2022 Dates

Edmonton – April 10 – 13

Whistler – April 21 – 24

Sun Peaks – April 29 – May 1

 


FESTIVAL NEWS

 

September 1, 2021

Registrations are now available for all 3 festivals. Choose the location under “Festivals” tab and then click the “Register” tab. Following the instructions given.

Dr. Dennis Prime
Director, Canadian Cantando Festivals

June 1, 2021 – We are ON for 2022

Check out the dates above and plan to attend one of our festivals next year. I’m sure students and directors are excited about getting back into the classroom next year and continuing the kinds of educational and musical endeavors that we all need.
Our website is currently being updated and registrations will be available before the end of the school year – hopefully by the middle of June. We are also contacting many of the adjudicators and guest artists that committed to working for us in 2020 and hoping they can make it for next year. We will continue to update those pages in the early autumn. You can be assured that we will have a slate of outstanding musicians and educators working for us and providing the inspiration that music students need on a regular basis.
Many ensembles have a $$$ credit in their account that carries over from the cancelled festival. If you are unsure of what is required in order to register, just drop me a line at dprime@cantando.org
Have a great summer and with our fingers cross – a great school year in 2021/22,

Dr. Dennis Prime
Director, Canadian Cantando Festivals

 

February 2, 2021 – More info

I’m sad to have to cancel our 2021 Cantando dates but with the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty related to all aspects of music education and travel, there was no other option.  Registrations for 2022 will begin in June of this year.

 It is encouraging to read about the successes that various schools are maintaining during these tough times.  It is also rewarding to watch and listen to some amazing YouTube videos that everyone from seasoned professionals to young students are putting together.  I can only dream of having the opportunity when I was young, to view amazing performances by the world’s best orchestras, choirs, jazz bands and concert bands from around the world.  As well, as a clarinetist, I am thrilled by performances put together by the likes of Nicola Baldeyrou and Martin Frost – musicians that take an audience to a different level of appreciation.  (google them both – you won’t be disappointed).

Whilst staying at home, I continue to be thrilled at the performances of young students as well.  I attended the All Japan Band Festival several years ago and purchased many, many DVD’s of past performances from elementary students to the Kosei Wind Orchestra. I continue to find more of their performances on the web and if you want to hear virtuoso playing by young concert bands – often while having the entire work memorized, check it out.   I am also a subscriber to the Berlin Philharmonic as well as Idagio (streaming service for classical music), and the Mezzo channel on Telus that broadcasts 24 hours of great music – jazz as well as classical, vocal/choral/opera as well as orchestral music.

Some of the best big band jazz has its origins in times of strife.  To this day, the best big band I have ever heard live was the USA Army Jazz Band during the Vietnam War.  Rather than fight during the war, these young recruits – the best from America’s top schools, were drafted into this ensemble – one that rehearsed on a daily basis and performed all over the world.  Today, several of Canada’s great armed forces ensembles have put together videos featuring their most talented players and they sound great as well.

Perhaps the most fun groups to listen to are the amazing virtual choirs that are put together by the likes of Eric Whitacre as well as ensembles from Africa (some of my favorite) to the Philippine Madrigal Singers to PS22 from New York (very cute kids and terrific singers).  It seems like every university and high school choral group has contributed to YouTube and many performances are motivating.

I will be asking all of my clinicians and adjudicators to recommend specific websites that they enjoy and will post them here in the spring.  It is like receiving lessons from the best performers in the world.  As well I will post recommended videos for conductors,  as inspiration comes from these sources as well.  It is all well and good to have endless educational material and resources available, but in these times we need INSPIRATION and a reinforcement that what we are doing, REALLY MATTERS. 

I would also like to receive recommendations from you as well – our unbelievable supporters of this festival for the past 20+ years – send me links to anything that has moved you,  or something that brought you out of this pandemic’s doldrums to  believe in the purpose of what you do.

Send these directly to me at dprime@cantando.org

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again in 2022.

Dr. Dennis Prime

Director

Canadian Cantando Festivals

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!