New arts festival set to debut in Regina with theme of Truth and Reconciliation

CBC News, Saskatchewan
Gordon Gerrard, music director for the RSO, says it’s common for orchestras to have genre-themed festivals, but RSO wanted to do something different.

“I’ve always felt that there’s more to what an orchestra can offer than some people realize,” said Gerrard.

“So, we thought we would start a festival every year taking its theme from a different issue of social relevance in our community.”

Buried Treasures (Bulgarian and Otherwise)

Let me start by saying that what you’re about to read is in no way intended to be an endorsement of smoking cigarettes. In this increasingly fractious world, it seems that one of the only things we all can agree on anymore is that smoking is bad for you. Maybe one of the only other […]

In Saskatchewan, a new music festival focuses on Truth and Reconciliation

Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail
“I think that will inevitably be on people’s minds,” says RSO music director Gordon Gerrard, whose original goal was to look at issues in the community and across the country that required open and frank discussion. “I think in light of the events of the past week, it’s become even more clear to us that we need to keep talking. And if we can help facilitate that then I feel like this festival is doing what we want it to do.”

Rachmaninoff’s Top 40 Hits

I have a confession to make. It’s hardly a unique problem, I know, but there are times when I sit down at my desk to write this column, and nothing comes out. The clock ticks towards my looming deadline, and as the beads of sweat form on my furrowed brow, all I see is that […]

Samuel Barber and the perils of keeping secrets

On any given day, the average person is keeping thirteen secrets. Go ahead and count yours. For me, though I like to cultivate the idea that I’m man shrouded in mystery, thirteen may be a stretch. As it turns out, this may not be such a bad thing. The prevailing science now tells us that […]

Tchaikovsky, Belsnickel and the Seven-Headed Mouse King

I will admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for Christmas and its many traditions: the lights, the trees, the red Starbucks cups. The cynical might grumble that Christmas has become a grotesquely commercialized occasion designed to swindle people out of money they don’t actually have. You Grinches walking among us may not be […]

RSO’s Gordon Gerrard is in the right spot at the right time

Jeff DeDekker, Regina Leader Post
Heading toward the 18-month mark at the helm of the Regina Symphony Orchestra as its music director, Gordon Gerrard has been a busy, busy man.

Moving to Regina from his position with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Gerrard took over the reins in July 2016 after former music director Victor Sawa ended a 20-year association with the RSO. The 39-year-old Gerrard faced a daunting situation — he was taking over from a Regina legend and facing demanding expectations from both the RSO and its fan base.

RSO hopes music can bridge reconciliation conversation at inaugural music festival Forward Currents

Ashley Martin, Regina Leader Post
A partnership between the Regina Symphony Orchestra and MacKenzie Art Gallery, Forward Currents will feature a variety of Indigenous artists, including Knight, Toronto musician Jeremy Dutcher and mezzo-soprano Marion Newman. Writer Drew Hayden Taylor will host.

Gordon Gerrard, music director for the RSO, hopes to make this an annual festival, always with a socially relevant theme.

Future ideas include mental health, new Canadians and LGBT issues.

Haydn and his terrible, no good friend

Despite my best efforts, I have occasionally been a bad friend. I often miss birthdays. I can’t remember the last time I sent a Christmas card. Sometimes I forget to respond to text messages for several days. The friends that have stuck with me this far may report other more egregious insults of which I […]

Dvořák and the astronaut’s luggage

At time of writing, I am sitting at my desk, procrastinating. I’m supposed to be packing, you see. I have a flight that leaves excruciatingly early in the morning, which means I shouldn’t leave packing to the twelve minutes or less after I wake up, as is my custom. If you’re like me in this […]