BY PAM BUCKWAY

Junior-piano and voice students and choirs are in for a treat at this year’s Rotary Music Festival. Their adjudicator will be Louise Rose.

The Pennsylvania native, who has lived in Victoria, BC, since the 1970s, has had a close relationship with music all her life. Her grandmother said she “came out of the chute singing”.

Each of the six adjudicators has been asked for a definition of their role. Here is Rose’s definition:

“My current understanding of the definition of ‘adjudicate’ involves some of my Dad’s wisdom. My Dad was a lawyer who understood that his being a lawyer was a calling. Although it is my job to ‘judge’, I am ‘called’ to judge with an open heart, open mind and fresh ears every time.

“Each performer/artist deserves – and should expect – impartiality, fairness, wisdom and direction in the judgement [adjudication] she/he receives.”

What does she try to give each person, even if they’re playing a one-minute piece she’s already heard many times today?

“I do my best to give my complete and total attention. I do my best to remember that one of the most important parts of the adjudication process is actually having something constructive to say and to be able to say what I mean in a clearly understandable way.

“I also attempt to welcome questions and/or comments from the performer/artist and members of the audience, if time permits.

“Adjudicating requires; actually, it demands that I am physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared to enter the space with the person who’s playing whatever she/he is playing.

“My sense about music making is that it requires everything of one.”

Rose began to understand the importance of music in her own life at the age of three.

“What I want folks to understand is the importance of having music be an integral part of life. Music is always the foreground for me. I have music on when I’m listening to it. Otherwise, my home and my car are quiet.”

And, to Louise Rose, music is everywhere.

“There is wonderful music in the sounds of nature.

“That music is accessible without any external device. There is marvellous music produced by songbirds. There are wonderful sounds produced on a construction site and it requires that one listen.

“Music is everywhere.

“It’s in laughter, moans, embraces and it’s also in playing and singing. Music is everywhere! Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the making of music is available to everyone.

“Surely, there are those who will attain some degree of notoriety as a result of their work, but at the end of the day it is the person who makes music, out of the sheer love of music making, who touches my heart.”

Louise Rose has been a police officer, a Baptist missionary and a sociology teacher. Now, she’s a composer, musician, music teacher and clinician, facilitator and motivational speaker.

She loves cooking and it’s no surprise that she embraces the creation of meals with the same passion she gives to music and to all of life.

This column is courtesy of the Rotary Music Festival, which will be held April 16 to 25. This series introduces the adjudicators.