Winter Recital

Our Winter Recital is held at the end of January. Instead of trying to have a concert in December when everyone is so busy, we save our winter concert for a special January project to get everyone going again after the holiday. Students choose their performance pieces before the holiday, and rehearsals with the pianist are organized during group time the week before the concert. This concert is open to the public. Admission is by donation.

Every student will has an opportunity to play twice – once as a solo and once as part of a unison group. This gives everyone an opportunity to experience going on stage two times.



Mid Term Mini Concerts

Something new we are trying for the 2017-2018 season: we take the group night in the middle of the term and turn it into a small concert, where we all play for each other instead of having our regular classes.

This is very informal. There is no dress code. Unlike our large recitals that we have in January and June, not everyone will play solos, only those who are recommended by their teacher as having something ready. Each group will play something they have been working on, so every student will have an opportunity perform in their groups.

Since not everyone will be playing a solo, there is no set rehearsal time with a pianist before the concert. Each student is responsible for their own accompaniment. This can be playing as a duet with a teacher, or teachers can play the piano parts. If you are playing a more complex piece that requires a piano specialist to accompany you, you are responsible for arranging a pianist and rehearsing in advance. So even though the concert is more informal, individual students have to take more responsibility for their preparation.

This event is open to the public. Students can invite friends and family. Anyone who is interested in seeing what we do in the ESFRS program is welcome to drop in.


img_5001“Tutti” is an Italian term used in musical scores, which means “everybody plays together”.


The annual Tutti Daimg_4995y event, celebrating Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s birthday, is held in Edmonton in  October every year. Students from Suzuki programs all over the city are invited to come and play together, something that we can easily do thanks to the amount of common repertoire that we share! Most recently, these events have been held at Edmonton City Hall.


The 2017 Tutti Day has been moved to Oct. 1 in order to coincide with Culture Days.


  • 1:15 pm: Orchestra rehearsal
    • – any students participating in Canada 150 should attend at this time for run-through with orchestra
  • 2:30pm everyone else arrives for set-up and tuning
  • 3:00 pm Concert
  • Dress Code: Black ESFRS T shirts, black pants or skirts
  • Music stands required ONLY if you are playing in Canada 150

Here’s the program (flutes & recorders can play the tunes in bold type):

1. Canada 150  – orchestra, Silverwinds & Sweetwoods
2. Minuet No.1 in G+ (BWV822)  – violin/winds
3. Perpetual Motion D+ all lower strings
4. Twinkle Variation A, in A+ — violins, flutes & recorders if we transpose
5. French Folk Song, D+ — lower strings
6. Flute or Recorder solo TBA
7. Lightly Row in A+ — violins
8. Moon Over Ruined Castle in Gminor — cellos, flutes if we transpose
9. Bohemian Folk Song — violas
10.  Song of Wind in A+ — violins
11. Chatter with the Angels — double basses
12.  Hunters’ Chorus in G+ — all who can play in this key
13.  Minuet No.2 in G+ (BWV116) — violins/winds
14.  Twinkle Variation A, in D+ – lower strings & recorders
15. Flute or Recorder solo TBA
16. Long Long Ago & Variation in C Major – cellos, flutes
17.  Allegro in A+, violins
18.  Go Tell Aunt Rhody in D+, lower strings and recorders
19.  Seitz, No.5, 3rd movt — only if violin attendance supports this,
20.  Twinkle Theme in D+ — TUTTI

If there is a tune you can play on this list, plan to come and join us!

Borealis Suzuki Winds Institute 2017

The 2017 Institute featured many guest artist teachers from all over the world!

Music cognition researcher and Suzuki Flute teacher trainer Dr. David Gerry presented public lectures at McEwan University and a training class for teachers.

Christine Hildebrand was here from Germany – she attended the teacher training class and worked with some of our local students.

And the The Fourth Wall was here at the Fringe Festival, so we grabbed them on short notice for a  fantastic workshop!


10th Anniversary Celebration

January 28, 2017

10th anniversary Concert Celebration

Groups performed:

Mixed group with teacher Kathleen Schoen

Recorder group with teacher and pianist Dorothy Beyer

Flute group with teacher Beth Gardner

Soloists also performed on both flute and recorder:

And of course there was cake, and flowers, and general happy celebrations:

In our program, the beginners start out like this:

and end up sounding like this:

Many thanks to photographers Asanka Dissanayaka, Jackie Lalonde, Kelly Komm and Thomas Schoen.

Thanks to Susanna So for organizing and donating the cake.

Thanks to McEwan University for the use of the concert hall.

Thanks to Dorothy Beyer for playing the piano.

Opening Play-in and FREE drop-in beginner class

The first group event of the year is our opening play-in to start the fall term of group classes. All the students gather at the same time to play their known repertoire together. This is an opportunity for the youngest and the oldest students to play together and learn from each other in a multi-level group.

The beginner class, which we call the “Toolbox” class, includes students who have just begun their lessons. Often they will be working on fundamental skills away from the instrument. Since having the instrument is not a requirement to participate in the beginner class, we open it up to any parents with children who would like to try a class to see what it is like.

Group classes are normally on Thursday evenings, but we moved the play-in to the weekend in order to be part of the Alberta Culture Days events. Time and location of this year’s event:

Saturday Oct. 1, 2016 – Nordic Studio A, Arts Barns
  • Beginner drop-in class (anyone can participate) 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
  • Multi-level demonstration class noon – 1 pm
  • Grand march and performance in the Gazebo in McIntyre Park 1 – 2 pm

Check out our listing on the Alberta Culture Days page: click here





Borealis Suzuki Winds Institute 2016


The Canadian Recorder team at the Instrument Olympics


Mixed doubles “breath tennis” at the Instrument Olympics


The highlight of the Institute this year was the “Instrument Olympics”, inspired by the Summer Olympics happening in Rio de Janeiro at the same time.




Events included the Instrument Balance Beam, Feather Float, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Mixed Doubles Breath Tennis, Scale Relays, and Long Note. And of course, every participant received a Gold Medal at the medal ceremony on the last day .



Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastic Recorder Team at the BSWI Instrument Olympics


Gold medal presentation on the last day of the BSWI Instrument Olympics

Edmonton Symphony & Suzuki Flute

all on stageWe performed John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy with the amazing Carol Wincenc  and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

It was a wonderful opportunity to work with Carol Wincenc – she is a world-class soloist and a teacher at the Julliard School in New York. Our students worked very hard for several weeks of rehearsals to prepare for this event, and performed three times as part of the last concert of the ESO 2015-16 season.


IMG_4285Many thanks to Carol Wincenc for inviting us to play with her, to conductor Bill Eddins for programming the piece on the ESO concert series, to the Edmonton Opera for providing the costumes, and to the ESO Operations Manager, the incredible Jerrold Eilander, who kept it all together backstage and got everyone out on time for our cue!



Groups at Royal Alexandra Hospital – May 2015

Thursday May 7, 2015 – Our last group performance of the season before groups take a break for the summer. Our beginners were  participating fully without any help from their parents, and the more experienced students demonstrated a selection of pieces from their repertoire for this year.

Many of the hospital patients gathered around to listen, not just on the main level where the groups were playing, but on the balconies that surrounded the atrium on the floors above us.