About Cantando Music Festivals

What is the Cantando Festival?

A non-competitive festival designed for North American school wind ensembles, concert bands, orchestras, jazz bands, and choirs utilizing some basic tenets necessary to promote quality music education. These basic tenets include:

  • Promoting REPERTOIRE OF THE HIGHEST ARTISTIC NATURE both in the selections expected for performance as well as repertoire performed by guest ensembles
  • EVALUATIONS AND CLINICS are all designed to cultivate growth and a love of serious music-making utilizing a realistic, yet musical approach to assist with improved musical performance
  • UTILIZING THE BEST TEACHER/PERFORMERS people that understand both kids and music and the critical combination of inspiration, knowledge, and artistic growth are the only ones that work for this festival
  • EXPOSING STUDENTS TO PERFORMANCES BY SERIOUS ENSEMBLES we've included both university and professional groups of the highest level and specified the repertoire we want performed. Both standard repertoire of significant worth and new and substantial pieces will be performed including quality works for professional soloists
  • SUFFICIENT TIME FOR PERFORMANCE AND CLINICS this varies at each festival but Edmonton and Whistler provide 50 minute clinics for concert bands and choirs, 30 minute clinics for jazz ensembles in Edmonton and 50 minute clinics in Whistler.  The Sun Peaks festival provides 30 minute workshops for all groups.  Instrumental clinics for both students and directors are provided at all 3 festivals.  Mass choirs perform at all 3 festivals as well.  All festivals provide ample performance times for all ensembles.

What Makes Cantando Special?

The Cantando Festival employs only adjudicators and clinicians of the highest stature, those that have achieved success in their fields and those that continue to have a major impact upon music education. The opportunity to work with these artists in an educational setting for long periods of time is a major facet of the festival.

On the instrumental side, 2018 concert band adjudicators include Robert Ambrose from Georgia State University, Larry Gookin from Central Washington University, Christin Reardon-MacLellan from UBC, Wendy Grasdahl from Concordia University, Ray Baril from Grant MacEwan University, Robert Spittle from Gonzaga University, Colin Clarke from Toronto, Robert Taylor from UBC and several others TBA.  Jazz ensemble adjudicators include Joel Gray and Jerrold Dubyk from Grant MacEwan University and Jody Proznick from Kwantlen University.  

Our choral adjudicators include a host of Canadian and international music educators and performers coordinated by Scott Leithead, Director of Edmonton’s Kokopelli choirs.  2018 adjudicators include Elise Bradley with the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Andrew Withington from New Zealand, Dorothy Dyck from Winnipeg, Katie Luyk with the Kokopelli Choirs in Edmonton, Carrie Tennant with the Vancouver Youth Choir, Lisa Ward with the Ihana Choir in Red Deer, Frank Lee from Vancouver and Allison Girvan from Nelson, BC.

Evening concerts feature a number of outstanding ensembles.  Guest choirs this year include the Vancouver Youth Choir, the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers and Kokopelli Choirs.  Instrumental performing groups include the RCA Band from Edmonton, the Grant MacEwan University Big Band, the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra and several area University ensembles TBA.