an award that is valued at
$900 this year.

While the endowment fund is an independent entity and will supply all the funds for the award
and the expenses, The Valley Concert Society has been tasked with managing the process of
selecting a winning candidate. We are pleased to assist the foundation with arranging for an
adjudicator and with publicizing, gathering and handling applications from qualified students.
With input from the adjudicator and The Valley Concert Society, the Nickel family will make the
final selection of a winner. The presentation will be made by a member of the Nickel family at
the concert on May 31 when James Ehnes performs as part of a trio.

Supporting the musical education of young people in our community is a part of the society’s
mission. It is a deeply-held value for us. We are proud to offer these initiatives along with our

ongoing support of the Abbotsford Music Festival. The reward for us is to see the joy it brings
and to witness the remarkable skills and achievements of so many young local musicians.

John Wiebe
The Valley Concert Society