Saskatchewan’s Laura Pettigrew

The SSO has decided we want to be the change we want to see in orchestral music – so this year we’re highlighting the music of living female composers…in fact, every Masters Series concert has a living female Canadian composer on it!  And we knew we had to feature a Saskatchewan composer to start the whole year off.  You’re going to love Laura’s music!

Laura Pettigrew’s contributions in Canada are well known but her influence and achievement have now expanded to all over the world. Her works have received world premières by Toronto Symphony Orchestra, (Canada) GRAMMY® Award–winning I Solisti Veneti (Italy), Regina Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Massive Brass Attack (Portugal), Nicole Gi Li and Corey Hamm (Piano Erhu Project or PEP), and Foothills Brass (Canada), Borealis Brass (USA) among others, and featured on recordings by national and international soloists and ensembles as well as in the international award-winning short film, The Sky Came Down, Laura Pettigrew is making her mark on the world stage. Her music has been praised as “spectacular, breathtaking, inspirational” (Reel Rave International Film Festival 2013); “sublime with a style reminiscent of the television show Game of Thrones…patrons were drawn in by the composition…simply put it was awesome” (Regina Leader Post); “Bellissimo” (LA9 SAT Television Station, Padua, Italy): “Dòchas enveloped the Roy Thomson Hall, entrancing the audience immediately with a lavish, calming sound” (Broadway World)

She has been the beneficiary of many scholarships and grants from: Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Artist Awards, Regina Artist, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Creative Saskatchewan, Canadian Music Centre, Saskatchewan Film Tax Credit, and been honoured with awards for her commitment to the arts, community and philanthropy: Mayor’s Arts and Business Award, Living the Arts ; University of Regina Alumni Crowning Achievement Award – Distinguished Humanitarian and Community Service ; YWCA Women of Distinction, Jacqui Shumiatcher Arts Award, nominated for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award 2013 and included in the newly published international COMPENDIUM MUSICAE FLAUTA, Encyclopedia of Flute Works by Women Composers.

Today, Laura has become a much commissioned, published and performed symphonic, solo, ensemble and choral composer as well as an accomplished teacher and clinician. She received Two commissions for Canada’s 150th celebration in 2017: Manotick Brass Ensemble AND Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Canada Mosaic Project, Her Sesquie titled “Dòchas” was premiered December 5, 2017 by Toronto Symphony Orchestra and November 25, 2017 by Regina Symphony Orchestra, partner orchestra for Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Canada Mosaic Project.

Her works include: orchestral, chamber, wind ensemble, vocal/choral, piano, solo instrumental, film score and
orchestral arrangements.

She is an avid supporter of the Adkins Chiti Foundation, Donne in Musica (Women in Music), Associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre,: Member of : Canadian League of Composers, SOCAN and International Women’s Brass Conference promoting and encouraging composers and musicians to ensure equality prevails for women and men alike.

Laura believes we are all born with a gift and driven by her passion she derives great joy sharing her knowledge and talent. Inspired by historical events, people, landscape, mythology and literature it is the emotional melodic expression that resonates throughout her works.

Tying music events into a wide range of philanthropic endeavours she has also become a voice for those enduring difficult times. Growing up grounded in community she understands the intrinsic value of being one part of a sum and states “without community we are but one alone in the world”.

Hear Laura Pettigrew’s Dochas with the SSO on September 21st for Opening Night.

Carnegie Hall’s Link Up with the SSO

Have you ever been to Carnegie Hall?

Many people dream to one day visit the world famous music hall, and now students in Saskatoon have the opportunity to have a close connection with it! The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra is so excited to announce our new partnership with Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute with their education initiative Link Up.

Link up is a highly participatory program where grades 3-5 students learn to sing and play the recorder (or another classroom instrument), and perform with the SSO from their seats at the “culminating concert” at TCU Place. All of the teaching resources are open source, and teacher and student manuals are sent straight to the schools.

This year, we are doing the program “The Orchestra Sings” where students will explore timeless classical repertoire such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, “Simple Gifts” from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and the main theme of the “New World” Symphony by Antonín Dvořák.

Over 100 students are already signed up, and we are eager to reach our goal of 1000 students for this year’s program!

Visit  Link Upfor more information!

Forward this on to the teachers you know, and please direct questions to outreach@saskatoonsymphony.org!

Stéphane Tétreault’s Return with the SSO

After his truly amazing SSO debut, Stéphane is back…and with another one of the great cello concertos! He and the “Countess of Stainlein, Ex-Paganini” will perform the Dvořák Cello Concerto on September 21st. The 1707 Stradivarius cello is on generous loan by Mrs. Sophie Desmarais.

Our returning guest recently received the 2018 Maureen Forrester Next Generation Award. This was in recognition of his sensitivities with music, his enviable technique, and his considerable communication skills. Previous to that in 2015, he was selected as laureate of the Classe d’Excellence de violoncelle Gautier Capuçon from the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and received the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award. He was the very first recipient of the $50,000 Fernand-Lindsay Career Award. For three straight years, Stéphane was ranked amongst “CBC Radio’s 30 Hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”.

Chosen as the first ever Soloist-in-Residence of the Orchestre Métropolitain, he performed alongside Yannick Nézet-Séguin during the 2014-2015 season. Further during their 2017-2018 season, he took part in the Orchestre Métropolitain’s first European tour with Maestro Nézet-Séguin and made his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Stéphane has performed with pianists Jan Lisiecki and Charles Richard-Hamelin, who have been mostly recently on the TCU Place stage in 2017 and 2016, respectively. He also participated in a number of masterclasses, notably with cellists Gautier Capuçon and Frans Helmerson. In 2017, Stéphane partnered with harpist Valérie Milot and violinist Antoine Bareil for a third album dedicated to Trios for Violin, Cello and Harp:

“The solo playing is astonishingly mature not merely in its technical attributes but also in its warmth, brilliance and subtlety of colour and inflection.”                                         – Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone

He made such a huge impression on not only the SSO’s audience, but on the musicians and the admin team – as generous with his time as he is with his artistry, Stéphane has quickly become one of the SSO’s favourite collaborators.

Don’t miss his performance on Opening Night!

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What are they up to?

As we’re preparing for our upcoming season to start, we thought we’d share what some of our guest artists are up to this summer!

Carissa Klopoushak

Ironwood Quartet

Before getting back to the swing of things playing in the National Arts Centre Orchestra and preparing for her November performance with the SSO, Carissa has been working with her team at Ironwood Quartet.  The quartet has just recently wrapped up some performances at summer festivals, including their own!  They are at the helm of the Classical Unbound Festival where the serve as artists-in-residence – the festival’s goal is to  unbind so-called ‘classical’ music from its formal attire and bind it more closely to our hearts and souls.

Carissa’s creative juice never takes a summer break though – we know she’s already working with her colleagues at Ritornello to plan next year’s festival.  This November she returns to the SSO to perform a truly stunning work, Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto No 1, as part of this season’s Homecoming concert!

 

 

Danika Lorèn

Original art by Loren for Crumb’s Apparition

After finishing a refreshing run in Saskatoon Opera’s Die Fledermaus, Danika headed back to Toronto to prepare for some new performances with her group Collectif.  The group strives to create new experiences for audiences through multi-discipline adventures in art song.  This summer they’re performing as part of Toronto Summer Music and Wellington Water Week.  They re-think the concert experience, creating films and animations, and doing it all themselves!

Their new cabaret for Wellington Water Week, called Watering Hole, has classical music getting a dash of comedic irreverence in a casual atmosphere.  With tons on her plate over the next few months, it’s exciting to have Danika returning to the SSO to sing Handel’s Messiah – its one of the most anticipated performances this season!

 

Ryan Cole

Victoria Symphony Splash

It seems like all good musicians Ryan is spending his summer with his instrument!  As the Principal Trumpet of the Victoria Symphony, he’s prepping for Splash! It’s the big highlight of their summer season – in true island fashion, the orchestra plays from a barge in the Victoria inner harbour to over 40,000 people gathered on the lawns of the legislature and the Empress hotel (and even all around them in kayaks!). It really is a special concert in Victoria.

Between all the concerts and teaching summer session at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he’s going to make a trip home to enjoy some of this stellar Saskatoon summer.  This November Ryan makes his SSO solo debut performing a new concerto written just for him, Marcus Goddard’s Trumpet Concerto.  We’re thrilled to showcase this special musical moment.

And if you follow him on social media, you already know he’s practicing!

 

 

Spencer McKnight

Cast of Don Giovanni

Opera, apperol spritz, and pasta…ahead of coming home to begin work on new rep for the upcoming season, including a number of debuts, Spencer is in Italy singing his heart out.  He just recently completed a run of the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Vicenza, and is taking time to be a tourist for a bit before he says arrivederci Roma!

Spencer is stepping on to the TCU Place stage with the SSO next spring with the North American debut of Materna Requiem by Rebecca Dale.  The work features an unusual setting of the requiem’s Pie Jesu – normally sung by a female or child, Dale’s Requiem places the piece into the voice of a tenor to highlight a father’s love for his new born son.

In the year ahead he’s making a number of special appearances as well as solo recitals, including performances of his new recital Songs of the Isles in spring 2020.

A momentus achievement for the SSO

I recently had the chance to see one of my favourite paintings in person for the first time.  I’ve seen endless copies of this particular painting since I was a kid; the particular gaze of the girl in painting, the light on her jewelry, the folds of her clothing – I thought I knew every inch of this painting.  

But as I sat for a while and stared at her I realized that she was completely different than I’d ever imagined.  Her gaze was the same as I’d seen in books and posters and copies, and the light seemed to dance across her face in the same way, but she was different.  She sparkled. More precisely, the negative space around her wasn’t just darkness but rather it was darkness filled with the movement of light in the room in which I was standing.  I wasn’t looking at a painting, I was inside the world the artist created.

This past weekend I was sitting in the audience at Knox as the SSO and Chorus performed our last concert of the season.  I was feeling a sense of relief and gratitude that it was the perfect end for a very strong season. I was enjoying that the audience was so excited to be there, and enjoying the joy on the face of each and every chorus member as they got to sing their hearts out.  And then it happened again. Along came Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, a piece I have heard endless times in my life – and to be honest, I’ve never felt it was his best work. I’ve always felt it was a bit much…a great commercial pop hit from an artist who could write truly thrilling music.  And played to death on radio and CDs.  But faced with the piece performed by live chorus and orchestra, I was struck. It’s not just another “hit”, but a deeply personal and moving moment when Mozart places you right inside the world he created; its graceful and gentle, but deeply sincere.  It’s exactly the sound Mozart had intended on creating for the listener.

The truth of the matter is, in 2019 we don’t have many moments in our day to day lives when our soul gets swept up in the moment.  Between trying to Marie Kondo our way to happiness and snapchat filter our way to feeling good about ourselves, our day to day lives aren’t much to revel in.  The realities of life don’t give us a natural pause. There is no natural cadence from stress in an ever connected world, and no ordinary distraction from how exhausted our schedules are making us.  And while spending $3 on a mindfulness app might be the answer to all your worries, I strongly recommend making art and music a significant part of your life.

But there is no replacement for the real thing.  Seeing copies of that painting for the rest of my life, I would have never realized how deeply the painting spoke to me.  It was a great reminder to me that there is no substitute for an orchestra.

In my conversations with patrons this year I’ve heard about the music that really moved them – from a newer patron who found Mozart’s Requiem to be wonderfully intense, to the long time music lover who is still deeply moved by last season’s Armed Man.  One thing became clear: the sound of hearing this music live was wholly different than listening to a recording.  The sound of a live symphonic orchestra cannot be faked.

We have a few more days until the end of this year’s Share in the Future campaign.  We set a lofty goal this year, and we’ve got about $40,000 to raise before the end of day on Friday to reach our goal of $300,000.  This year’s campaign is special because if we are successful, we will have made the SSO deficit free. This is a remarkable accomplishment for any orchestra in 2019, but a significant achievement for Saskatoon’s orchestra.  

This achievement would not be possible were it not for the exceptionally generous support of the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation.  The Remai Foundation’s matching of donations instantly doubles your support of your orchestra, and allows us to boldly enter a new era for your symphony.  

Imagine only ever having the chance to hear recordings of orchestral music.  It’s just not the same. A live symphony orchestra is a vast expanse of sound that captures the size and intensity of human expression.  It can be as big as a prairie sky or as personal as a broken heart. It can bring you to your feet or move you to tears. It has the power to be the loudest sound you’ve ever heard or so soft that the entire room sits in silence to hear the next note.  It’s an extraordinary experience.  

I invite you to join me in making a donation to the Share in the Future campaign in these final days.  It feels really good to be part of something this momentus for Saskatoon’s oldest arts organization, and it sends a clear message to the musicians of the SSO that their work is valued and supported by their community.  

It’s true that without an orchestra in town, life would go on.  But without the chance for future generations to come face to face with this glorious sound, they’ll never understand the power of a live orchestra.

I’m certain of this – because until the day I came face to face with that painting, I had no idea she sparkled.  

Thank you for making music matter,
Mark Turner
Executive Director

 

To make a gift to our Share in the Future campaign:

Click Here to Give Online

Call us at 306-665-6414

Visit us at the SSO offices – 602B 51st Street 

Choose Your SSO Adventure

It’s subscription season at the SSO! We’ve carefully programmed 16 concerts for you to choose from. Six Masters, four Pops, three Chamber and three Baroque. You can subscribe to everything, to each series, or make your own series with a flex pack.

Your flex pack can be built around the concerts that excite you most or the dates that work best for you. We’ve put together some other flex pack collections that might intrigue you below:

While orchestras do have the advantage of blind auditions, which means there are more opportunities for equality amongst musicians, the orchestral world is still playing catch up when it comes to female composers. Want a subscription package that includes a female composer in each concert? Look no further than our Masters series! We didn’t choose these pieces because they were composed by women, we chose them because they are beautiful works by contemporary artists. Take our concert on March 7th. We will be doing the North American premiere of Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem.

 

Perhaps you want to take advantage of our prairie connections. There is a wealth of talent that has grown up here on the prairies and moved away to continue their education and careers. We are always happy to bring them home to perform with us!

You could create a Praire 5-flex with:
Homecoming (November 16, 2019) with both guest artists and the guest conductor all having prairie roots.
Christmas with the SSO (December 7, 2019) with special guests including Elly Thorn, the University Chorus and our own Dean McNeill.
Thomas Yu with the SSO (February 8, 2020) Thomas returns home to play more Saint-Saëns with the SSO! You may remember when he was here in 2016 to play Carnival of the Animals with Godwin Friesen
Requiem – North American Premiere (March 7, 2020) Soprano Chelsea Mahan and Tenor Spencer McKnight are joined by the University of Saskatchewan’s Greystone Singers for this North American Premiere.
Accent with the SSO (March 21, 2020) Two of Accent’s members are from Saskatoon and we can’t wait to bring them here! We’ve followed their journey online and across the globe.

Make it a Prairie 6-flex by adding in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (October 5, 2019) featuring violinist Véronique Mathieu who now calls Saskatoon home or choose a performance of Handel’s Messiah featuring prairie soloists!

 

If you are all about vocal and choral music we have several options this season! On top of the prairie picks we mentioned featuring vocal soloists and/or choirs (Requiem, Christmas with the SSO, Accent, and Messiah) we are extremely excited to be included in Jeremy Dutcher’s orchestra tour.

Dutcher will be joining us on stage at TCU Place on November 9 and we’ve already had several people asking about single ticket sales. Some of the benefits of subscribing to the SSO means you get tickets before single tickets go on sale August 1, and you get a discount for buying in bulk. Early bird prices end May 31, while there is still a discount for subscribing compared to single ticket purchases, the deals are better the earlier you subscribe!

Prefer your flex pack to be all about guest artists showing off their instrumental skills?

We have cellist Stéphane Tétreault rejoining us for Opening Night (September 21, 2019), Homecoming (November 16, 2019) has Carissa Klopoushak performing a new violin concerto, and Ryan Cole performing a new trumpet concerto, our Christmas with the SSO (December 7, 2019) features Dean McNeill on Trumpet, and Thomas Yu’s performance (February 8, 2020) fits in nicely to this flex pack. Let us not forget that the season is ending with the Canadian piano royalty, Jane Coop (May 2, 2020)!

Here’s Jane Coop performing a Beethoven Concerto, though not the one she will be performing with the SSO. We are excited to have this pianist on stage to play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor.

Make it a 6 Flex by adding Four Seasons (October 5, 2019) or Jeremy Dutcher (November 9, 2019).

 

We are always looking for ways to be a more eco-conscious organization and how to do our part when it comes to climate change. We have have been thinking about it so much we have inadvertently included works related to mother nature in several concerts. Enough so that you could create your own Mother Nature flex pack.

There’s the Four Seasons (October 5, 2019), our concert with Thomas Yu (February 8, 2020) includes Canadian composer Vincent Ho’s Earthbeat, paired with the Requiem (March 7, 2020) is Jocelyn Morlock’s Oiseaux bleus et sauvages and our Family Movie Night (January 25, 2020) will take us under the sea.

And one can’t forget the audience favourite The Planets (October 19, 2019). We are pairing the movements of Holst’s work with Canadian composer Heather Schmidt’s Lunar Reflections to give us a whole galaxy tour all from the comfort of your seats in TCU Place.

 

You can create flex packs based on contemporary composers, “the hits”, new works, works new to you, and any other reasoning/combination that works for you.  We may be biased, but we believe you can’t go wrong with any subscription pack from the SSO!

Explore the full season and download a subscription form by clicking here.

You can subscribe any time before opening night by giving us a call or stopping by our new office. Early bird prices end May 31 so the best deals are ending soon.

See you at the Symphony (office)!

p.s. We are working to raise $300,000 by May 31 for this year’s Share in the Future campaign. All donations made by May 31 are going to be matched by the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation. Your donations help us keep our ticket prices more accessible, our outreach programs running, and help us continue to bring incredible concerts to you! Thank you for supporting live music by donating today.

Click here to donate.

Top 5 SSO Stocking Stuffers!

Tickets to the SSO make a perfect stocking stuffer, so we made it simple to know what the perfect gift for your loved ones.

The remainder of our season is jam-packed with incredible concerts, so this list was hard to widdle down!

#5 – Godwin Friesen and Ravel’s Jazzy Concerto

The SSO loves when it gets to showcase the exceptional talent that Saskatoon has raised…and this January is going to be a very special concert.  Godwin Friesen is a National Music Festival winner and the winner of the SMFA Concerto Competition, to name just two of the many awards he has earned himself.  We’re bringing him home to blow you away with one of the most fun concertos in the repertoire.

Ravel’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto in G is instantly lovely – charming, youthful, and a 3rd movement that just flies!  It’s paired with Milhaud’s jazz Creation of the World.

Click for Info and Tickets

#4 – May the Fourth – the Music of Star Wars

So for fans of Star Wars, May the Fourth is a big deal.  And the SSO has gone and made it a bigger deal.  Hear the exceptional music of John Williams from 6 of the Star Wars movies, including The Last Jedi, with the power of the force, erm…a full symphony orchestra!

Dress up for the costume contest, check out the amazing things in the lobby, and try not to tear up at Leia’s theme…no you’re crying!

Click for Info and Tickets

#3 – Mozart’s Requiem and an incredible story…

A few years ago, the SSO learned about a violin concerto found in Saskatoon.  The composer’s name was Heinz Moehn, and it hadn’t been played since the 1930s.  As we dug deeper in to the world of Moehn we discovered that he was the leading editor of Mozart’s music, and the foremost editor of Mozart’s Requiem.  As we dug in to our music library we discovered that Moehn’s edition is the one the SSO has always played from!

World renowned superstar violinist Timothy Chooi will be joining the SSO to re-premier the Moehn Violin Concerto, and we’re joined by the Greystone Singers and SSO Chorus and incredible soloists (like award winning Sask-born soprano Andrea Lett) for the Requiem.

This is going to be one of the most memorable nights at the SSO.

Click for Info and Tickets

 

#2 The Romance of Romeo and Juliet

We’re celebrating the Bard in a week-long mini festival of music that was inspired by William Shakespeare.  On Sunday February 3rd the SSO Chamber Ensemble is performing a Shakespeare-inspired concert at the historic Convocation Hall.  On Saturday February 9th the SSO is playing the Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Also on that concert we’re joined by violinist Andrea Tyniac who will be playing a stunning concerto by Vasks, and we open the night with the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra!

It’s romantic, its lush, its got something for every music lover.  It’s not often you get to hear Prokofiev played in this town!

Click for Info and Tickets

 

#1 An SSO Gift Certificate!

Not sure what the perfect gift is for the music lover on your list?  We’ve got your back!

You can call the SSO or stop by our new offices to get an SSO Gift Certificate – you can get it in any amount and it can be redeemed for any SSO event.  It let’s you give the gift of musical exploration to someone on your list!

Call the SSO at 3066656414

Or visit us at 602B 51st Street East – open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm

 

A statement from ED Mark Turner

The first thought I had in the moment was that I wouldn’t be able to play piano the same way again.  My life did not flash before my eyes (no pun intended), and time neither stood still nor flew by. And while stories like this are usually told in a moment-by-moment retelling of the event, for me the story is more than a series of events. I cannot instantly recall the initial pain, but I can vividly recall the panic that I’d lost a part of my piano playing ability.  

To be very honest I have been attempting, and failing, to write a note to the SSO community since the attack.  I have wanted to share that I am fully recovered. I’ve wanted to share my thanks for the support and love the community showed to me and my staff whose lives were all changed forever that day.  I’ve wanted to talk about how at first I couldn’t listen to music, but now I rely on music to get through the bad days and the just getting by days. I’ve wanted to talk about the steps we’re taking to give the SSO a safe space.  There’s much I’ve wanted to say, but I haven’t had the words.

On July 31st, I was attacked at the SSO offices by a man who we’d never seen before.  In the middle of a meeting with three of the SSO team, he stabbed me in the eye. Thanks to the quick thinking and giant hearts of my team, I was rushed to hospital and I had the emergency care I needed.  The next few weeks were very difficult, very painful, very emotional, and very draining.  

The bruising, swelling, fractures, and eye complications have all gone, and I have made a 100% physical recovery. I am very grateful to medical team at City Hospital and the Eye Clinic for the care I received that made recovery possible.  

But the psychological effects of being the victim of a violent crime don’t disappear like bruises.  So while the scar on my eye is barely noticable, I’m adjusting to life with scars.

Like many people and, as studies show, nearly all musicians, mental health has always played a role in my life and I have struggled with anxiety most of my adult life.  Whether it’s a musician’s innate emotional connection to their soul or the vulnerability that comes with being a music student, musicians and mental health challenges go hand in hand.  I am very lucky that I don’t have performance related anxiety, and I’m not sure I’ve ever really been nervous to play no matter the size of the audience (though, my teachers Sheila and Penny somehow had the ability to make me question if I’d practiced enough….).  In the mid-2000s I began living with anxiety – it took a long time to understand, and accept, and eventually I was able to manage it. I’ve even given a speech on stage at the SSO while I was in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. More than once.

So new scars are just that – they’re new.  I consider myself very lucky that in my life I can turn with an open heart and open mind and open ears to music.  I am a voracious consumer and maker of music – it’s my life’s work, it’s my refuge, its my passion, it’s my research, it’s what I turn to when I need time and space. But this summer made me grateful that beautiful music exists and that whether its Bach or Aretha, there’s something for every feeling and every scar.

Safety is a must for a workplace – and because of that, the SSO Board of Directors and I made the decision to move the SSO to a new space.  

The shock and fear attached to the attack had impact on the staff, musicians, Book Sale volunteers, and even our patrons.  This isn’t about us running away from what happened, or turning our backs on the friends we’ve made in Riversdale – this decision was solely selfish: we needed to provide the team that brings you the SSO a space where they could feel productive again.  While I was the one left with a physical scar, the mental scarring affected many people. We have been able to do our work, but it is taking a toll on us.  

We’re thrilled to have found a great new space that has a great music room, beautiful offices, and a wonderful warehouse for the Book Sale. We’re grateful to our neighbours and landlord for making Riversdale such a rewarding home.  And we’re affirming our commitment to being an orchestra for all members of our community, and in continuing the work that has been so important to us in our time in Riversdale.

I’m behind on my work – we lost a month, and though I am back to work I still have days where concentration is difficult.  But I am loving being back at work. Our first few concerts of the year have refreshed my pride in the musicians of the SSO, and they’ve given me the energy to make the next steps for the SSO to be a catalyst for exceptional music making in our community.  

The next time you see one of my staff, please tell them how grateful you are that they are doing what they do for music in our town and how brave they were in the face of terrifying circumstances.  

A move is a lot of work and costs a lot of money, so don’t be shy about helping out!  Come to lots of concerts – there is no replacement for the healing power of music. It means a lot to us when you come to our concerts.

And I’m back at the piano.
Tune your heart to brave music.

See you at the symphony,
Mark


SSO Executive Director Mark Turner wishes to thank the community, near and far, who reached out in the weeks that followed the unfortunate events of July 31st.

The SSO will be moving its offices during the month of November to 602B 51st Street East.

All about that Bass-Baritone Brenden Friesen

Tonight is the night for Bach’s Magnificat! We have a busy day getting ready for the dress rehearsal and finishing final details for tonight’s concert. If you don’t have your tickets yet you should get them ASAP! We will also have tickets at the door and as with every SSO concert #TD25Below tickets are available!

Originally from Langham, Saskatchewan, Brenden Friesen is back home on the prairies to be a part of our concert and to work with our friends at the Saskatoon Opera!

Holding a MMus Opera degree from the University of Toronto, Saskatchewan born bass-baritone Brenden Friesen has captured audiences with his exceptional diction, enormous comedic presence, and incredible interpretation of text (Opera Canada). Brenden recently performed the roles of Leporello and Il Commendatore in UofT Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni , directed by Marilyn Gronsdal, as well as Masetto in Don Giovanni (Saskatoon Opera), the title role in Händel’s Imeneo (UofT Opera), The Police Chief in the UofT Student Composer Project opera Vengeance, and Jupiter in Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers (UofT Opera) under the baton of sensational baritone Russell Braun.

Brenden is very excited to be home on the prairies performing the role of Colline in Saskatoon Opera’s production of Puccini’s La bohème in June 2018. Following this performance, Brenden will be again performing the role of Colline with Highlands Opera in Haliburton Ontario in July 2018. In August 2018, Brenden is pleased to be continuing his operatic career as one of the young artists in the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and making his Montreal debut as Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto.