#MusicMonday Festival Edition!


Of course music is always in season but summer seems to be the time for many music festivals. Strata Festival is presented by Sask New Music. It prioritizes Canadian composers and performers and is very affordable. 

Coming up next weekend is the 10th anniversary for Ritornello Chamber Music Festival. This festival not only has local talent but also musicians from far and wide. Check out the option for weekend passes!

There really is nothing like experiencing live music and to experience the first performance of a piece ever! Come out and see wonderful musicians in action. Let us know about other concerts coming up in the comments.

Supporting Musicians and Other Artists

So many times when we hear the phrase "support your local...." we think of monetary support and that support being a one way transaction. Yes, money is a wonderful and greatly appreciated way to support musicians and artists but not the only way. I am not suggesting that you ask artists to do their work for "Exposure" as I hear you can die from exposure.  

Go to Events!

This seems like a no brainer. Musicians get the money from concerts but they also get the statistics! Funding agencies and supporters like to see that the musician has well attended and successful concerts. Not only are you supporting the musician today but helping them in the future. If money is tight there are ways you can snag some free tickets and I'll get into that a little later. I know I know, you just got home and put on your pajamas and would like to just stay home, you'll catch the next one. I promise you will get more out of a live performance than you can get from a recording.


Help spread the word of the activities of musicians. Share their concerts online, in the break room at work and with your friends. Make a point to bring friends and family to events. Offer to take a poster or two for an upcoming concert. You spreading the word carries a lot of weight with your friends.


Here's where you can easily score free tickets to events, just by giving a little time. Offer to take posters to a section of the city to promote an upcoming concert. Take tickets/usher at the event, many events need people to help take money, help people to their seats and hand out programs. If you are interested in lessons you can also trade your service for theirs, just remember that they are professionals at what they do and try to trade something of equal value.


If you are part of a church or organization with an appropriate venue offer to host an event. You might even be able to have a House Party. You can invite the musicians to perform in your home. $10 at the door or tickets online is a great way to have your friends catch up in a very unique experience. 


If you are an artist yourself see if there is a way you can pool your resources. More often than not artists are excited to collaborate. You both benefit from this experience by gaining a new audience. If you are a teacher or part of a community organization you can apply to have an artist in residence! Amazing right? Check out the links for the Saskatchewan Arts Board Grants for Artists in Schools and Artists in Communities. Check into your Arts Board and see if there is a similar program for your area. 


Don't like any of these options? Talk to your artist, find out what they would like or how you can help. Talking to your local, provincial and national government about how much you value the arts goes a long way. Tell your arts board what you value. Tell your friends and family what you value. Tell your artist that you value the work they do. 

If I've missed anything or if you have something to add please post in the comments.


#MusicMonday David Kaplan


Musicians in Saskatchewan will know David L. Kaplan very well. He was an influential figure at the University of Saskatchewan for many years and helped shape the musical community to what it is today. This #musicmonday I'm recommending the autobiography Kaplan: The Well-Tempered Klezmerer written by David L. Kaplan and Darlene Polachic. If you're in Saskatchewan you can get it from the library, check out the link here.

 At our May 16th concert at St. Andrew's Church in Saskatoon Melissa will perform Prayer and Dance for solo clarinet so be sure to check that out!

#MusicMonday Performance Success Book Recommendation

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I think it is safe to say that everyone has experienced performance anxiety at one point or another. If you're looking for some strategies on how to work through your nerves I would recommend starting with Performance Success by Don Greene. The author is a sports psychologist and in this book outlines strategies for you to work through your anxiety. Audition Success by the same author follows performers in their interviews and shows their experiences and breakthroughs. Both books are helpful but everyone is a little different. If you are looking for a way to reflect on your personal experiences with nerves start with Performance Success. 

#MusicMonday Symphony a Listener's Guide


Recently I (Melissa) was asked to give the pre-concert chat for the next Saskatoon Symphony performance. So I pulled out Kevin's copy of The Symphony: A Listener's Guide by Michael Steinberg. This book is a collection of Michael Steinberg's program notes from years of writing for the San Francisco and Boston Symphonies. There are two additional books like this one on choral works and concertos respectively (I'm also using the concerto edition for this talk). This is an awesome springboard to use when beginning research. 

Musicians in Saskatchewan can borrow it from the Saskatoon Public Library here

#MusicMonday John Burke


For the next few #MusicMonday Posts I'll be sharing some more information about the composers of pieces we are currently working on for our next set of concerts. I will start with John Burke the composer of Stealth for bass clarinet and marimba. As I mentioned before Stealth was commissioned for Lori Freedman and Sal Ferreras and if you would like more information on them check out the post from February 19. 

John Burke is an Ontario composer who studied at McGill University, McMaster University, as well as in France. He has taught at McGill, MacMaster as well as University of Victoria and has been awarded numerous commissions. For more details on his biography check out his biography on the Canadian Music Centre website. 

Check out Remember Your Power, a recording of pieces by John Burke through Naxos.

#MusicMonday Technique

Every morning I've been doing my scale exercises. That seems a little obvious for some but everyone has their own routine that works well for them. I've been working with the Baermann Scale Studies for years but finally got a routine that works for me that I can get through all the exercises in a reasonable amount of time. For those unfamiliar with the Baermann (sometimes spelled Baerman) Complete Method for Clarinet the scale section has a good majority of the forms of scales, arpeggios and exercises that you could need. Now I've been practicing sections to make sure I can cover everything including the studies at the back of the book, which until recently has always been too much to cover in one practice session. 

For instance today was G major and e minor day. So I practice all the scales, arpeggios, returning scales etc. in G major and e minor. In addition to those I have divided the octave study, articulation, and triplet studies into 12 manageable chunks so they don't get left out. 

I have divided my practice into what works for me but if you would like some suggestions take a moment to check out what Jennifer Maclay decided to do for her Baermann Bootcamp.

If it is too daunting for you to take on that much technique practice right now check out the Klose Daily Scale book. It condenses scales into smaller exercises. Just like traditional physical exercise the key is to start.