The music and gospel arts department, in partnership with the Canadian Staff Band (CSB), hosted the first Territorial Composer Day in June. Ten composers of various experience levels took the stage, each with their own 15-minute segment for the band to play, discuss and analyze their music.

The intention behind composer day was to provide musicians the opportunity to hear their music performed on a large scale and to help identify areas for improvement in their compositions. Comments and musical analysis were provided by Rachel Ewing, music editor and events coordinator; John Lam, CSB bandmaster; and Marcus Venables, assistant territorial music secretary.

“We were able to have the CSB read this music in rehearsal, prepare it, play it and give it an honest read-through, and we provided feedback,” explains Venables. “It’s only the beginning of the journey for a lot of these composers because, in the days ahead, there will be follow-up dialogue with the hope that some of this music is revised and eventually published and performed across Canada and the world.”

“It’s always very cool to have one’s music played by a good band,” says Ty Watson, a composer who took part in the event. “I want to thank the music and gospel arts department and the CSB for their encouragement and support of Canadian composers.”

The composer day concluded with a CSB concert featuring five premiere performances written and conducted by Canadian composers, including Hyfrydol by Ty Watson, How He Loves by Harrison Venables and Come Thou Fount by Craig Woodland.

“This event will take place again in the future,” says Marcus Venables. “We look forward to seeing more composers from the territory attend, gain experience and hear their music played by a band—music that is written to worship and glorify God.”

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