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Take a Peak: Megan Skidmore

Poetry set to music
Megan Skidmore

Powell River resident Megan Skidmore is one of two featured soloists at this year’s International Choral Kathaumixw; the fourth Kathaumixw for the soprano. Skidmore arrived in Powell River in 2009 and joined the faculty of Powell River Academy of Music as a voice teacher and music director for the musical theatre program. She is also conductor of Powell River Girls Choir.

What is your process when learning a piece of music?

I sit down at the piano, look at the score and take bits and pieces of it, carefully separating the words from music before putting it all back together again. There’s a lot of piecing together. You want to have a moral or an idea of what you want your audience to get out of the piece. It’s not just about beautiful melodies, it’s also about the beautiful poetry that is set to that music. I want to leave the listeners thinking about the text as well as the music.

How would you describe the close relationship that has developed between you and Kathaumixw’s organ/piano accompanist Ay-Laung Wang?

Three Kathaumixws ago I got to know her. The first song we did together was “Glitter and Be Gay” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. We have worked together enough to have an understanding of each other’s ideas and how to communicate them. We know what to expect. When we get together it’s like no time has passed. She’s an absolutely wonderful person to work with. She’s an extremely talented musician and so much fun to get together with. It’s never a dull moment.

For the last two Kathaumixws, your musical comedy routines with Wang at the closing gala have delighted audiences. Can you give a hint as to what to expect this year?

It’s going to be a group effort this time, so that’s all I’m going to leave you with.

What is your favourite thing about Kathaumixw?

The people, more music and more people coming together because of music. In this day and age, when we have some unhappy things in the world, to have all of these people come together, it does sound cheesy, but I think we need more of that in the world.

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