Musicians gather to play in Saskatchewan parks


The Saskatchewan Band Association (SBA) is hosting events for musicians who are tired of playing solo.

The organization has held several events in Saskatoon and Regina already, with more on the way.

The latest one took place in Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker Park on July 28.

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Stacey Mortenson-Spokes conducted the group of just over a dozen musicians. The Evan Hardy Collegiate band director has had a long school year.

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“I’m done with Zoom,” she joked, noting under normal circumstances students would have band class daily and they were limited to six-week periods this year.

“It’s been a great big hole not to have big groups of instruments and music and musicians in front of me every single day,” Mortenson-Spokes added.

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The SBA’s drop-in events were set up as an easy way for musicians to reconnect.

“Doing something like this, even though it’s not as intense or as professional as other ensembles you might see, it’s just really happy and really nice to just have that interaction again,” program administrative assistant Lindsay Holizki said.

The feelings are familiar for her, as well.

She was in the final semester of a music performance degree and preparing for a final solo recital before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Sitting there alone, practicing by yourself in the basement is just not the same,” Holizki noted.

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As well as hearing a full song with instruments from different families, it also gives musicians and audience members a chance to socialize.

“Not very many people knew each other. That’s the magic of music. You can get together with strangers and have a lot of fun and then feel like a community in no time at all,” Mortenson-Spokes added.

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On top of Saskatoon and Regina, the SBA will also be holding events in Moose Jaw and North Battleford.

More information can be found here at the SBA website.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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