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SBA 40th Anniversary Composition Project

Composition:   Follow the First Wind

Commissioned by the SBA in celebration of our 40th Anniversary, this 4-part composition project was made possible thanks to the generous support of SKArts, SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Lotteries.  Saskatchewan composer Paul Suchan with contributions from young amateur composers around the province.  The contributing composers suggested ideas for themes, melodies, characters, chord progressions, orchestration and form.   

Four versions of Follow the First Wind were created in honour of SBA's 4 decades, and to support varied levels of band.  The Advanced version of the piece includes the highest number of student contributions.  The overarching character of the work was chosen to be Epic Fantasy - a sense of discovering and exploring the province or the land that would eventually make up our province. The contributing composers wanted the wind sounds within the compositions to invite musicians and listeners to Follow the First Wind to adventure.  

About the Music

Title:  Follow the First Wind

Four Versions:

  • Beginner Concert Band Grade 1.5  Duration 2:30
  • Intermediate Concert Band   Grade 3    Duration 4:30
  • Advanced Concert Band Grade 5      Duration 6:30
  • Jazz Band  Grade 3    Duration 4:30

Beginner and Intermediate versions are available NOW for FREE to all current SBA organizational and professional level members for a limited time HERE (log in for access).   Advanced and Jazz Band versions will be available soon and will also be provided to SBA members at no cost.

Recordings were made in Saskatoon and Regina with SBA Regina and Saskatoon Band Camp participants - thanks to the support of the U of S and the U of R.  Recordings were also made by the adult North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony (NSWS) in support of the project. 

Accessing the Music

SBA Organization & Professional level members can access the music for FREE for a limited time.  Remember to log in to access the music


Follow the First Wind - Beginner - NSWS

Follow the First Wind - Beginner - Summer Band Camp recording

Follow the First Wind - Intermediate - NSWS

Follow the First Wind - Intermediate - Summer Band Camp recording

Advanced and Jazz recordings to be added soon

Contributing Composers

Student contributors to the 40th Anniversary project include:

          • Claire Mantyka - Biggar
          • Mathis Chu - Regina
          • Parker Hollinger - Yorkton
          • Jon Watts - Langham
          • Noah French - Regina
          • Vamshi Vakulabharanam - Regina
          • Margarett Perolino - Saskatoon

Thank You

The SBA is expremely grateful for Paul Suchan's willingness to support this special project.  We have been very fortunate to have Paul's leadership in delivering a series of online Composition Courses for the SBA over the past few years, courses that paved the way for this unique project.  Paul's expertise, flexibility and encouragement of amateur composer contributions was essential to the success of this endeavour!

Project funding was provided by a grant from SKArts - Artists in Communities.  


Paul Suchan

About the Composer

Raised in North Battleford Saskatchewan, composer, performer, and educator Paul Suchan graduated with a B.Mus/B.Mus Ed (2007) from the University of Saskatchewan and M.Mus in Composition (2012) from the Université de Montréal where he studied with composer Alan Belkin. He is currently based in Saskatoon with his wife Naomi and daughter Evelyn.

Mr. Suchan’s compositions have been performed across Canada, the United States and Europe by leading university ensembles, symphony orchestras, community groups, choirs, small ensembles and others. He is frequently commissioned by groups across Canada of various sizes and abilities. Notable performances include his piece Wake the Grain performed at the National Arts Center in Ottawa in 2014, led by Duane Wolfe, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. His band music is published with Eighth Note and Alfred Music, and his choir music with Cypress Music. 

Paul is a strong advocate for fellow composers and believes strongly in fostering creative communities. To this end, in 2011 he co-founded the Strata Festival of New Music, an annual 3 day festival dedicated to high quality performances of Saskatchewan and Prairie composers. The festival has been responsible for the creation of 38 new compositions, a majority of them from young and emerging composers.

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