Saskatchewan

Regina Symphony Orchestra welcomes Gordon Gerrard as new conductor

When the Regina Symphony Orchestra takes the stage Saturday at the Symphony Under the Sky festival, there will be someone new conducting the musicians.

Former conductor stepped down in May after 20 years wielding the baton

Gordon Gerrard is the Regina Symphony Orchestra's new musical director.

When the Regina Symphony Orchestra takes the stage Saturday at the Symphony Under the Sky festival, there will be someone new in front conducting the musicians. 

"The biggest preparation has been moving to Regina, actually," said Gordon Gerrard, the RSO's new music director. "I just arrived here on Sunday night from Vancouver."

Gerrard, originally from Manitoba, said it feels good to be a permanent fixture of the orchestra after having worked with the musicians as a guest multiple times in the past.

"It's nice now to be here, to be actually starting the job and, you know, sort of rolling up my sleeves and getting into the middle of things," he said.

Former conductor, Victor Sawa, stepped down in May after 20 years wielding the baton.

Back in May, Sawa said, without bitterness, he would have liked to have stayed with the symphony for two more years, but said he didn't have a problem with change.

"They wanted somebody new and improved," he said.

Gerrard excited for the future

Gerrard started out as a pianist before becoming the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. After two successful seasons, he was promoted to associate conductor — a position he still holds in conjunction with his new position at the RSO.

"We've got lots of exciting things happening at the orchestra these days; lots of new faces and we're all excited about what the future looks like."

From Beethoven and Brahms, to movie scores from Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gerrard says the RSO has something for everyone.

Symphony Under the Sky

The Symphony Under the Sky festival begins at 10 a.m. CST Saturday at the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site.

The RSO will perform from 2 to 4 p.m.

"And of course it's tradition — we will have the great 1812 Overture complete with real live cannon fire," said Gerrard.

To find out more about upcoming performances by the Regina Symphony Orchestra, click here

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition

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