Theatre festival worker has a musical mind

Frank Gale
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“It’s there all the time!”    
That’s Marigold Benoit’s answer to a question about music in her head.

The fiddle is just one of the instruments that multi-talented Marigold Benoit of Stephenville plays.  — Photo by Frank Gale/The Western Star

The music in there is a little bit different this summer, mostly crowded now with tunes from songs she is doing in “The Nobleman’s Wedding” as part of her work with the Stephenville Theatre Festival as a musician, along with some acting duties.

But there’s different music in her head as she runs in track and field competitions, biathlon and cross-country running or skiing. The rhythm helps keep her in stride as she moves along in all her sports endeavours.

The music in her head is a little different when she’s playing with Stephenville High Concert Band, something she actually started with while back in Stephenville Middle School in Grade 6.

“It’s just whatever pops into my head at the time,” she said.

It’s been there for a long time because she comes from a family with a musical background. Her father plays guitar and bass; mom plays guitar, mandolin and piano; and her brother plays guitar and saxophone.

Benoit, 17, is heading into Level 3 in school this fall, plays piano, fiddle and Susato whistle, which she said is bigger and has a deeper sound than the tin whistle.

All four family members also sing.

Although growing up in a house of music, her latest venture with the Stephenville Theatre Festival this summer has her learning even more about her craft.

She’s learning lots more about playing the fiddle from renowned musician Dave Panting, who is a mentor to her.

Benoit is playing her fiddle in “The Nobleman’s Wedding,” along with her whistle and also has a small acting part in that production.

In “Jack Meets the Cat” she has several odd acting parts as a pirate, half a leprechaun, one-fifth of an elephant and the first female pope of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It’s fun to play, with lots of energy and really enjoyable,” she said.

She sings and plays her whistle in “Music from Home.”

This past spring Benoit did piano and voice at the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival and next year she plans to go back at it, adding fiddle to the list.

To her, the Stephenville Theatre Festival is just great and she said there could be no better summer job for someone like her. She hopes to return next year.


The Western Star

Organizations: Stephenville Theatre, Stephenville Middle School

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Western Star

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