Press Release: Richard Carnegie Chosen as SYO’s New Director

July 27, 2009 – The Saskatoon Youth Orchestra is pleased to announce that Richard Carnegie has been chosen as the orchestra’s new music director. Carnegie, principal bassist for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Players, follows in some impressive footsteps as the leader of the SYO.

Longtime Saskatoon educator Wayne Toews resigned from the post at the conclusion of the 50th anniversary season in June of 2009. He had served as music director for 25 years. Assistant director George Charpentier also left after giving 25 years to the SYO. Both Toews and Charpentier will now concentrate on their other musical pursuits.

Carnegie, 27, brings an infectious energy to the job and his own experience in youth orchestras should help him connect with the players, who range in age from 14 to 22.

“Richard has so many ideas for the new direction for the orchestra,” says SYO chair Barb Kowaliuk. “This is a really exciting time for the SYO.”

Aside from his key role with the SSO, Carnegie plays jazz with the Mark DeJong Trio and has a one-man show called Conversations With My Double Bass. Carnegie is also a sessional lecturer in double bass at the University of Saskatchewan Department of Music and served as double bass instructor for the SYO from 2006 to 2008. Carnegie studied in New York at the Manhattan School of Music and in Toronto at the Glenn Gould School.

Carnegie says he is excited to get to work in the fall, when the SYO will begin rehearsals on its first program: Wagner’s Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance Marches and a complete performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

There are also plans for a competition for Saskatchewan composers under the age of 25, with the winner having their work performed by the youth orchestra.

The SYO was established in 1958 by Murray Adaskin as the Saskatoon Junior Symphony. The current organization dates from 1983 when Toews and Charpentier worked with a committee of parents to develop an independent incorporated organization.

The SYO consists of three programs. In addition to the orchestra itself, the organization includes a string orchestra for young players called the Saskatoon Strings, directed by Bernadette Wilson, and a Double Bass program. Members of all three groups study privately and audition for membership.

The SYO attracts elementary, high school and university students from a broad area around Saskatoon. Repertoire consists of professional calibre music in a broad range of styles.

Media members looking for more information, or interested in scheduling an interview with Richard Carnegie are invited to please contact:
Richard Carnegie, SYO Music Director, at 717-1011
or Paul Sinkewicz, SYO Publicity Chair, at 931-2629 (home) or 241-6818 (cell).

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