McKenzie Warriner returning for concert

A talented vocalist from southeast Saskatchewan will be returning to the Estevan area for a concert early next year, and she will be joined by a friend.

Alameda singer McKenzie Warriner will perform a concert of classical vocal music on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, at St. Paul’s United Church, beginning at 2 p.m. Returning to her musical roots to perform is especially meaningful for Warriner, who has left Saskatchewan to further her musical career.

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“I began voice and piano lessons in Estevan, and I competed in (the Estevan and District) Music Festival at the United Church, so it definitely feels like coming home,” Warriner said in a news release. “It’s really cool to sing in the places I started out, and see how far I’ve come as a musician.”

Warriner will be joined by pianist Danielle Guina, a friend and classmate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Guina originally hails from the Humboldt area. Although the Saskatchewan music community is relatively small, their partnership is only recent.

“Our parents knew each other, and we participated in many of the same activities growing up, but somehow Danielle and I didn’t meet until we moved to Rochester,” says Warriner. “Now it’s hard to imagine doing a recital without her.”

As students in the master of music program at Eastman, Warriner and Guina have to present a final graduating recital, the equivalent of a thesis, in February. They will be using the Estevan recital as a practice run of all their music.

With songs from Canada, the U.S., Finland and Spain, the recital will have something for everyone, from gorgeous romantic melodies, to spirited folk songs, to quirky poetry about cats.

They performed together at Creighton Lodge early this year through the local Living Room Live concert series.

“After the incredible experience we had performing as part of Living Room Live last winter, we knew Estevan would be the perfect place to preview our music for two reasons,” said Warriner.

“First, this gives our Saskatchewan family and friends who can’t travel thousands of kilometres the chance to hear everything we’ve been working so hard on for the past two years.

“Second, performing on home turf always inspires and encourages me. In the crazy competitive musical world, it’s easy to forget why I do music in the first place.

“Performing at home reminds me that coursework and grades aren’t as important as they seem in the moment. When it all comes down to it, I sing because I want to connect with other people.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door, and are $20 for general admission and $5 for students. 

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