StaceyPageOnline.com recently had the opportunity to sit down with Patrick Kavanaugh, executive director of both the Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship and the MasterWorks Festival, to learn more about the festival and what event attendees may expect in the upcoming 2013 season.
The MasterWorks festival, which began in 1997 in New York, has been an important part of the Winona Lake arts community for the past 12 years. MasterWorks invites students from all around the globe to audition to attend the four week festival. MasterWorks features eight different programs for students to develop their skills including: orchestra, theatre, piano, dance, and intensive studies in wind, string and vocal programs.
According to Kavanaugh, between 200 and 250 students attend MasterWorks each year amounting to a total of 2,000 students over the past 12 years. The festival offers courses to talented high school, college and post-college individuals, and promises to deliver six months worth of lessons in a four week time frame. Students are awakened early in the morning for practices and work late into the night.
Though the workload is rigorous, Kavanaugh says a primary focus of the festival is spreading love amongst the students. The MasterWorks Festival is a faith-based festival that promotes Biblically sound teachings to its students.
Staff and students alike take time to enjoy musically filled worship time as well as Bible study courses. According to Kavanaugh, the faith-based nature of the festival helps promote love and eliminate the competitive air often found in the extremely competitive performing arts industry.
“Kids make friends for life here. Before an audition, they pray for each other and, even though this is an extremely competitive industry, the students cheer for each other when they succeed,” says Kavanaugh. “We want to show students that you can make even greater music with people you love. We’re not just teaching notes and how to play here.”
Though many may suspect students of the festival to come from wealthy backgrounds, according to Kavanaugh, that simply is not the case. MasterWorks provides numerous scholarships to students through the gratuitousness of thousands of donations. Kavanaugh states that without the giving nature of the Kosciusko community, the MasterWorks Festival could not have succeeded as it has.
“The community here is wonderful. They have embraced us from the day we arrived,” Kavanaugh says with a smile. “Members of the community take our students to lunch and provide many of the contributions for student scholarships. The community atmosphere here really helps promote love with the students. We could not exist without the charitable contributions of the community.”
Kavanaugh also notes the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Grace College provides assistance in keeping the MasterWorks festival thriving.
“We have the world’s greatest community foundation. This community could not exist without KCCF. I have traveled around the world and people do not realize how wonderful our community foundation truly is. Grace College has also been wonderfully generous. They go out of their way to help make MasterWorks a success.”
The MasterWorks Festival invites members of the community to attend any and all of the performances and public events offered throughout the summer. Unlike many festivals, MasterWorks proudly offers free admission to nearly all events.
Though many may be concerned with the dress required to attend, Kavanaugh encourages attendees to come dressed in whatever they are comfortable in and to bring the entire family.
“We want to have fun! We love great music and turning people onto great music,” says Kavanaugh. “We want our concerts to be relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family. Our students work hard … it’s great for them to see a large audience attend their performances.”