Music Talk – Nordic Light

We’re live from the travel section of McNally Robinson Booksellers for Music Talk from McNally! The SSO’s Mark Turner is joined by Nicolas Ellis who leads the SSO, the Greystone Singers, and Aurora Voce this weekend in what promises to be a stunning performance of Ērik Ešenvalds’ Nordic Light. Turner and Ellis will chat about Ešenvalds’ work and the other music on the program. They will also dive into what it’s like behind the scenes with over 100 musicians on stage, and all the technical aspects of performing a multi-media piece.

Marcus Goddard, composer

Marcus Goddard is an award-winning composer and internationally respected trumpet player whose music has touched the hearts of audiences around the world. His catalog of over fifty works includes ten pieces for large orchestra, many frequently performed chamber works, and a large body of innovative work for solo instruments and electronics. Goddard is the Composer in Association and Associate Principal Trumpet with the Grammy and Juno Award-winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada.

Described by New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini as “atmospheric” and by the CBC’s Bill Richardson as possessing a “shimmering, translucent, winning eloquence”, Goddard’s work is routinely praised by musicians, audiences, composers, and critics alike. Goddard’s unique ability to connect across these lines has led to frequent performances of his works. His quartet Allaqi, which was commissioned for the St. Lawrence String Quartet by Chamber Music Kelowna and CBC Radio, was recorded by the St Lawrence Quartet received the 2011 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Composition. Allaqi has been performed nearly one hundred times by quartets across North and South America, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the New World Center, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. The work has been a staple of the Astera String Quartet’s repertoire in its recent first place performances at the M-Prize, Fischoff, and Saint Paul String Quartet Competitions. The Archytas Quartet recently recorded an album dedicated to Goddard’s chamber music for strings featuring Allaqi; Wind, Sand and Stars; and his newest string quartet, Three Wings.

I Send Only Angels was commissioned by Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has received over thirty performances to date, including one led by Maestro Tovey with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal as well as multiple performances during a national tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra recently commissioned a Violin Concerto, written for and premiered by Rachel Barton Pine, and a new orchestral work titled Spooky Action at a Distance. Upcoming commissions include a trumpet concerto, cello concerto, and sonata for trumpet and piano. Goddard has enjoyed frequent creative partnerships with performers, dancers, and visual artists, including a recent collaboration with First Nations artist Mike Dangeli and Vancouver’s Standing Wave Ensemble on a work titled Raven Tales. Standing Wave’s recording of the work was nominated for a 2017 Western Canadian Music Award.

As an enthusiastic educator, Goddard has been inspiring and instructing students of all ages for over twenty years in composition and trumpet performance. He has taught at the master’s level at the University of British Columbia and has taught undergraduate performance majors as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University. Goddard has been on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler, B.C. As a long-time Guest Artist at the PRISMA Festival in Powell River B.C., Goddard has taught and mentored many students in orchestral performance and audition training. Many of Goddard’s students have gone on to win professional positions in orchestras and educational institutions in North America and Europe.

Inspiring young people’s creativity has been an ongoing mission for Goddard. In 1999 Goddard created a composition program for students at the Quiring Chamber Music Camp in Vancouver, B.C. Since then, he has nurtured the interest and curiosity of over four hundred composition students between the ages of five and twenty in this program. Goddard regularly shares his enthusiasm for the trumpet and composing as a clinician with festivals, secondary schools and Universities across North America. In partnership with the Trio Accord ensemble, he has been a featured speaker on collaborative creativity for MBA students at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

Goddard has been the recipient of fellowships from the Spoleto Festival and the National Orchestral Institute. While completing a Master’s degree at Indiana University he was awarded the coveted Performer’s Diploma and performed Edward Gregson’s Trumpet Concerto as the winner of the Concerto Competition. Goddard graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan. His major trumpet teachers include John Rommel, Charles Daval, Armando Ghitalla, Chris Gekker, Louis Ranger, and Jeff Stempien. He has attended seminars with John Corigliano, William Bolcom, Philip Glass, and Krzysztof Penderecki and his major composition teachers include David Dzubay, Marta Ptaszynska, Steve Rouse, and Claude Baker.

In his free time, Goddard explores the Pacific Coast Mountains with his family and friends by foot on skis and mountain bikes. Goddard was born in Burlington, Vermont and holds both Canadian and U.S. citizenship.

www.marcusgoddard.com

SeaLegacy

The video footage that accompanies Marcus Goddard’s Life Emerging: Antarctica is provided by SeaLegacy.

Founded and led by Cristina Mittermeier, Paul Nicklen, and Andy Mann, a passionate team of world-class filmmakers, conservationists and photographers, their mission is to use strategic communications at the intersection of art, science, and conservation to protect and rewild the ocean within our lifetimes. They bring ocean stories and solutions to light for the benefit of biodiversity, humanity, and climate.  

 

You can find out more about their projects, join the mailing list, and donate by visiting their website: www.sealegacy.org

SeaLegacy is a registered 501c3 charity in the United States. 

Ēriks Ešenvalds, composer

Ēriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after composers working today, with a busy commission schedule and performances of his music heard on every continent. Born in Priekule, Latvia in 1977, he studied at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary (1995–97) before obtaining his Master’s degree in composition (2004) from the Latvian Academy of Music under the tutelage of Selga Mence. He took master-classes with Michael Finnissy, Klaus Huber, Philippe Manoury, and Jonathan Harvey, amongst others. From 2002–11 he was a member of the State Choir Latvija. In 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He is married with four children and gives students his expertise as composition teacher at the Latvian Academy of Music.

Ēriks Ešenvalds has won multiple awards for his work, including the Latvian Grand Music Award three times (2005, 2007, and 2015). The International Rostrum of Composers awarded him first prize in 2006 for his work The Legend of the Walled-in Woman. He was The Year’s New-Composer Discovery of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010. In 2018 he was bestowed Officer in the Order of the Three Stars, the highest state decoration of his home country Latvia, for merits in the field of culture.

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ compositions have been premiered by ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Britten Sinfonia, Gewandhaus Leipzig, The King’s Singers, Latvian Voices, the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, the Holst Singers, Imogen Heap, Polyphony, the Choir of Merton College Oxford, the Latvian Radio Choir, the State Choir Latvija, Youth Choir Kamēr…, Sinfonietta Riga, the Bavarian Radio Choir, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Opera and Ballet, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Ora Singers, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, BBC Proms Youth Choir, the Netherlands National Children’s Choir, Shenzhen Lily Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir, the Swedish Art Vocal Ensemble, the Choir of Trinity College Melbourne, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, Temple University Concert Choir, The Crossing, Chor Leoni, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, Portland State University Chamber Choir, the Choir of the West at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, ChorWerk Ruhr, Cathedral Choral Society, Cor Vivaldi, The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers, Yale Glee Club, the Miami University Men’s Glee Club, The University of Mississippi Concert Singers, Lincoln’s Inn Choir, Wartburg College Choir, Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale, Classical Movements, Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Louisville University Cardinal Singers, Cabrillo Chorus, and the Monterey Chamber Orchestra. He composed the score for the Latvian feature film Mellow Mud, which was awarded at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ music has been performed at numerous international festivals including Klangspuren in Austria, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, Tenso Days in France, the Haarlem Choir Biennale and Cello Biennale Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Latvian Song and Dance Festival and International Sacred Music Festival in Latvia, the World Choir Games, IFCM World Symposium on Choral Music, the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Music Festival, and Voices Now in the UK, Grant Park Music Festival, the ACDA National and Regional Conferences, and Spoleto Festival in the US, and The Singing Network in Canada. He was commissioned for Latvia’s centenary celebrations on the 2018 Proclamation Day and for the 2013 National Remembrance Day of the Netherlands.

Ēriks Ešenvalds is a popular public speaker, which he often combines with leading workshops on his music. At the 2014 World Choir Games held in Riga, he composed the Games anthem, gave a major presentation on his work, acted on competition juries, and had a large-scale production premiered by the Latvian Voices and The King’s Singers. The 2015 ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City premiered his Whispers on the Prairie Wind, where he also gave a presentation on his music, and took part in a composer roundtable forum. He was a speaker at the 2017 IFCM World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, the 2018 Chorus America Conference in Chicago, the 2018 Choral Canada Podium Conference & Festival and 2018 and 2015 Singing Network International Symposium in St John’s, Canada, Choral Connect 2017 in Auckland, and at IAML 2017, the 66th annual congress of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres in Riga. He served as a jury member at the 2018 International Baltic Sea Choir Competition in Jūrmala, the 2019 and 2017 Musica Sacra Nova International Composers Competition under the patronage of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, the 2017 Cantat International Choral Festival and Symposium in Manado, Indonesia, and the 2016 Rimini International Choral Competition.

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ compositions appear on many recordings released by labels such as Decca Classics, Delphian, Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, Naxos, Ondine, Pentatone, and Signum. To date, ten recordings are devoted exclusively to his work: Northern Lights from Trinity College Choir Cambridge (Gramophone Award Shortlist and Critics’ Choice, ICI Radio-Canada Best Albums Selection), Passion and Resurrection from Polyphony with Britten Sinfonia, St Luke Passion from the Latvian Radio Choir and Sinfonietta Riga (Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Opera News Critic’s Choice), Translations (Gramophone’s Critics’ Choice and Editor’s Choice) and The Doors of Heaven (Gramophone Editor’s Choice) from Portland State Chamber Choir, There Will Come Soft Rains by Choir of the West at Pacific Lutheran University (Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice), From the Dim and Distant Past and At the Foot of the Sky from State Choir Latvija (Best Latvian Classical Album of the Year), O Salutaris from Youth Choir Kamēr… (Best Latvian Classical Album of the Year), and most recently the compilation Latvian Radio Archive: Ēriks Ešenvalds. His work Earth Teach Me Quiet recorded live by The Crossing on their Grammy-nominated album Rising w/ The Crossing was selected amongst The New York Times 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2020.

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ recent large-scale premieres include Lakes Awake at Dawn for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Pleiades for the Grant Park Music Festival Chicago, A Shadow for the BBC Proms, Dreams Under Your Feet for the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Whispers on the Prairie Wind for the Utah Symphony and Utah Chamber Artists, St Luke Passion for the Latvian Radio Choir and Sinfonietta Riga, and Visions of Arctic: Sea for the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra. His full-scale opera The Immured was premiered at the Latvian National Opera in 2016 to great acclaim. 2018 saw the premiere of his second major multimedia symphony based on volcanoes. Nordic Light, his first multimedia symphony on the natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis, was performed in the US, Canada, and Germany, and is the subject of the documentary film Nordic Light: A Composer’s Diary, which follows the composer on his expeditions to the Arctic region.

Ēriks Ešenvalds’ premieres this season include commissions from the ‘Lietuva’ ensemble Lithuania, Musica Viva Australia, Christ Church Houston, and others. He will travel to the USA, Japan, and many European countries to work with choirs both as composer and conductor.

Edition Peters Artist Management is managing Ēriks Ešenvalds’ commissions and workshop schedule. Ēriks Ešenvalds is published by Musica Baltica in global partnership with Edition Peters.

www.eriksesenvalds.com

Jean Sibelius, composer

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, née Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was born on December 8th, 1865 in Hämeenlinna (Swedish: Tavastehus) in the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. He was the son of the Swedish-speaking medical doctor Christian Gustaf Sibelius and Maria Charlotta Sibelius (née Borg).

His father passed away when Sibelius was young so his family moved into the home of his maternal grandmother. Sibelius’ uncle, Pehr Ferdinand Sibelius, who was interested in music, gave the boy a violin when he was ten years old and later encouraged him to maintain his interest in composition.

Sibelius spent many of his childhood summers wandering around the countryside. His strong love of nature shines through in many of his compositions. His family moved to Loviisa on the coast for the summer months. In his own words: “For me, Loviisa represented sun and happiness. Hämeenlinna was where I went to school; Loviisa was freedom.”

After graduating from high school in 1885, Sibelius began to study law at the Imperial Alexander University in Finland but, showing far more interest in music, soon moved to the Helsinki Music Institute (now the Sibelius Academy) where he studied from 1885 to 1889.

Initially, Sibelius wanted to be a violinist,

My tragedy was that I wanted to be a celebrated violinist at any price. Since the age of 15 I played my violin practically from morning to night. I hated pen and ink—unfortunately I preferred an elegant violin bow. My love for the violin lasted quite long and it was a very painful awakening when I had to admit that I had begun my training for the exacting career of a virtuoso too late.

He came to realize that his strengths lay in composition. One of his teachers, Martin Wegelius, gave the self-taught Sibelius his first formal lessons in composition. Sibelius continued his studies in Berlin (from 1889 to 1890) with Albert Becker, and in Vienna (from 1890 to 1891) with Robert Fuchs and the Hungarian-Jewish Karl Goldmark. In Berlin, he had the opportunity to widen his musical experience by going to a variety of concerts and operas, including the premiere of Richard Strauss’s Don Juan.

While Sibelius was studying music in Helsinki in the autumn of 1888, Armas Järnefelt, a friend from the Music Institute, invited him to the family home. There he met and immediately fell in love with Aino, the 17-year-old daughter of General Alexander Järnefelt, the governor of Vaasa, and Elisabeth Clodt von Jürgensburg, a Baltic aristocrat.

When Sibelius completed his studies, he married Aisno in June 1892 at Maxmo. They spent their honeymoon in Karelia, the home of the Kalevala. It served as an inspiration for Sibelius’s tone poem En saga, the Lemminkäinen legends and the Karelia Suite.  Their home, Ainola, was completed on Lake Tuusula, Järvenpää, in 1903. During the years at Ainola, they had six daughters: Eva, Ruth, Kirsti (who died aged one from typhoid), Katarina, Margareta and Heidi.

He began premiering his orchestral works in 1892 with Kullervo. It was described by Juho Ranta who sang in the choir as, “Finnish music.” Thus began a long career of creating works that encapsulated Finnish music.

On the evening of 20 September 1957, Sibelius died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 91. At the time of his death, his Fifth Symphony, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent, was being broadcast by radio from Helsinki. At the same time, the United Nations General Assembly was in session, and the then President of the Assembly, Sir Leslie Munro of New Zealand, called for a moment of silence and delivered a eulogy: “Sibelius belonged to the whole world. He enriched the life of the entire human race with his music”. Sibelius was honoured with a state funeral and is buried in the garden at Ainola.

Nordic Light Ēriks’ Story

Ēriks Story

My spiritual flight towards the far-northern latitudes grew out of an instinct for everything unpredictable and a sensation in my fingertips: it was in 2011 that I began to think of the Northern Lights. I was fascinated by their dimensions, the versatility of their colours and the forms and the mystical legends rooted in Northern folklore (including folksongs). I remember the night we met for the first time in the snow-clad meadow of Northern Norway – the aurora polaris flared up, and, no matter how hard they tried, my eyes could not grasp the splendour in its totality. Looking at the sky, I fell backwards into the snow and could not help making a snow angel. Then I whistled and hummed the Latvian folksong on the artic lights. The tears of Ešenvalds, an adult man, were full of a child’s joy and amazingly sincere. It was then – during the seemingly endless eight hours of night that this multimedia symphony was born.

I was looking for the most ancient evidence; I read almost 150 books at the libraries of Cambridge and Tromsø Universities – on the meeting of the solar wind and the outermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. I interviewed the leading Norwegian researchers of aurora polaris: Asgeir Brekke and Truls Lynne Hansen; in Greenland – the experienced Inuit actress Makka Kleist; in Alaska – the American composer John Luther Adams; in Tromsø – the expert in Scandinavian folklore Ola Graff.

Having found the legends, I decided to find the storytellers. Together with the experienced film-makers Renārs Vimba and Dainis Juraga, we went to explore the magnificence of Lapland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Alaska; back in Rīga we made records of the stories told by Latvians Estonian, Finns, Karelians, and Yakuts.

I spent four years with the Northern Lights: it might seem like an obsession, but it wasn’t. It was an amazing chance to discover and record the unique heritage of the Northern Lights, which one can only find in nations living next door to the aurora borealis for generations.

The symphony itself needs the aurora borealis! I am grateful to photographer Kjetil Skogli for his kind response – he introduced me to the mysteries of the aurora borealis and granted his videos to the symphony.

I thank all the supporters of the Northern Lights project: especially the Latvians in Canada, the USA, Australia and Great Britain who lent a helping hand in the very beginning. Thank you, Renārs and Dainis, for all our ideas, deeds and mischief! Thank you, Māris Ošlejs, for being so trusting!

Composer Ēriks Ešenvalds

 

Project Supporters.

We thank the people and organizations for supporting the NORDIC LIGHT project:

Gunta Reynolde, DAUGAVAS VANAGI AND VANADZES, the Latvian Relief Society of Canada, Toronto Branch
Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Latvian sorority Spīdola, Canada
Nordea Bank AB Latvia branch
Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation, Canada
United States Embassy in Latvia
Nordic-Baltic Mobility Program
Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia
Solvita Sējāne and Lilija Zobens, Musica Baltica
Māris Dižgalvis, SIA Inducont
airBaltic
Lilita Daenke, Adelaide Latvians’ mixed choir DZIESMU LAIVA, Australia
Ināra and Ziedonis Āboliņš, mixed choir Straumēni, UK
Dace Aperāne, Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, USA

Taketo and Vija Muratas, Canada
Graham and Anita Andersons, Australia
Līga and Edgars Ružas, Latvia
Anita and Ivars Gaides, Canada
Inese Auziņa-Smita, UK
Laura Alders, Canada
Gunta Plostniece, USA
Sarah Bijons, Canada
Anonymous

Ola Graff and Marit Anne Hauan, Tromsø University Museum, Norway
Asgeir Brekke, Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, Norway
Turls Lynne Hansen, Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, University of Tromsø, Norway
Robin Tyson, Edition Peters Artist Management, UK
Ginta Tropa, Cultural Advicer, Office of Nordic Council of Ministers in Latvia
Dace Bluķe, Latvian Composer’s Union
Julia Pars, Culture Centre KATUAQ, Nuuk, Greenland
Þórður Tómasson, Skógar Museum, Iceland
Makka Kleist, actress, Greenland
Sigurður Ægisson, etnologist, Iceland
Paul Krejci and Maya Salganek, University of Alaska Musem of the North
Patuk Glenn and Sarah A.Skin, Iñupiat Heritage Center, Barrow, Alaska
Mariah Johnson and Scott Allen, Qutekcak Native Tribe, Seward, Alaska
Māris Ošlejs, State Choir LATVIJA
Uldis Lipskis, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra

Join us at the Hub

The concert ends, you exit TCU Place, and you’re still brimming with excitement after such a fabulous evening. Where to next?

Cross the street and join us over at the Hub at Holiday Inn!

It’s the perfect place to grab a post-concert drink, and snack, alongside fellow SSO patrons, musicians, and the feature guest artists.

We have complimentary appetizers on a first come first-serve basis!

 

What’s happening at the Bassment

The Bassment is one of Canada’s premier jazz clubs and provides musicians of all skill levels a venue to showcase their talents in front of a live audience while accessing a variety of professional, concert-grade instruments. The club offers an intimate, personal concert space with a world-class stage for local, national, and international artists.

Here’s a sample of what’s happening next at The Bassment

Creedence Clearwater Revival Revisited featuring Ross Neilsen
Friday, February 2

ROCKIN’ ROOTS SERIES • DOORS @ 7:30PM • SHOW@ 8:30PM

www.rossneilsen.com

With over two decades of experience in the music business, Ross Neilsen has played on stages from Montreal to Mexico, all the while acquiring a handsome list of industry accolades. Most comfortable settled in behind a mic performing his own compositions, as well as tunes by some of his favourite songwriters, Ross’ million miles of travel and thousands of performances give him the confidence to feel right at home whenever and wherever he plugs in.

Ross revisits the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival during a night that celebrates the music of one of the greatest bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s. With 14 consecutive Top 10 ten singles, five Top 10 albums, and a performance at the original Woodstock, CCR’s music has stood the test of time and remains as relevant as ever. Ross is joined by Fabian Minnema (guitar), Chris Mason (bass), and Lucas Goetz (drums).

Sponsored by Wright Construction

Buy Tickets

The B .C. Read Big Band
Friday, February 9

 

BLUES SERIES • DOORS @7:30 • SHOW@8:30PM

www.bcread.com

Possessing a soulful blues rasp and a bag full of great blues tunes, home-town legend B.C. Read has been preaching the gospel of Howlin’ Wolf, B.B King, and Muddy Waters to audiences all over Western Canada for 40 years. Returning to play his annual mid-winter gig at The Bassment, B.C. has lined up his favourite musicians to perform a night of blues classics and originals.

Sponsored by David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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The Slocan Ramblers
Sunday, February 11

 

BLUEGRASS SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • RUSH SEATING

www.slocanramblers.com

The reigning champions of Canadian bluegrass, the Slocan Ramblers are back showcasing their unique blend of bluegrass, old-time, and folk. The band’s set list is marked by thoughtful songwriting, lightning fast-instrumentals, and sawdust-thick vocals.

This show will feature the Ramblers at the top of their game playing selections from their three previous releases and their latest album, Up the Hill and Through the Fog. Say hello to your new favourite band!

Sponsored by Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Society

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Oral Fuentes Reggae Band
Friday, February 16

 

WORLD MUSIC SERIES • DOORS @ 7:30PM • SHOW@ 8:30PM

Oral Fuentes’ musical journey began in his home country of Belize, where he played for many local and national events in the popular Belizean group, Caribbean Jam. Oral and his 9-piece Saskatoon band play an infectious set list of original tunes fusing Reggae and Afro/Latin. Joining Oral are Lucianus Best (keyboards), Dave Nelson (trumpet), Mike Kereiff (trumpet), Claire Anderson (trumpet), Joseph Ashong (percussion), Zender Millar (bass), and Rocky Delis (drums).

Sponsored by David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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60 Years of Summer Players: A Musical Theatre Showcase
Saturday, February 17

 

JAZZ SINGER SERIES • DOORS @6:300 • SHOW@ 7:300

www.saskatoonsummerplayers.ca

Embark on a musical journey that looks back on the past 60 years of Saskatoon Summer Players, as well as into where we hope to go next. This extraordinary event promises a show filled with nostalgia, talent, and the magic of musical theatre. Directed by Matt Olson, our cast features a stellar lineup of performers, both seasoned veterans and rising stars, who bring along their talents and passion for performance as we relive iconic moments, beloved characters, and show-stopping numbers that have left an indelible mark on Saskatoon Summer Players’ illustrious history. Get ready to laugh, cry, and cheer for 60 years of spectacular performances!

Presented by Saskatoon Summer Players and The Saskatoon Jazz Society

Sponsored by David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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Super Chikan and Steve Marriner
Friday, February 23

 

James “Super Chikan” Johnson is the real deal! Based in Clarksdale Mississippi, he builds many of his own guitars. Backed by The Mojo Stars,  Super Chikan brings us an evening of high-energy blues.

Steve needs no introduction. He’s been knocking out audiences for years, on his own and with Monkeyjunk. We are lucky to be featuring Steve for the first time with his own band “Local Electric”.

Presented by the Saskatoon Blues Society

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Andrew Balfour, composer

Balfour is an accomplished artist and is also known for his beautiful choral works. It is no wonder that he also composes for strings in a way that often reminds us of the human voice.

Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including Take the Indian (a vocal reflection on missing children), Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis RielBawajigaywin (Vision Quest) and Manitou Sky, an orchestral tone poem. His new Indigenous opera, Mishaboozʼs Realm, was commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop.

Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the vocal group Camerata Nova, now in its 22nd year of offering a concert series in Winnipeg. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with Indigenous subject matter. These innovative offerings explore a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and in inner-city Winnipeg schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Winnipeg school divisions.

In 2007 Andrew received the Mayor of Winnipegʼs Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City.