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The Shean Strings Competition

The Shean Competition for Strings and Piano was made possible by a generous grant to the Edmonton Community Foundation from Ranald and Vera Shean in 1996.

This competition, their gift to talented young musicians of today, is a lasting testimonial to their dedication to music.

Vera Shean was a gifted violinist and pianist. In the early 1940’s she performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, then under the direction of Ranald Shean, who was also the concertmaster. For many years she was heard in recital, in concert and as an accompanist, on the CBC. Ranald also conducted the Edmonton Youth Orchestra.

In 2002, Vera received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal in recognition of her years of service to the music in Edmonton. Both are members of the City’s Cultural Hall of Fame.

The Shean’s achieved their greatest satisfaction from teaching. In 1966, they established the Edmonton Conservatory of Music that later merged with the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. As well, they were active in the Music Academy program at Mount Royal College. Then, for many years, their home was their studio, always open to students. It was a home away from home for eager young musicians not only for the lessons but to gather, practice, concertize and discuss the music they love.

The competition’s inaugural year featured strings and has alternated with piano since then.

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