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This is the YouTube video I was talking about two weeks ago at rehearsal.  This piece is usually performed by two people and it is amazing to see it done by a single person! Also, I’ve added the Koppel Marimba Concerto to the repertoire videos (see tab above)

As we’d discussed when Eric Paetkau was visiting us at rehearsal, he would like you to write in bard numbers for Peer Gynt.  Please write in the bar number at the beginning of each line.  In order to help check your counting, I’m listing here the total number of bars for each movement.  Please note that although we performed the fourth movement of the first suite in our concert, we will not be playing it with the SSO


First Suite

First mvt. 87 bars

Second mvt. 45 bars

Third mvt. 91 bars (N.B. the first and second ending together count as a single bar)

Second Suite

First mvt. 82 bars

Third mvt. 192 bars

Fourth mvt. 76 bars

Hi Chamber Orchestra,

Thank you for a great first rehearsal last night.  I’ll say again that I was very impressed with the level of preparation.  It’s going to be a great concert.  Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

**All rehearsals are in Quance**

Wed Jan 6th: 5:45-7:15 Prokofiev, Break, 7:30-8 Handel, 8-8:30 Mozart

Fri Jan 8th: 5:45-7:15 Prokofiev, Break, 7:30-8 Handel, 8-8:30 Mozart

Sat Jan 9th: 2-2:10 Handel, 2:10-2:25 Mozart, 2:25-4:45 Prokofiev (with a break somewhere in the middle of the Prokofiev)

Concert is January 9th at 7pm.  


Sistema Saskatoon

Sistema Saskatoon is a program that offers free group music lessons in an after school program at Vincent Massey Community School.  The program aims to make music available to everyone, including kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in music due to financial constraints.  The SYO and Sistema Saskatoon have collaborated in the past to offer SYO players the opportunity to be mentored in teaching and come into to the SIstema classroom to get teaching experience.  We are doing the same thing again this year.  How this would work is that an interested player would come to one of two mentor workshops on October 18th or Oct 25th from 3:30pm-5:30pm at the UofS (before SYO rehearsal).  You would then come join us in teaching in the classroom on October 26th from 3:30pm-5pm and October 28th from 2:30pm-5.  Anyone interested should email me at  We are looking for people to commit by October 11th so we know how many people to expect.  More information about SIstema Saskatoon is available at

Community Concert

The SYO is playing a community concert on October 28th at 5pm at Vincent Massey Community School.  All SYO players are expected to play.  We will play the repertoire from our Rosthern Retreat (Peer Gynt Suite 1 movements 2 and 4 and movements 3,4, and 5 from Star Wars.  This concert will be for an enthusiastic audience of young musicians from Sistema Saskatoon (see above).  I’ve told the kids we will be performing for that we are going to be playing music from Star Wars and I can anticipate that we will be given a rock stars’ welcome!

Chamber Orchestra

We will be having a chamber orchestra project in January.  Later this week, Paul will be emailing players who will be asked to confirm their availability to participate.  The commitment deadline for participation will be October 18th (n.b. this is later than the initial date published in the schedule)

Concerto Competition

The sign up deadline form the SYO Concerto Competition is on Nov 1 with the actual competition taking pale on Nov 23rd at 6pm.  This is open to all SYO players.  Any work for solo instrument and orchestra is admissible.  For the competition you must perform with piano  (you must provide your own accompanist) and the duration of your performance must not exceed 10 minutes.  For the player who wins, they will play with the orchestra in the spring semester of this season.  The actual work can be longer than 10 minutes and if it is a multiple movement work the winner and I will discuss how much of the piece we can perform.  Please note that I highly recommend that you discuss with me your repertoire choice so we can determine if it is appropriate for the SYO.  Please make arrangements ASAP with your accompanist.  Except for very rare circumstances, you must perform at the time you are assigned after the sign up deadline.  Please note that you must provide a copy of the piano score at the competition.

The following is what we will work on in Rosthern:

Star Wars (all movements but only performing 1st,3rd,4th and 5th)

Peer Gynt Suite No 1 (2nd mvt strings only, 4th mvt)

Mothership (we will rehearse but not perform)

Pieces with choir that will be distributed at Rosthern

Hi Everyone

Thank you for a great first rehearsal.  If that’s how the beginning of the season sounds I can’t wait to hear what we’ll have ready for our concerts.  Please be sure to check the tab above for all of the material that we will work on at our next rehearsal.  Also, here’s that video with Leonard Bernstein that was brought up at rehearsal:

Hello SYO Players

Welcome to the 2015-2016 season.  This blog is updated weekly during the year.  You can see YouTube videos of all of our repertoire (see tab above) and also get information about music, including specific sections, that we will work on in the coming week (see the other tab above).  Please try to check in weekly to see what we will work on in the coming week.  I update the blog every Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to a great season!

Just a reminder that we will have a meeting after rehearsal to discuss player ideas for repertoire for next season.  I hope to see you there.  This will also be the Gala dress rehearsal.  Have a look at the rehearsal plan (see tab above) for the repertoire

For those in conducting class, please analyze the chords in the horns at letter G in the Tchaikovsky (first 9 bars of G only). The score is available here:

Hello All

Thanks for a great first rehearsal last week. I forgot to mention that each week on Tuesday I will post a list of what we will work on the following week. Look for that in the next rehearsal tab above.

There is also an interesting video I would like to share with you. It’s from a TED Talk by KAthryn Schulz. Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility. There are many applications to this idea as musicians. I hope you enjoy!