Mathieu has also launched the new Discovering the Amatis concert series, which showcases USask’s historic collection of string instruments that were handcrafted in the Italian city of Cremona in the 1600s by members of the famous Amati family. The next concert in the Amati series will take place on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 3 pm in Convocation Hall.
Mathieu said the USask Symphony Orchestra offers musicians an opportunity to forge new relationships and to interact in social and musical settings. In that way, it is also building community within the Department of Music while enhancing the department’s string program, she said.
“This has been a huge help for us to see this orchestra start and develop,” said Mathieu.
“It’s growing fast and it’s very positive,” she added. “We didn’t quite know what to expect at the beginning of the ensemble, and now we’re seeing more and more interest from students and community—so it’s really encouraging, and it also gives us this reassurance that we’re doing the right thing and we are addressing a need and a desire to play music together. I think that’s something so many of us missed during COVID—this sense of community in music making.”
As the Department of Music continues to grow its string program, USask music students need a place to play—and an ensemble of string performers, such as the university’s new symphony orchestra, “is a great place to start,” said McNeill.
McNeill noted the Department of Music is fortunate to have Sadikov leading the USask Symphony Orchestra again this fall. The ensemble fills a gap in Saskatoon, offering a high-quality music-making experience for musicians who may have “aged out” of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra or who are not performing with the SSO, McNeill said.
“We have incredible people in our midst—players of a wide variety of ages and ability levels—that would all benefit greatly from participation in this ensemble,” he said. “They all have something valuable to contribute, and they will all receive back something very valuable as well from this ensemble.”