Alex Loewen (b.1986) is a young composer who was born and raised on the prairies, a fact that has become increasingly significant to the core of his personal compositional practices. His work, although constantly changing, is often the result of the interaction between his middle-class upbringing and the strong traditions of Western art music (ie. Mahler, Schoenberg, Cage, Feldman).
Alex studied primarily with Gyula Csapo (a pupil of Morton Feldman’s) during his bachelor’s degree at the University of Saskatchewan and with Daniel Peter Biro and Christopher Butterfield during his Master’s degree at the University of Victoria. Alex has also worked with Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, Quatuor Bozzini, as well as taking lessons from Michael Finnissy, Chaya Chernowin and Malcolm Forsyth.
Anthony Giglio – Trumpet/Composer
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor and a Diploma in Audio Recording Technology from The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). While attending the University of Windsor, Anthony was a Research Assistant for the Noiseborder Ensemble and specialized in experimental sound art performance and installation design. Now living in Saskatoon, SK, he is an Event Technology Director for PSAV, as well as a freelance audio engineer, trumpet player, and arranger.
Active internationally from the start of her career in 1995, acclaimed Odawa First Nation composer and musician Barbara Croall from Canada (Manidoo Mnissing, Giniw dodem) has received world premiere performances of her music in several European countries, the UK, the United States, Asia, and Latin America. Apart from playing, performing, and composing on the pipigwan (Anishinaabe cedar flute) and singing in traditional ceremonies, Croall is a classically trained musician, with degrees, diplomas and studies at Centre Acanthes (France), the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich, Germany (Meisterklassendiplom-Aufbaustudium), The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), the Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music in Composition). Croall has continued to create musical works which have fascinated and enthralled critics and audiences alike for her distinctly Indigenous sound within the field of classical music, theatre, dance, film, and multidisciplinary performance. She has frequently been a guest composer and performer at the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.) and was composer-in-residence at the Wesleyan Center for the Arts (Wesleyan University, CT). Apart from her work as a composer and performer, she also teaches outdoor environmental education rooted in traditional Anishinaabe teachings, while also regularly working with urban and at-risk Aboriginal youth in schools in multi-disciplinary theatrical projects. As the child of a residential school survivor she is regularly invited to speak at events and ongoing initiatives for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at various churches seeking a way forward for healing and change.
Janet Gieck grew up on a farm near Waldheim, SK. It was during her teen years that she began composing. After High School, Janet attended Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, AB where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Music with a major in composition. She has also completed the requirements for an ARCT in piano performance. Since then she has had her music performed at both the Saskatoon and Regina New Music Festivals and on CBC radio. She has been a featured composer in the Canadian Music Teacher publication. Janet recently won the junior choral category of the Call for Compositions competition, initiated by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association with her piece Snowflakes. She is a member of the Saskatoon Composers’ Performance Society, the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association, and a member of the composer’s collective Red Leaf Pianoworks.
Kendra Harder (b. 1986) is a composer and guitarist from Saskatoon, SK. She has recently returned to university to study music and composition. Kendra’s main focus has been on musical theatre and opera, and as her education has progressed, she has begun integrating elements from music history into her compositions, such as 12-tone technique, and jazz harmony. Her guitar studies with Walter Hofmeister have also influenced her composing, and elements from guitar etudes and repertoire have found their way into her music.
Kendra has studied composition with Dr. Gyula Csapó, jazz arranging with Dean McNeill, and has taken part in composition master classes around Saskatoon led by Allan Gilliland and Shelley Marwood. In 2018 she will be graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Music.
Monte Keene Pishny-Floyd
Composer, teacher, b Oklahoma City, 4 Nov 1941; B MUS (Oklahoma City) 1964, M MUS composition (Oklahoma) 1965, PH.D composition (ESM, Rochester) 1972. He began composing at six and played trombone as a student. At ESM, he studied composition with Bernard Rogers and David Diamond, and piano with Eugene List. He taught 1968-71 at St Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind, and in 1971 began to teach composition, theory, music literature, and piano at the University of Saskatchewan. He has adjudicated at many festivals in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, and has presented papers on various aspects of composition at conferences.
Pishny-Floyd is a prolific composer, with more than 600 works to his credit by 1990, covering virtually all media from works for solo piano to music for full orchestra and theatre music. His PH D thesis was a Concerto for two pianos and orchestra. [source: the Canadian Encyclopedia]
Steve Leidal is a Percussionist, Drummer, Composer, and Instructor based out of Regina, Saskatchewan. His work “Assisted Breathing” for saxophone and fixed media electronics was performed at the 2014 Strata Festival.
Tiess McKenzie is a student in the University of Saskatchewan Music Department, just finished his second year of studies in Music Education. Tiess studies trombone with Don Schmidt and performs in many local groups including the U of S Wind Orchestra, U of S Jazz Ensemble, and the Saskatoon Brass Band. He has also been a member of both the Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra and the National Youth Band of Canada.