Clare Maguire is back in town, and will be one of the performers at this summer’s RiverWords Festival.
The 19-year-old singer/songwriter was one of the top 100 in this year’s CBC Searchlight competition, was named Mount Allison University’s 2017-2018 artist of the year, and recently returned from a tour with the National Youth Choir, as the alto representative for New Brunswick.
“It’s hard to describe my music,” she said. “There are folk, jazz and indie influences.
“It often helps me express feelings. Sometimes there are things you can’t express when you’re talking, but you can do it in song.”
Maguire, who is a Bible Hill resident, grew up in a musical family and has been writing songs since she was a child. She also took part in the Truro Music Festival, CEC band programs and musical, and was a member of the First Baptist Girls’ Choir.
She also plays piano and ukulele.
She went to Mount Allison to study psychology and French, but also got involved with the university’s musical activities.
“I found out there was a Mount A student album, and made it onto that,” she said. “That was encouraging.”
She’s performed at several coffee houses, wine and cheese events and open mics.
Her song ‘Rosemary & Thyme’ was one of six Nova Scotia entries to make it into the top 100, from among more than 2,000 entries, in the Searchlight contest.
“Sometimes singing in public is nerve wracking, but sometimes I’m so fully present in the performance it’s very relaxing,” she said. “When there’s a good crowd it’s usually a very positive experience.”
Chad Norman organizes the RiverWords Festival.
“This is the seventh anniversary, and it always amazes me that it comes together the way it does,” he said. “Beth Terry suggested Clare and when I listened to her music I really like it. There a playfulness to it.
“I think the festival is really maturing, and it’s become I’ve always hoped it would be.”
The festival takes place at Riverfront Park on Saturday, July 21, from 7-9 p.m.
Admission is free, but people are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Colchester Food Bank.
Clare Maguire: singer/songwriter
Cory Lavender: poet
JJ Roots: musical duo (Jocelyn Parlee and Jeff Scott Gray)
Margo Wheaton: poet
Lynda Maxwell: singer-songwriter