From an early age, music played a huge role in Janetâ€™s life. She was taught piano by Beatrice Fewster and voice by Donald McGregor, before furthering her studies in Windsor, Toronto, London, and Quebec, and obtaining her ARCT in voice.
Janetâ€™s earliest memory of the Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival was of sitting in the balcony of Park St. United Church watching the Rose Bowl competition (at 6 years of age). The seed was planted for involvement in the festival that would last a lifetime. She entered her first festival class in 1949, singing â€śOne Misty, Moisty Morningâ€ť by Thomas Dunhill. At 25, she won the festivalâ€™s Rose Bowl. She continued to volunteer with the festival throughout her career, serving as Festival Secretary from 1990-1994.
Choral music also featured prominently in Janetâ€™s career. As a teenager, she was the junior and intermediate choir director at Victoria Avenue United Church. She went on to serve as organist and choir director at several churches in Chatham and Ridgetown. Perhaps her proudest achievement was founding the Youth Voices of Kent, a children and youth choir that performed from 1991-2002. In 2000, the choir travelled to Amberg, Germany to participate in the International Youth Music Festival.
Janet enjoyed many years as a busy private voice and piano teacher and active member of the Chatham-Kent ORMTA Branch. She was still teaching when she passed away in 2009, at the age of 69. Her many former students and choristers remember her fondly for her passion for music, love of teaching, and gentle spirit. The Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival continues to offer a voice scholarship in Janetâ€™s name.
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