Bryan Allen, percussion
Carol Greyeyes, Narrator
O, Canada! The SSO has a passionate love of Canadian music, but with our nation celebrating its 150th birthday, it was essential to bring three great Canadian works to our stage for the first time.
There was a time many years ago when the earth was covered in darkness. Composer John Oliver’s work explores the story of a mischievous raven who tricked an old man and brought light to the world.
In 2011, composer Vincent Ho was so inspired by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the indigenous stories of the shaman that he wrote a mystical concerto just for her. For the first time ever, the work will be played by someone other than Glennie: the SSO’s very own Bryan Allen, one of the finest percussionists in the country.
John Burge’s new Four Seasons showcases the diversity of a nation whose future is as rich as its heritage, strong and free.
Élan: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th – Derek Charke
O, Canada – C Lavallée arr. Joel Jacklich
The Shaman – Vincent Ho
Raven Steals the Light- John Oliver
Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag – John Burge
Joining the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as principal percussionist in 2014, Bryan Allen continues to grow his musical career as a national soloist, sought-after collaborator and teacher. He was awarded the grand prize at the Saskatoon Kinsmen Competition in 2015. The same year he received top prize in the percussion category at the Saskatchewan Music Festival, as well as the Sister Boyle Gold Award for most outstanding competitor of the Grand Awards. Representing Saskatchewan at the National Music Festival in Edmonton brought him another first prize win in his category.
Allen holds a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University (’14) and a Bachelor’s from Wilfrid Laurier University (’12). During his studies he received many accolades for his competitive endeavors, including Third Prize in the percussion category at the 2012 OSM Standard Life Competition, as well as the Orford Arts Center prize for percussion. He also won 1st prize at the Wilfrid Laurier Concerto Competition (2011) and the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition (2013). He had the great honor of performing all over the country with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2013-2014) while receiving a Standard of Excellence Scholarship, and touring China with the Ontario Festival Orchestra in 2012. The past two summers he was an percussionist in the National Academy Orchestra for the Brott Music Festival.
Now a successful classical musician, Allen’s musical development began by singing in the Toronto’s Children’s Chorus and playing violin in the Mississauga Youth Orchestra – only to discover his passion for orchestral music while drumming in high school. His broad exposure to music has remained a point of inspiration and interest, resulting in eclectic musical collaborations with artists such as Saskatoon’s very own Sleepwreck (performed at Canadian Music Week 2016, Toronto) and a personal mission to familiarize the public with keyboard percussion. For this reason, Allen greatly enjoys busking with his vibraphone any chance he gets, exposing its versatility and appeal in a crossover of musical genres.
Carol Greyeyes is an actor, writer, educator and member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. She is honoured and delighted to join the esteemed Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as the Narrator in Raven Steals the Light by John Oliver. Carol is the former artistic director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) and founding principal of the Indigenous Theatre School in Toronto, Canada. Carol holds a BFA and B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.F.A. from York University. She has directed and taught in theatres all over Canada and the USA and has acted in film, television, radio, and on the stage. She also wrote, produced, and performed the film version of her dance theatre piece, Indian Blue, for Bravo!FACT – which was recently screened at A Place Between: A 60’s Scoop Arts Project in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Carol was last seen on stage in Saskatoon as “Bernice” in The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble for Persephone Theatre, and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama, at the University of Saskatchewan. She is also very proud and honoured to be the coordinator of a new Certificate of Proficiency–wîcêhtowin: Aboriginal Theatre Program. The program culminates in a world premiere of an original stage production; created, designed and performed by the program participants– which Carol is now directing. This ground-breaking production called, maskihkiyiwan nehiyawewin: Reigniting the Fire, runs at Greystone Theatre on the University of Saskatchewan campus May 30-June 2, 2017. The last performance on June 2nd will also be live-streamed at 2:00PM. The link to the live stream: http://live.usask.ca/?sn=17006
Raven Steals the Light – Oliver
More information about John Oliver
The Shaman – Ho
More information about Ho’s Shaman
Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag – Burge
More information about the composer