A skills development workshop for Manitoba adult amateur musicians was held at River East Collegiate on February 5th, 2011. It was sponsored by Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, the Manitoba Band Association, and the Manitoba Millennium Band. Three scores were generously donated by Long and McQuade Musical Instruments, and a fourth score was borrowed from the Northwinds Community Band. River East Collegiate offered a large and well-appointed band room, separate classrooms for sectionals, and a multipurpose room for break times and lunch.
Fifty-six participants attended the workshop, representing numerous bands in Manitoba. Many of the participants also play with the Manitoba Millennium Band, the sponsoring organization for the event. The Manitoba Millennium Band is a mass community band that performs mainly during the summer months to extend musical opportunities within Winnipeg and to other Manitoba communities as well.
Seven guest clinicians provided their expertise for skills development, including Art Zuke (euphonium/tuba), Owen Clark (percussion), John Martens (trombone/French horn), Janice Finlay (saxophone), Julie Husband (flute/oboe/bassoon), Corah Enns (clarinet), and Gary Pollard (trumpet). Our guest conductor for the day was Graham Bruce, conductor of the Rupertsland Brass Band. All participants agreed that our guests were experienced educators and dedicated professionals, and noted the variety of new skills they had learned for performance techniques.
The goal of the workshop was to provide a fun-filled learning experience and our participants wholeheartedly agreed it was a success. We started the day with the full group to explore all four musical selections: Country Bandstand (arr. Syler), Beatles Gold (arr. Lavender), O’Whistle and I’ll Come to Ye (arr. Daehn), and The Rowan Tree (arr. Sandrige). Sectionals and another full band rehearsal followed, and the day concluded with the full band performing all selections. We were very pleased to have Tricia Howe from Long and McQuade and Ken Epp from the Manitoba Band Association join us for the final performance.
Participants stated the workshop was very worthwhile and that they had an excellent day. They enjoyed meeting and making music with new people, and were very appreciative of the efforts of the clinicians, conductor, organizers and volunteers. The workshop enhanced musical literacy and acuity for the participants, which in turn will expand the enjoyment of our audiences and broaden the scope and appreciation of community bands in Manitoba.
Many thanks to our sponsors for helping us achieve success!