The RSO announces their new season’s plans!


More music and more talent coming up

Look at all those happy, little musicians playin’ away. / Laura Billett

Look at all those happy, little musicians playin’ away. / Laura Billett

The Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) announced the details of their 2015-16 season on Thursday, Feb. 26. The season launch, held at the Government House, opened with a beautiful performance by select members of the orchestra. Following the performance were speeches from Executive Director Tanya Derksen and Musical Director Victor Sawa. The event finished with a tea, wine, and lunch social where I had the opportunity to snack and chat with Derksen about the details of the upcoming season.

Though the RSO has a lot of music and many people to celebrate this upcoming season, Derksen was first excited to share the details of their new discounted pricing.

“If you are a student of any age — university or high school — you can get tickets for $10 next season. If you are under thirty, you can get tickets for $15 to any of our regular series concerts. It’s through a program called Classically Hip, which is sponsored by Scotiabank. It’s just a great way to come, check it out, [and] see if you like it.”

Cheaper than going to a movie or buying drinks, the symphony provides a great return on your dollar. The new season includes works by Mozart, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and more. The easy-to-love Shumiatcher Pop Series will feature an evening of music by Elton John and Billy Joel. The season and Sawa’s reign as Musical Director will close with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

The theme of the new season surrounds local talent and highlights many of the RSO’s own wonderful musicians.

“We decided that the Regina Symphony wanted to celebrate our own local talent as well as people who have roots here in Saskatchewan because it is Victor Sawa’s last season with us. So, we thought, what better way to celebrate the fact that it’s his twentieth and final season than to have all the people come back that he knows and play and pay tribute and celebrate the fact that he’s been here that long,” Derksen explained.

Derksen explained that the musicians seem happy about the RSO’s focus on individual talent.

“These are very, very highly trained, specialized, talented individuals in and of themselves as musicians. It’s nice to bring them out of the orchestra once in a while and say ‘Listen, they are so talented just on their own, backed up of course by their peers and friends in the orchestra.’”

As they enter their final season with Sawa, the RSO is excited to determine who will take his place and see where that new Musical Director will lead the orchestra. However, Derksen says, there are undoubtedly feelings of regret to see Sawa move on.

Derksen says, “In some ways it’s very sad because he gives so much to the RSO, and everybody in Regina knows Victor. He’s kind of a famous icon here.”

The RSO will be announcing the new musical director early in the 2015-16 season. If you are terribly worried about missing the fantastic personality of Sawa, you need not be too distressed. While speaking at the season launch, Sawa hinted at making guest appearances after his retirement. When pressed to confirm this possibility, Derksen agreed that Sawa would likely return at some point.

“Oh, sure, at some point! It’s very common for orchestras to invite their former musical directors to come back because the community knows them, and they are well loved. We don’t have any dates picked, but I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to invite him back,” says Derksen.

We still have a whole year to see Sawa conduct the RSO, so check out the 2015-16 season program, and take advantage of the incredible student pricing.


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