Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prairielands 2009

Well, I'm finally back in Calgary after a fabulous week spent teaching at the annual Prairielands Jazz Camp in Regina, Saskatchewan. I'm completely exausted but, as per usual, it was a great experience, the students were outstanding and the hang with the other faculty members all contributed to a great time.

It's always an intensive week however, we managed to put together 4 big bands, 8 combos, 1 "Monster" combo and 1 Jazz Percussion ensemble and present two impressive concerts at the end of the week.

The faculty concerts were also a highlight with two small group concerts and a big band concert held throughout the week.

I've been involved with this workshop since its inception in 1994. For the first two years I was a student and used those experiences to prepare myself for my eventual foray to Montreal to study jazz at McGill University. For a number of years afterwards I was hired as camp assistant and did everything from making photocopies, moving pianos and music stands to teaching rhythm sectionals and theory classes. I always felt lucky to be a "fly on the wall" and check out the other teachers such as Mike Downes, Kevin Turcotte, Andre White and Kirk MacDonald. Since 2002 I've been working as the full-time drum set instructor and consider myself very fortunate to do so.

I'd like to thank all the following people for all their hard work and great music last week:

Ian Tulloch - Camp Administrator (aka the Prairielands MVP !!!)

Brent Ghiglione, Greg McLean, Val McWilliams, Gordon Foote, Donny Kennedy, Andy King, Nick Fanner, Aryeh Korbrinsky, Jeff McLeod, Rob Sommerville, Carter Powley, Sam Minevich, David Dick and Chris Jacklin.

And a special thank you to all the volunteers - the Nehers and the Bashinsky's in particular - who kept the wheels of the Prairielands Jazz machine rolling smoothly !!!

And last, but not least, I'd like to thank all my students for all their hard work and great music.

Hope to see you all again in 2010 !!!

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