Summer Band celebrates 25th anniversary

The University of Alberta Summer Band performs their 25th anniversary concert this Sunday, August 11th at 2 pm in Convocation Hall. Admission is by donation.

submitted by Graeme Peppink - 8 August 2013

The University of Alberta Summer Band performs their 25th anniversary concert this Sunday, August 11th at 2 pm in Convocation Hall. Admission is by donation.

Summer Band was founded in the summer of 1998 by Fordyce Pier and William Street, and soon joined by continuing directors Francis Dunnigan and Graeme Peppink. Directed and organized by volunteer conductors, Summer Band is one of the most diverse wind band ensembles in Edmonton, and is comprised of incoming and current UAlberta students and community members ranging in age from 15 to 90. More than 1,400 members have passed through the Summer Band ranks over 25 years.

With summer jobs and vacations taking centre stage in the lives of most members in the summer, the first rule of the laid-back Summer Band has always been: "Come out and play;, if you miss a few notes, that's ok."

Summer Band rehearsals typically draw about 100 players throughout the summer month and come concert time in August, the group has always managed to fill the Convocation Hall stage with a full concert roster of 70 players.

As a performing group with an educational basis, hosting conducting workshops has been an important component of Summer Band. Some highlights throughout the 25 years include:

  • Well-known UAlberta music instructor, conductor and world renowned composer Malcolm Forsyth has held his baton to the group on a few occasions;
  • The legendary Frank Battisti, Conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble, led an energetic group of student conductors through their paces with the band one year;
  • More recently graduate assistant students have participated in Summer Band as a course towards their degree and a coach bus has been booked for the group to perform in Red Deer for the MusiCamp Alberta summer students.

A favourite venue of the group has been the Devonian Gardens. It almost never failed that those performance days were some of the warmest on record in the Rose Garden!

In addition to the support from the University of Alberta Department of Music, local music stores have also played a key role supporting Summer Band initiatives including St. Johns Music, The Bandstand, The Wind Shoppe and Long McQuade Music.

For 2013, Summer Band welcomes back Fordyce Pier, Guest Conductor Soloist; Doctoral Candidate Chee Meng Low, Guest Conductor; and returning Conductors Graeme Peppink and UAlberta Director of Bands Angela Schroeder.

2013 Summer Band Roster:

Dr. Fordyce "Duke" Pier
Dr. William Street
Frank Dunnigan
Graeme Peppink
Dr. Malcolm Forsyth
Dr. Angela Schroeder

Special Guest Conductor
Frank Battisti

Guest / Student / Graduate Conductors
Jamie Burns
Ed Stein
Dan Kindop
Michael Clark
Daryl Price
Chee Meng Low

Dr. William Street - Alto Sax
Ondrej Golias - Bassoon
Dubrena Myroon - Fr Horn
Matthew Clarke - Euphonium
Deb Pare & Heather Donlevy - Flutes
Russell Whitehead - Trumpet
Brian Tymko - Trumpet
Ben Gagnon - Alto Sax
Po-Yuan Ku - Alto Sax