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Alberta Band Association |  Musicom Newsletter  

facebookVolume 2, Issue 4
October 2012

Alberta Band Association


Provincial Honour Band audition information will be available at the MCA conference.

The ABA will be holding its Annual General Meeting and Luncheon at Music Conference Alberta on Sat., Nov 2, 2012.
We will be having our election to the Board of Directors at that meeting. If you are interested in having your name stand for nomination to the board, contact
Neil Corlett Email
T: 1-877-687-4239

Do you know a distinguished band director who needs to be recognized for their efforts and achievements?
The ABA presents 3 awards annually to band directors that have made a difference. The Keith Mann Award is presented annually to an outstanding new band director with fewer than 6 years teaching experience in the province of Alberta. Created to honour the memory of Keith Mann, the recipient will demonstrate Keith’s enthusiasm and dedication to band music. The Vondis Miller Legacy Award, which was created in memory of Vondis Miller, is a long-service award recognizing an individual who has devoted many years to sharing the joys of music making with young people. The Elkhorn Award recipient is chosen by former Elkhorn winners.

Nominations are accepted annually and should be accompanied by supporting documentation.

All three Awards are presented at the MCA Awards Banquet.

Alberta will be hosting the
National Youth Band in May 2014. Stay tuned to see how you can help.
Do you have concerns or have had problems with the PAID version of the CBA online music theory program? Contact Ken Rogers through the ABA website.

The Alberta Band Association would like to know what is going on in the band communities of our province. Through Zone Reports, members will be able to let us know what events and accomplishments are happening in their areas.

If you are interested in being a zone rep please contact the ABA.

If there is an ABA member that you know of that deserves recognition, email us and we will feature that person in an upcoming Musicom.

If you have events happening in your area, let us know and we will make mention of the music activities that you have happening.


In this issue:

President’s Message   Fall 2012

Ken Rogers
Ken Rogers
President, ABA


We’re all back at it now, working hard making and finalizing plans for the band year: concerts, festivals, tours, retreats, searching for new repertoire. We’ve now had a chance to settle in with the new memberships in our bands and really dig into the year’s work. It’s exciting to prepare for a new year of making music with our ensembles, whether they be community, school, or post-secondary.

I hope each of you had a restful and rewarding summer and wish you the best as you head into a new season of band activities.

This is the time of year to mark your calendars with important ABA event dates. The Alberta Band Association is committed to working with other provincial music organizations to bring you the best music conference experience possible each fall. Please join us Nov. 1 – 3, 2012 in Red Deer for Music Conference Alberta. Our conference has been growing steadily in numbers and energy over the last few years and this fall we are pleased to have such esteemed presenters as Jeff Nelsen (former Canadian Brass hornist and creator of the "Get Fearless" performance workshops), Dean Sorenson (KJOS Publishing), Dr. Robert Ambrose (Georgia State University) and performances by the Alberta Honour Band, the Royal Canadian Artillery Band, The University of Alberta Wind Ensemble, and Calgary’s Cappy Smart Band. MCA is a great opportunity to meet colleagues at all levels from across the province, shop and see new products at the trade fair, and attend great sessions in areas such as technology for the band room, instrument tips & techniques, jazz band, arranging for your band, and much more.

Visit our website for more information on registration or to learn more about the dozens of band sessions being offered at MCA 2012.

As always, the ABA Bruce Marsh Memorial Lending Library is available to all ABA members with its huge selection of quality titles at all levels. You’ll find in our library decades of provincial syllabi, sight reading syllabus, junior and senior honour band, and workshop band titles chosen by some of the finest conductors from across Alberta and North America. It’s an incredibly rich and cost-effective resource.

Finally, watch your in-box for coming information on application deadlines for our very popular spring 2013 semester programs:

The Alberta Band Association is pleased to support you and your students in providing positive and rewarding experiences in the coming year.

Yours in music,
Ken Rogers

Music Conference Alberta  

November 1 – 3, 2012
Red Deer, Alberta

Music Conference Alberta is very pleased to be hosting 3 very notable people in the international band scene this year. Their sessions will cover topics ranging from "Fearless" performing to jazz tips and techniques.

Jeff Nelsen
Jeff Nelsen
  Canadian hornist Jeff Nelsen comprises a true cross-section of the music industry. For over 20 years he has succeeded in both classical and contemporary music and has been inspirational as both musician and mentor.

He is best known as the hornist of the world famous Canadian Brass, with whom he toured and recorded for 8 years.

As a horn soloist, he has performed concerti with orchestra, and his uniquely engaging recitals on five continents. Jeff is Professor of Horn at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He teaches horn, chamber music, and trains people in what he calls “Fearless Performance”, a subject upon which he recently gave a TEDx Talk.

Jeff has performed with dozens of orchestras: the New York Philharmonic; Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, and National Symphonies; Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras; and the Canadian and New York City Opera Companies. Jeff has held full-time positions in the Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg symphony orchestras. Nelsen also performed the complete run of two shows on Broadway and toured with popular entertainers including Michael Bolton and Barry Manilow. Jeff Nelsen is a Dieter Otto performing artist.

Dean Sorenson
Dean Sorenson


Dean Sorenson is a prolific and highly sought-after composer, trombonist, and clinician. His most recent publications are the Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method, Advanced Jazz Ensemble Method, and Jazz Combo Session.

Dean holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Eastman School of Music and is Interim Director of Jazz Studies and Performance at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.

He spent two years touring the United States and Japan with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, playing trombone and writing many arrangements for the band. We are very proud to have Dean at conference this year where he will be presenting sessions for your jazz program as well as his recent publication First Place for Jazz. Dean is a Yamaha performing artist.

The Alberta Provincial Honour Band is very proud to have Dr. Robert J. Ambrose as our guest conductor this year.

Dr. Robert J. Ambrose
Dr. Robert J. Ambrose
  Robert is the Director of Wind Studies and Ensembles and Associate Director of the School of Music at Georgia State University.

His primary responsibilities are conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra and University Chamber Winds, coordinating the Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting degree program, and overseeing all aspects of the undergraduate music program.

He has held conducting positions at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Boston College. He also served for five years as Director of Instrumental Music in the public schools of Norwood and Monson, Massachusetts.

Ensembles under the direction of Dr. Ambrose have performed at Carnegie Hall, Spivey Hall, the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference, the Georgia and Massachusetts Music Educators Conferences, Boettcher Hall in Denver and at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. He has been awarded the National Band Association Citation of Excellence.


The Alberta Junior Honour Bands 2013

Victor López
Victor López
  The Southern Alberta Junior Honour Band will be held February 13–15, 2013 in conjunction with the Calgary Teachers’ Convention. This year’s conductor will be Victor López. Students will be rehearsing at St. Helena School and performing at the Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie.

The Cappy Smart Band, under the direction of Brian Thorlasius, will be the guest band for the concert. This is a wonderful rare opportunity to have your students work with the renowned bandmaster and composer Victor López. There will be 3 sessions offered at the Calgary Teachers’ Convention where teachers can drop in and observe Mr. López working with the students. Check the convention schedule for more info.

Download Recommendation Form for the 2013 Southern Alberta Junior Honour Band PDF.

The Northern Alberta Junior Honour Band will be held February 27–March 1, 2013 and is pleased to have Martin Kennedy as their guest conductor this year. The band will be performing at Sherwood Park Alliance Church and also will run in conjunction with the Edmonton Teachers’ Convention so teachers can have the opportunity to observe rehearsals.

Download Recommendation Form for the 2013 Northern Alberta Junior Honour Band PDF.

ABA Calgary Head Start Clinic

Nearly 500 students from 20 different schools came together to learn how to the play their band instruments as part of the ABA Head Start Clinics in September 2012. The ABA Head Start Clinics were started three years ago as a way to help teachers with small programs pull together to bring in clinicians to start students on their instruments.

This year we added a second clinic at the beginning of September, which brought over 100 beginners including students from three schools in the Golden Hills School Division into Calgary for a clinic.

Then at the end of September, over 370 students from Calgary were introduced to the wonderful world of band.

Special thanks to all the teachers who sent students, all the clinicians who helped teach, St. Helena Jr High and Sir John A MacDonald Jr High for allowing us to use your facilities, and Tara English and Brian Thorlasius for organizing the event.



104, 4818 – 50 Ave.
Red Deer, AB  T4N 4A3

Toll-free: 1.877.687.4239 | Telephone: 403.347.2237 | Fax: 403.347.2241