For three decades, musicians at the high school and college level have looked forward to the challenges of MusicFest Canada, a five–day, nationwide event held in early May in a different location each year, which attracts over 10,000 of the nation's best young musicians — bands, choirs, orchestras, musical ensembles of every sort — to be judged by expert panels of top professional musicians and music educators. But you don't just go to MusicFest Canada — you have to earn the privilege, after emerging at the head of hundreds of regional and district competitions, which all together attract more than 450,000 contestants each hear.
That's a lot of talent. That's a lot of music.
That's a lot of information.
And keeping it organized means a lot of work for MusicFest staff. 'We feel that keeping our organization running as efficiently as possible, we will offer the best educational and overall experience to our guests, the young musicians of the nation,' explains MusicFest Canada production director Al Bourke. 'This keeps our position strong within the somewhat competitive field of music festivals.'
MusicFest Canada had previously maintained its records in a Lotus database, but when it came time for an upgrade, the organization took a long, hard look at alternatives. A new system was needed — one which combined maximum flexibility and easy customization with ease of operation and programmability. And, since MusicFest Canada is, after all, a non–profit organization, cost was an important secondary consideration.