It’s free!

ONE OF the sure signs of spring in Terrace is the arrival of school buses bearing the names of surrounding school districts on their sides.

ONE OF the sure signs of spring in Terrace is the arrival of student-laden yellow school buses bearing the names of surrounding school districts on their sides.

They’re the most visible indicator  that it’s time for the Pacific Northwest Music Festival, which starts tomorrow and ends April 28.

This is the 47th year for the festival which showcases and adjudicates the talents of many northwestern residents of all ages in categories representing band, dance, speech arts, musical instruments, piano, vocal and choral.

It’s safe to say there is no other event of this magnitude and complexity involving this many participants in northwestern B.C.

Two years ago, there were 1,250 entries. Last year 1,326 and this year, festival organizers have processed 1,369 entries. That’s just entries. Bands, ensembles and other groups count for one entry so the actual number of participants is far more.

Little known is that save for the scholarship performance and gala performance nights, all adjudication sessions are free, making the festival the entertainment deal of the year. School jazz band performances are especially popular, taking place at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre beginning 10 a.m. Sunday, April 15.

Those interested in attending various sessions will, however, have to buy a program for full details. They’re available at Sight and Sound and Misty River Books.