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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.

In 2018 we received additional funding from the Community Initiatives Fund to help us ensure our camps were accessible to all! 

 Creative Kids, St. John's Music, Yamaha, 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, Sacred Heart 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!

Kenosee Camp Highlights

Music was in the trees at Kenosee Lake as our Band Camp season wrapped up with another resounding success!

Kenosee Lake Band Camp’s 15th anniversary took place in an amazing new location, but it was still full of our favourite things! Throughout the week 84 fantastic young players from across the province filled the air with beautiful songs and spirited dances. There were lots of smiles, lots of laughs, lots of fun, and as always lots of really good food. The musicians participated in full band, sectionals, small ensembles, private lessons, music theory classes and much more. The conductors, Greg McLean and Julie Atter, selected full band music that was a huge hit with the students as many of them felt the music was both challenging and fun.

The superb squad of counselors led the participants in fun and exciting recreation activities every day. The kids enjoyed swimming; games like Sardines, Shuffle Your Buns and Horse, Knight, Rider; and a campfire complete with sing-along. On Tuesday, the campers loaded the buses and went down to the park had a great afternoon of mini-golf with music, dancing, and face paint!

Thursday was concert day and it sure was a treat! The participants put on two fantastic concerts: the first was the morning small ensemble concert by the campers for the campers, and the afternoon full band concert for the listening pleasure of their families. Some stand out performances from the morning ensemble show include the percussionists playing “Plastik Surgery” on big plastic buckets and coolers as well as the clarinets’ performance of a Kenosee Band Camp classic, “Cruella de Vil” featuring a guest appearance from Cruella herself! The full band concert in the afternoon featured three amazing bands: The Blue Band who wowed us with their take on the Looney Tunes classic “That’s All Folks”; The White Band who took us soaring with a fantastic performance of “Into the Clouds”; and finally the Faculty Band, composed of the professional staff and camp counselors, inspired the campers with a fantastic performance of the Newfoundland folksong “Bonavist’ Harbour”.

Thanks to everyone who joined our Kenosee Band Camp Family this year! We hope to see you all back at camp next summer!

Saskatoon Camp Highlights

The Saskatoon Band Camp was once again a spectacular success!

The camp welcomed 105 very talented young musicians to the U of S campus for a fantastic week of playing, learning, and having fun! The participants ranged in age from having just finished grade 5 to having completed their final year of high school and came from 50 schools in 13 communities.

Throughout the week, the participants worked with highly qualified professional staff in a variety of musical settings including full band, sectionals, private lessons, and small ensembles. One particular musical highlight of the camp was the composition classes directed by Paul Suchan. Our young musicians tapped into their creative abilities and worked together under Paul’s direction to come up with inspired musical creations. A couple of the composition groups even performed their masterpieces during Friday morning’s small ensemble concert! The final concert on Friday afternoon was also a big success. The three bands, conducted by Kerry Linsley, Will Martin, and Christa MacBride, put on a fantastic show for everyone who came to listen, playing impressive music and showing significant progress since day one.

During their recreation time, a sure favourite this year was a game called “Norwegian Chairs”. In this game, one person stood in the middle while everyone else sat in chairs making a circle around them. In Norwegian, the person in the middle would ask someone in the circle if they had any sugar, to which the reply was “Go ask my neighbours.” Then the two people on either side of the person who replied to the person in the middle would have to try to change seats before the person in the middle managed to steal one for themselves. A few more rules were added and we had a fast paced, chair-changing frenzy. The participants had loads of fun with this game!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to camp this year! We hope you had a fantastic time, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Quotes from Saskatoon Campers...

What did you like best about camp?

"The fact that it reminded me how much I like band and how great it is to be a band member."

"All the new friends I made and the awesome instructors."

"Working with the players, conductors, and instructors who are as enthusiastic about the music world as I am."

"Playing in a band that was at my skill level with an engaging, enthusiastic conductor."


Quotes from Regina campers ...

"I got to play a lot of music that felt a little hard but with all the practices I improved!"

"What I liked most about camp was being around people who love band just as much as I do."

"My favourite part of camp was practicing with other people and becoming friends through music."

"I liked meeting new people, playing fun pieces, and becoming a better clarinet player!"

"I had a really great time and I’m very glad that this camp exists."



Regina Camp Highlights

Woo Hoo – ANOTHER successful Band Camp Week!  The Regina Summer Band Camp was a successful week filled with learning and music making! Regina Summer Band Camp had 154 participants, from 6 towns or cities, and over 51 schools! Campers had many opportunities to get to know each other and make connections with people from all across Saskatchewan.  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! 

As with all SBA Band Camps, participants had the opportunity to experience private lessons, theory classes, faculty recitals, full band, several different options classes, jazz band, sectionals, ensembles, masterclasses.  As for options classes, campers had choices of; music history, conducting, world drumming, composition, rubber chicken trivia, and many more. Add to all of that the Regina Camp’s band Olympics, IPSCO Park BBQ, bowling, a dance, and a movie night and it is no wonder the participants had a great time during a very full week! These special activities added value throughout the week and were certainly a highlight for all of the participants.   Bowling set the stage for a great week with some very creative team names, such as “The Potatoes” and the dance had some pretty killer dance moves on the floor! Campers enjoyed some of the classic dances such as the Cha Cha slide and the chicken dance; with some of the best moves winning some wicked prizes.  The IPSCO afternoon included lots of games, a BBQ, swimming, and the giant slide! Participants were able to relax and hangout with the new friends they had made at camp. Band Olympics included “events” such as the human pretzel, water bottle challenge, music theory questionnaire, and a shoe relay! Overall, the activities were a great way for students to connect with each other and enjoy the summer.

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 finger painting, pirates, weight lifting some French horns, and an amazing funk group! 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!


Quotes from Yorkton Campers...

"Camp is pretty awesome. Before I started I thought it would be boring. The first day I realized it was the best camp I've ever been to!"

"I learned a bunch of extended techniques on my saxophone, and learned how to identify major and minor keys!"

"I learned how to play harder pieces of music. Also, I learned how to do cool things with my instrument."

"I made lots of new friends!"

"I had lots of fun and I hope to come back next year."

"This camp helped me with my confidence."

"Everyone was so awesome, kind, and helpful!"

"This week went by so fast. I am definitely coming back next year!"

Yorkton Junior Band Camp

Yorkton’s Junior Band Camp was full of music, laughs, and games! It felt like a big family at the camp, with 45 participants from grades 5 to 9 from 7 schools in 4 towns or cities, and the participants got to know each other very well. We also had 8 wonderful staff from across Saskatchewan that came to Yorkton for the week. The students experienced master classes, ensembles, theory classes, private lessons, full band, and sectionals. These classes helped the students learn their full band music, but also sky rocketed the overall level of musicianship by the end of camp. The participants improved immensely since the first day of camp; they took all the information the staff gave them and applied it to their playing.

Although the participants had an amazing week of learning, they also had loads of fun. With the theme of the week being Harry Potter, each of the students was placed into four teams or “houses”. As a team, they completed challenges and games to gain points. Some challenges or games they played included no hands cookie challenge, mummy challenge, an intense game of a clapping telephone, a scavenger hunt, chubby bunny, and the overall favourite, Queen Queen. Another way students gained points was by being kind around camp, helping other people, or being supportive and showing good sportsmanship. We ended the week with the Tri-Music tournament in which campers had to complete games and challenges as a final chance to gain points for their teams. The Tri-Music tournament concluded our Harry Potter theme. The students loved it, and they also loved having staff members on their team. Overall, the students had gained most of their points by being kind, helpful, and supportive of one another. At the end of the day, the point system was a way the staff could recognize the positive things happening at camps, and thanking the participants for being so patient and kind to one another.

The highlight of camp was the final concert. The students got to hear all the staff perform. Some of the staff performed solos, and they all performed in an ensemble. The amazing staff at camp blew the students away this year by showing the students what they potentially could be in a few years. During the final concert, each of the participant ensembles performed. These ensembles provided the students with a smaller group setting, which helped the group focus on important aspects of their playing. One of our own student ensembles the Lil Paradiddles came up with their own composition entitled “The Robots Awaken”. The level of creativity and passion of the participants at the camp was phenomenal. Overall, the Yorkton Band Camp was a success and we hope to see you all next year!


Prairielands Jazz Camp

In its inaugural year as an official SBA Camp, the Prairielands Jazz Camp was a fantastic success! 

The camp welcomed 71 amazing young musicians, hailing from 34 schools in 13 cities in 3 provinces, as well as 16 fantastic jazz instructors from across the country. Over the course of the week, participants received over 35 hours of musical tuition in a wide variety of musical contexts. Students participated in Big Band and Combo rehearsals, instrument sectionals and master classes, and guided listening and jazz theory and methods activities. When asked what they learned at camp, many students talked about how much they learned about jazz theory and how it relates to soloing in a big band and combo setting.

The camp’s only recreation activity took place on Wednesday when the participants were put into teams and sent out to scour the University of Regina campus on a selfie scavenger-hunt! It was amazing to see everyone working together in their teams to find what they were looking for. Everyone was rewarded at the end of the hunt with a freeze for their work.

One highlight of this year’s camp was the stupendous concerts put on by our phenomenal nationally reputed clinicians. These concerts, which were open to the public, gives the camp participants one of the best examples of live jazz music many of them will ever experience. On Wednesday morning after the Tuesday night concert, the instructors gathered with the students to answer any questions they had about the night before. The questions ranged from “how do you memorize songs?” to “why do you play drums barefoot?” and much in between.

Our student concerts were also a highlight of the camp. On Friday night, the young musicians took the stage in combos each comprised of a rhythm section and 5-7 front-liners. A true success of the combo concert is that every student is given the opportunity improvise a short solo and put what they have been learning in their Jazz Methods classes. One combo even composed their own jazz tune for this concert entitled “Keep It Green” and dedicated to Smokey Bear. Saturday morning’s big band concert showcased our talented musicians in a different light combining into three large ensembles. Each of the three big bands played four superb tunes, showing off all they had learned.


Here is what some of our instructors had to say when asked about the biggest benefits of this year’s camp for its participants:


“The opportunity for students to rehearse and develop over a short and intense period of time, in a performance driven model, in both big bands and small jazz groups.” 

–Jon McCaslin, Drums Instructor


“Getting to meet and play with likeminded young people. I saw many new friendships form over the week.” 

–Soren Nissen, Bass Instructor


“Receiving information with hands on support, putting the theory into practice in real time.” 

–Nick Fanner, Green Band Director



Saskatchewan Band Association

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