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Band Camp Highlights

Special Thanks & Recognition

SBA Band Camps are successful because of the care, support and dedication of many individuals, community groups and organizations. For example, families with campers in the Yorkton area are aware of the great support provided by the Yorkton Band Boosters year after year.

 Creative Kids, Long & McQuade and many others have helped to make the summer a success for over 450 Saskatchewan youth.  

Thank you to the wonderful facilities that host our yearly camps.  The University of Regina, The University of Saskatchewan, Yorkton Regional High School in Yorkton and the Boys and Girls Camp of Kenosee. All first rate facilities that allow the camps to run smoothly.

Thank you to everyone who has helped, your support of Band is appreciated!

Regina Band Camp

This year at Regina Band Camp we had a total of 167 young musicians from across the province come to camp at the University of Regina this year. Students had the opportunity to work with some of the top music educators in our province.  The camp hosted youth from grades 6 – 12 participating in 3 different bands according to their age and experience level. It was an incredible week filled with enormous amounts of improvement, teamwork, and games! Participants had the opportunity to experience private lessons, theory classes, faculty recitals, full band, several different options classes, jazz band, sectionals, ensembles, masterclasses.  Students also had some fun night activities including the band Olympics, IPSCO Park BBQ, bowling, a dance, and a movie night. Students also had the options to pick from different classes they could take through the week. Some of those included Conducting, How to Improvise, Rubber Chicken Jeopardy, How to Audition and Music History. Students got an abundance of experiences and learning opportunities that they normally wouldn’t experience in their own band programs. With one week at camp, it’s equivalent to 3-4 months of normal instructional time in their normal band program. When they come to band camp, we hope to provide a positive learning environment for students to feel confident to take chances and be open to learning new things.

Students had the opportunity to work and listen to our outstanding camp staff this year. A highlight for many was the faculty recital. They were able to learn from experienced musicians but also the opportunity to hear them play sparked inspiration. This year we had two amazing conductors; Nick Fanner (A Band and Jazz band) and Andrew Whal (B Band and C Band). With their constant support of students ended the week in a fantastic concert. The camp finished with two concerts. We had one small ensemble concert where participants got to showcase their fun pieces. It was definitely a fun concert, with students showcasing their terrific amounts of improvement over the week. It was definitely a highlight for parents and participants to see their friends and family having fun with music and doing something a little different than what they would usually experience in their band programs at home!  The full band final concert included performances by all of the bands, but also included performances by some of the ensembles.   

From the first rehearsal to the last, the students improved profoundly. The camp staff and the SBA are so proud of the students this week, and we all hope to see everyone again next year! 

Yorkton Band Camp

The Yorkton band camp was the second one of the incredible season! We had fifty four talented young musicians join us for a week filled with fun games and learning from Yorkton and surrounding areas. These young musicians had the opportunity to work with our brilliant instructors who provided them with an abundance of new advice and practice tips that every one of our musicians will be able to take back to their own band programs and use. Each student also got to play in a small ensembles throughout the week. We had some classic pieces and even some not so classic pieces like the Tetris theme and even the theme from Star Wars that was played by the Select Ensemble made of our advanced players. We were even lucky enough to showcase our percussion ensemble who created their own composition only using a pair of drumsticks and plastic garbage cans. They wowed the audience with a common rhythm and melody of We Will Rock You getting the audience to sing and stomp along.

The music and games weren’t the only highlights of the week. At the beginning of the week, we introduced a shoutout board where the students could write a shoutout to anyone who had done something for them or shown kindness to them or had done them a favor. By the end of the week, everyone had a shoutout of some kind. Before the students went to their first session in the morning they would all gather and do the “Band Camp Cheer” which was just them putting their fists into the circle and throwing their fists in the air while saying “Band Camp!”

During the day, there were fun games like rainbow tag or the clapping game where the kids got to work together to win. The night activities we had were bowling, swimming and even had our own movie night. The kids bonded at these activities and throughout the week all got to know each other.

Thanks to all our staff, volunteers and most importantly the young musicians who all came out for such an incredible week. We hope to see you at band camp next year!

Here is what some of the students thought of the week!

  • "My favourite part of camp is meeting new people, learning new notes, full band, ensembles, learning new songs and the "Band Fam" cheer!
  • "This is my last year at this camp, and I had a blast! I look forward to using the skills I learned here in high school."
  • I loved my experience at camp and hope to do more next year to! The people here are so nice and the time I had was amazing."
  • I had such a good time. Thank you so much for putting it on. And thank you to my sectional leader, they were the best!

Prairielands Jazz Camp

The Prairielands Jazz Camp made for an amazing start to the 2019 Band Camp Season! We had 71 fantastic young musicians from around the province join us for an awesome week of learning and music making with our sensational line up of nationally acclaimed instructors, featuring both new and familiar faces. Throughout the week, the participants were able to experience the jazz style in a variety of different settings in big bands, combos, instrument masterclasses and sectionals, and jazz theory and methods classes. This year, students particularly enjoyed the guided listening. Each day, one of the instructors would play a couple of recordings and would explain them and discuss them with the participants, almost like on a radio show. On Wednesday, the participants enjoyed a little bit of recreation as we sent them running around the university in teams on a “selfie scavenger hunt.” Check out some of their awesome photos in the slideshow!

Just like last year, our faculty combo put on two exceptional concerts on Tuesday and on Thursday and they were a sight to behold. Many of the students and their families took advantage of coming to listen to these high-caliber performances and filled up the Shu-Box both nights. The participants had their own time to shine in their combo concert on Friday and their big band concert on Saturday. During the combo concert, all the students had the opportunity to show what they learned throughout the week in jazz methods by improvising a solo. The Monster Combo, which is comprised of about 20 front liner students with the faculty rhythm section, really stood out as a highlight at this year’s concert. Many of the students in this combo had little to no jazz experience prior to camp, and this was their first time improvising in front of a live audience. They played so well!

Saturday morning’s big band concert was no less spectacular than the combo concert the night before and capped off an excellent week at camp.  The Green Band, directed by Mr. Nick Fanner, kick off the show with some fun tunes and some jazz standards including Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and Benny Golson’s “I Remember Clifford.” The Orange Band, directed by Ms. Cheryl Ferguson, kept the good times rolling with their awesome selection of tunes. The highlight of their set was their performance of Dizzy Gillespie and Luciano Puzo Gonzales’s “Soul Sauce” which featured a call and response section where nearly every musician improvised a short 2 bar solo and everyone else improvised a 2 bar response. The concert was brought to a sensational finale by the Red Band and their director, Mr. Kevin Willms. They brought us on a journey through jazz history and ended the night with a very fun Latin jazz piece called “Los Brujos de Cisano” by featured many amazing student soloists.

Thanks so much to all of our staff and students for such a great week. We had a great time this year, and we hope to see you back at camp next summer!

Here is what some of the participants had to say about camp!

"I don't think my life will ever be the same as it was before this camp ever again!"

"Thank you for making me a better musician and person in only six days!"

"The staff were super talented! I'm glad I could train with them!"

"The staff was awesome!"

What did you like best about camp?

"How well the instructors were able to relate these concepts to our level of playing."

"In my opinion, the best thing about camp was listening to the finished products. The songs were fantastic, and I loved the energy that people put into their playing."

Why did you come to camp?

"Because this is pretty much the only time of year that I learn, and I look forward to seeing my favourite faculty members, especially if they are from far away."

"Because it is really fun and a great opportunity to get better."

Saskatchewan Band Association


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