2023 Festivals

Edmonton – April 16-19

Whistler – April 28-29/30

Kelowna – TBA

 


FESTIVAL NEWS

April update

2023 Festivals

We are just a few weeks away from finalizing dates for 2023 and at this point the following two dates are secure:

EDMONTON – Sunday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 19
WHISTER – Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 (with possible extension to April 30)
KELOWNA – dates to be secured soon but likely Thursday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22

We are no longer holding Cantando Festivals in Sun Peaks and while we enjoyed the scenery there, the facilities were not up to our standards for making music.

A couple of other major changes are occurring – ALL 3 of our festivals are open to any travel agency you wish to contact. Only Cantando music festival fees will be paid to New Era Music. Travel, accommodation, meals, etc can be taken care of by anyone or agency you choose, and if you want or need help with suggestions for any of our festivals, we can assist you with this as well We have utilized this concept in Edmonton since its inception and wanted to offer this to our participants for all of our events.

With future travel restrictions perhaps looming again, we can make your stay at any of our festivals occur in 1 day in many cases. This could be problematic if several ensembles from one school are involved but we’ll do our best to schedule all schools according to their wishes. With this in mind, most instrumental workshops will occur immediately after their performance and choral workshops will occur on the same day as well. It will perhaps be a bit of a scheduling nightmare but if we get registrants early in the fall, we can make it happen. A reminder that all of our evening concerts can be attended by any and all participants.

We are booking adjudicators and guest performing artists now and look forward to a stunning return in the spring of 2023. As always, if music teachers have suggestions for any of our faculty, please email me to dprime@cantando.org asap and I’ll do my best to book them in the future.

 

2022 Choral Festival

We just finished a very successful event for choral directors in Edmonton. Choirs from Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC participated and worked with adjudicators Carrie Tennant and Cynthia Peyson Wahl. While small compared to regular Cantando festivals, the event was inspirational to all and below are comments from some participants:

Richard Janzen, choral director from Rosthern Junior college said:

“What a great event in Edmonton this past week. My students were starving for an experience like this. They are full to overflowing! (And exhausted…the 5.5 hour drive back to Saskatchewan was silent for 5 of those hours!!) Besides the top level performance by all the choirs, the biggest impact on my students was the wonderfully supportive community of singers that they got to be a part of. That is due 100% to the fine teaching and guidance that you are all delivering. Again from my heart….THANK YOU! “

Rick Vanderwoude, choral director from Heritage Christian Academy in Calgary commented:

“I just finished debriefing with the students and our organizers and we echoed how much this was needed. Thanks again to all of you (organizers and colleagues) for sticking with it and making it happen.”

Mona Holtan, choral director from Memorial Composite in Stony Plain said:

“It was a FABULOUS experience and thank you all for being such a wonderful community. And thank you Scott, Katy, Dennis and all the organizers for bringing us in to be a part of it! Our hearts are full!”

Heidi Wood from Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School in Calgary said: “Our students were still so excited today when I finally had a chance to debrief with a few of them. The community spirit and caring were evident and was exactly what we ALL needed, but especially our young musicians! Thank you to all the choirs that participated and the directors for making it happen. I know how much work it is, especially these days to take kids off campus. Seriously, the whole day was soul-filling and I think I needed this as much as our students – an excellent reminder of why we do this and why music is so important.

Sheila French from Kelowna Senior Secondary commented:

“This was such an amazing experience for us all!! Thank you to Scott Leithead for making this happen and to Dennis Prime for agreeing to run this and all who were there. Cynthia Peyson Wahl and Carrie Tennant were out of this world AMAZING!!! So much love and respect for all of you!”

FYI Scott Leithead posted several videos on his Facebook site for those that want to see the event.

We are so looking forward getting back to our regular festivals to include concert band, orchestra, jazz band as well as our choirs in 2023. Registrations will be up early in the summer so please plan to come and help us make it happen again.

Mid-February update

We received so many requests for some kind of event for choirs that could travel and have decided to put together a last minute choral festival in Edmonton only on Monday, April 11. We have secured the talents of two great choral adjudicators – Carrie Tennant and Cynthia Peyson Wahl. We will be meeting at McDougall United Church as well as Muttart Hall in Alberta College (right next door to the church).

The event includes Concert Choir performances in McDougall (5 choirs in the morning from 9:30 to noon) with 45 minute clinics in the afternoon as well as one more spot for a choral performance and clinic. The dinner break lasts from 5:45 until 6:30 pm at which time an evening concert occurs with Kokopelli and Oran choirs.

As well, we have room for 4 jazz choirs in the afternoon at Muttart Hall in Alberta College - one hour slots allocated include your performance and clinic. A 4:30 performance by Nuf Sed follows at 4:30 pm.

We are very full at this moment as we contacted all the choirs that had originally enrolled, but if you are interested and your choir is available, contact Scott Leithead IMMEDIATELY at 780-604-7085 or scott@kokopellichoir.com

We have reduced rates for this one day event to $750 per choir and $500 for each additional choir from the same school. Cheques should be written to New Era Music and sent to 250 Greenoch Crescent, Edmonton, T6L 1B4 before March 1.

Bios on our two adjudicators

See News Archives

FESTIVAL INFORMATION

We had another terrific season in 2019 with some outstanding participants and a solid level of performance by those students involved. As well, all 3 festivals included stunning standing ovations from the appreciative student audiences. A highlight was the premiere performance of “Pipe Dreams” written for flutist James Walker by Edmonton composer Allan Gilliland.

 

Below are typical responses by participants and guest artists as well:





"Cantando Festivals are an amazing musical oasis for the young musicians of North America. Being able to perform for these students is always unforgettable exciting and regenerating!"

- James Walker, Guest soloist



"I want to thank you for inviting the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble to perform at this year’s Whistler Festival. It was really a joy to perform for such and large and enthusiastic audience, and I know my students appreciated the opportunity to “pay it forward” by creating as much excitement among the young musicians as they could muster!"

-Dr. Rob Taylor, UBC Conductor

"This was our first time attending this festival. Having heard so many great things about the festival, we finally had a chance to try it out. I can’t say enough on how refreshing the experience was. The adjudicators were fantastic. The non-competitive nature of the festival was supported by every instructor and was embraced by all the students and teachers involved. Thank you for an amazing musical experience and learning opportunity for my music students... I highly recommend this festival - high marks for sure!"

- Kathy Fester, Heritage Woods Secondary School Port





"Cantando sets a new standard for music festivals. My musicians loved every minute of it!"

- Colin Clarke, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra



"We had a great tour! So much fun! Great adjudicators and opportunities for students at the festival with the mass choir, girls and boys voices clinics and great concerts to watch. Our students loved the opportunity to perform in the adjudicators choice concert!"

- Heidi Wood, Lord Beaverbrook Choir

"What a GREAT time we had at Cantando. I don’t know how it could have been better and thanks for giving us hot weather pool days. We had a great travel and festival schedule, we had a great hotel, we had great meals, we had great weather! I have never seen so many happy girls over a period of 4 days with no issues at all. The girls are glowing as we debrief and I will recommend that the Whistler Cantando be a continuing event and I will now retire with great memories from my time at CGS."

- Dr. Donald Christianson, Calgary Girls School

"This was our first time attending this festival. Having heard so many great things about the festival, we finally had a chance to try it out. I can’t say enough on how refreshing the experience was. The adjudicators were fantastic. The non-competitive nature of the festival was supported by every instructor and was embraced by all the students and teachers involved. Thank you for an amazing musical experience and learning opportunity for my music students... I highly recommend this festival - high marks for sure!"

- Kathy Fester, Heritage Woods Secondary School Port Moody, BC

"Thanks so much for such a fantastic trip. Of all the trips that I have taken my choir on, this was definitely the best. The hotel was a lot of fun, Whistler Village feels so safe, the scenery is memorable, the clinicians were excellent, the concerts were great, and the massed choir was such a positive experience. My students, and my parent chaperones, can't say enough good things. Thanks for all of your excellent communication in helping us organize this."

- Jean-Marie Michaud, Seattle Youth Choir and Eckstein Middle School Choir





"Just wanted to tell you how much we loved every moment of our trip. Your attention to detail is outstanding and we truly appreciate your work making this trip a lifelong memory for our students😊"

- Anita Anton, Cardinal Carter Catholic Toronto


"The Cantando Music Festival is a truly transformative experience in the educational and artistic development of young musicians. The combination of high caliber clinicians, adjudicators, and guest artists, along with the breath-taking backdrop of the festival locations themselves, are among the most impressive of any festival we've been a part of. We can't wait to work with them again!"

- Jeff Smith, Artistic Director, M-pact

Past Adjudicators:

Elise Bradley ~ Jodi Proznick ~ Chee Meng Low ~ Erin Bodnar ~ Joel Gray ~ Essi Wourela ~ Robert Ambrose ~ Katy Luyk ~ Réjean Marois ~ Jerrold Dubyk ~ Dorothy Dyck ~ Christin Reardon-MacLellan ~ Andrew Withington ~ James Smart ~ Wendy Grasdahl ~ Shelley Jagow ~ Gillian Mackay ~ Fraser Linklater ~ Angela Schroeder ~ Larry Gookin ~ Don Owens ~ Mark Lane ~ Jacquie Dawson ~ Dean McNeill ~ Ray Baril ~ Fred Stride ~ Carrie Tennant ~ Scott Leithead ~ John Chalmers ~ Jennifer Lang ~ Gordon Brock ~ Robert Spittal ~ Elroy Friesen ~ Dinah Helgeson ~ Rob Taylor ~ Brad McDavid ~ Graeme Langager ~ Jennifer Moir ~ Dominic Gregorio ~ Frank Lee ~ Allison Girvan ...and more.

Past Guest Artists:

...and more!