About Cantando Music Festivals

What is the Cantando Festival?

A non-competitive festival designed for North American school wind ensembles, concert bands, orchestras, jazz bands, and choirs utilizing some basic tenets necessary to promote quality music education. These basic tenets include:

  • Promoting REPERTOIRE OF THE HIGHEST ARTISTIC NATURE both in the selections expected for performance as well as repertoire performed by guest ensembles
  • EVALUATIONS AND CLINICS are all designed to cultivate growth and a love of serious music-making utilizing a realistic, yet musical approach to assist with improved musical performance
  • UTILIZING THE BEST TEACHER/PERFORMERS people that understand both kids and music and the critical combination of inspiration, knowledge, and artistic growth are the only ones that work for this festival
  • EXPOSING STUDENTS TO PERFORMANCES BY SERIOUS ENSEMBLES we've included both university and professional groups of the highest level and specified the repertoire we want performed. Both standard repertoire of significant worth and new and substantial pieces will be performed including quality works for professional soloists
  • SUFFICIENT TIME FOR PERFORMANCE AND CLINICS this varies at each festival but Edmonton, the Okanagan and Whistler provide 50 minute clinics for concert bands and choirs, 30 minute clinics for jazz ensembles in Edmonton and the Okanagan and 50 minute clinics in Whistler. Instrumental clinics for both students and directors are provided at all 3 festivals.  Mass choirs perform at all 3 festivals as well.  All festivals provide ample performance times for all ensembles.

What Makes Cantando Special?

The Cantando Festival employs only adjudicators and clinicians of the highest stature, those that have achieved success in their fields and those that continue to have a major impact upon music education. The opportunity to work with these artists in an educational setting for long periods of time is a major facet of the festival.

A list of current adjudicators is found within each festival as well as a list of past adjudicators. We are proud to have utilized the talents of musicians and educators from throughout North America and beyond. We take their recommendations about the festival to heart and each year proves to be an improvement over the past.

In 2023 we are moving our Sun Peaks festival to the sunny Okanagan with concert band events in the beautiful (and acoustically superior) Vernon Performing Arts Centre while the choral and jazz elements of the festival will be held 40 minutes south in a variety of venues in Kelowna. We are very much looking forward to these venues and cities and know that access to this area is easy from all 3 western provinces and the Pacific NW in the USA. We have planned some exciting guest artists as well as utilizing the talents of local musicians.

This year we hope to consider world events and their relationship to our art form. We hope to share the experiences the pandemic has created, as well as observe the many successes that individual artists and educators have obtained through non-traditional techniques. We also plan to involve indigenous artists as well as explore music from the many other countries that contribute refugees to our country. We encourage school ensembles to explore music from other cultures as well as those practiced by a variety of ethnic groups.

Our evening concerts feature a number of outstanding ensembles.  Check out this tab under each festival to learn what is happening in 2023 – this tab typically gets updated in the fall of each year.