On February 2nd, 2013 the Manitoba Millennium Band* hosted a skills development workshop for adult community band members at River East Collegiate in Winnipeg. Sponsors for this event were Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, the Manitoba Band Association, and Long and McQuade. Our Guest Conductor for the day was Connie Turner from the University of Manitoba, and four guest clinicians provided their expertise for skills development: Julie Husband (woodwinds), Janice Finlay (saxophone), Blaine Workman (trumpet/French horn), and Graham Bruce (trombone, low brass and percussion). 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 forty-five workshop participants represented community bands from across Manitoba, including bands from Winnipeg (Northwinds, Westwood, German Club, Assiniboine, New Horizons, and Rupertsland Brass), Brandon, Pinawa (Eastman Band), and Thompson. The goal of the workshop was to provide a fun-filled learning experience and our participants wholeheartedly agreed it was a success. During full band rehearsals and sectionals we explored five selections covering various styles and techniques. The score for Wade in the Water (arr. Michael Story), was generously donated by Long and McQuade. Fanfare for the Unsung Hero (Matt Conaway) and Moore Street Rag (Steve Hodges) were borrowed from the Pembina Trails School Division, and Highlights from Les Miserables (arr. Johnnie Vinson) and Yellow Mountains (Jacob de Haan), were borrowed from Elmwood High School. At the end of the day Guest Conductor Connie directed the band in a mock concert, and the performance was 5-star!
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!
And thanks to River East Collegiate Principal Jim Beveridge and Band Director Jeff Kula
for their encouragement and continuing support