I’m happy to share some information about a great music festival happening this weekend that I will be performing in.
The Strata Festival of New Music will take place June 9-11 at Convocation Hall (University of Saskatchewan), PAVED Arts, and the Saskatoon Symphony Office. Hosted by Saskatchewan composers Paul Suchan and Darren Miller, this festival promotes new compositions by Canadian composers (with a focus on Saskatchewan) and fosters musical development through the coordination of educational workshops. This year’s festival features three concerts, each one featuring a different musical theme and performing forces. In addition, three sessions will take place on the weekend, including a lecture from Saskatoon’s Kerry-Anne Kutz on Canadian Art Song and two composer workshops by the festival’s guest composer Barbara Croall. Here are more details on each individual concert:
Concert 1 – Little Opera on the Prairie and Kerry-Anne Kutz
Friday, June 9 2017
Convocation Hall, University of Saskatchewan
Admission: $10 ($25 for a weekend pass)
The first half of this concert will feature Kerry-Anne Kutz and Naomi Suchan performing a selection of Canadian Art Song. The second half of the concert will feature three newly-composed miniature operas by Saskatchewan composer Steve Leidal (Regina), Alex Loewen (Saskatoon), and Kendra Harder (Saskatoon). In conjunction with Little Opera on the Prairie (LOOP) and artistic director Anastasia Winterhalt, these operas each contain two characters accompanied by piano and wind chamber ensemble. I will performing saxophone in the chamber ensemble for this concert. I highly recommend checking this concert out – the singers sound incredible and the chamber ensemble features some of the best performers in Saskatoon!
Concert 2 – Pint-Sized Miniatures for Percussion
Saturday, June 10 2017
PAVED Arts, 424 20th Street West
This concert is designed to be more of a casual get-together with beer from Paddockwood brewery and a selection of short percussion pieces throughout the evening. I will be performing a piece with Brett Graham for vibraphone and saxophone that Brett composed. I’ve come up with a unique way to justify my participation in the percussion concert: I will create a rhythm track on my looper pedal built up from percussive sounds from my saxophone. Don’t forget to bring cash for beer!
Concert 3 – Barbara Croall with the Strata Ensemble
Sunday, June 11 2017
Saskatoon Symphony Office, 408 20th Street West
The final concert of the festival features guest composer and performer Barbara Croall. You can find out more about her on her website – she is Odawa First Nations and her music is strongly influenced by her culture and educational background in Ontario and Germany. Other featured composers are Saskatoon’s Monte Keene Pishny-Floyd and Janet Gieck. The Strata Ensemble is the festival’s resident chamber ensemble including many of Saskatoon’s core symphony members. This will be an awesome concert to check out if you’re looking for a more traditional classical environment but an inspiring and diverse listening experience.
Please click here to check out the Strata Festival’s website for more information about Sask New Music and the Strata Festival. Don’t forget about the composer workshops happening Saturday afternoon! The full schedule for the weekend can be found on the festival website.
Hope to see you out this weekend!