Summer programming with the Saskatchewan Band Association

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A Saskatchewan group whose colours aren’t green and white? Impossible. Saskatchewan Band Association

Information from their program coordinator on their summer events

I had the opportunity to sit down with program coordinator Robin Tinani from the Saskatchewan Band Association (SBA) to find out what this local non-profit organization is working on for the summer months.

            The SBA was established in 1983 and are dedicated to the development and promotion of band music throughout the province of Saskatchewan. They are open to any individual, group, or organization who is interested in furthering the development of bands in the province. The Association represents a variety of groups including community and school bands, the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association, directors and educators, parent associations, students, and educational institutions.

            Tinani expressed a deep love for music in Saskatchewan. Raised in Regina, she left to pursue an undergraduate degree in Brandon, Manitoba before returning to Regina to complete a Master’s in Music Performance at the University of Regina. She first got involved with the SBA through their camps and other programs prior to becoming an employee with the association. Beginning in fall 2019 she was a part of the initial five-year plan to provide digital content to all of Saskatchewan. She expressed that “this plan’s timeline was quickly sped up with the arrival of the pandemic, turning it from a five-year plan into a five-month plan.”

            During summer 2022, the SBA is focused on the return of live music to Saskatchewan residents and the enjoyment that can be felt from the experience. They have organized an event series called Band in the Park, which has taken place in Yorkton, Saskatoon, and Regina in June and July, with future events set in August. All are welcome to attend and enjoy the music for free, and musicians of all ages and skill levels are welcome to bring their instruments and play as well. It is requested that you RSVP on their website if you intend to come play and that you bring copies of the sheet music which they have available for printing. Tinani assured me that “all of the information and RSVP information can be found on the SBA’s website.” You can enjoy this communal expression and enjoyment of music August 2 in Moose Jaw at Crescent Park Amphitheatre, August 16 in Regina at Rochdale Park, August 23 in Saskatoon at Rotary Park, and August 23 in Yorkton at the Historic Flour Mill. All events start at 6:30 PM.

            For those with younger students in elementary and high school, they also offer a variety of camps that they have been fortunate enough to run. July 3 to July 8, they held their Jazz Camp at the University of Regina. Following, they have three orchestral band camps that are taking place in Yorkton, Regina, and Saskatoon. “We have been fortunate enough to work with band directors across the province to run and organize these camps,” says Tinani.

            When asking Tinani why she believes it’s important for people to play and experience live music, she spoke of a few points indicating the importance it plays for everyone. “The Arts is what sustains us. It’s what saved us during lockdown, the hours of music that was consumed was very noticeable. However, nothing beats sitting down and feeling the music.” Being in the same room as the performers has a different impact on the consumer than sitting in a room listening to the same song through headphones. “Without elementary band there would be no Toronto symphony,” she expressed as she explained that it is becoming harder to offer band because of the pandemic, with enrolment numbers falling due to the online delivery.

            For those who are wanting to play music but are not sure where to start, she has pointed to a few options that the SBA provides and promotes. “Those who are wanting to continue playing have access to bands in their community, there is a community band in most Saskatchewan communities.” These groups and their performances are promoted on the SBA website, allowing locals to get into contact with them easier. “If you are wanting to learn an instrument for the first time, or a new instrument, the SBA offered options for how to learn any band instrument.” The association offers private and group lessons where you can have your lessons with another student of a similar skill level. “For those wanting to try lessons there is information on our website or they can email us at lessons@saskband.org.”

To see what the SBA is up to in the Fall, more information will be made available on their website. If you are wanting more information about the association, you can reach out to them through email at info@saskband.org. This local non-profit is working hard to spread the joy of music in Saskatchewan and are very appreciative of any support and encouragement that the community expresses.

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