Even though it’s been just a few weeks since the final concert of their most recent season, the Estevan Arts Council (EAC) is already promoting the 2018-19 season for the Estevan Concert Series through Stars for Saskatchewan.
The local series will kick off on Sept. 15 with Rave On: A Buddy Holly Tribute at Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS). The band that performs the tribute is based out of Brandon, Man., and has played dozens of shows across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Fans will get to dance to their favourite Holly tunes.
The next concert will be Prairie Debut’s presentation of the Rolston String Quartet on Nov. 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church. The top act at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the young group has already gained attention on the international stage.
Luke McMaster will perform a Christmas-themed concert on Dec. 7 at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch. He’ll play popular Christmas carols and some of his own seasonal originals.
Prairie Debut will present the first show of 2019 with the Ladom Ensemble on Feb. 3 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Drawing from various global music genres, they bring them together into a contemporary classical framework.
Red Moon Road will perform on Feb. 25, 2019 at the legion. The trio combines their lyrics and voices with instrumental work in numerous genres.
The final concert will be Heather Rankin on March 14, 2019 at ECS. A well-known singer, songwriter and member of the Rankin Family, she has performed in venues across the country, and has won awards for her musical talents.
EAC president Wilma Mantei said it’s a well-rounded schedule, with acts that will appeal to all musical tastes. The tribute bands, like the Holly concert, have been popular in the past.
The Prairie Debut shows will bring classical music to Estevan. Rankin, meanwhile, is expected to be a draw, as she is part of the famous Rankin musical family in Atlantic Canada.
“I’m hoping that we have picked out concerts that appeal to people,” said Mantei.
She has seen the Ladom Ensemble and Red Moon Road previously through the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Council’s showcase last October.
“There are about 15 acts that come there, and sing for all of these (arts) councils from around the province, and then we get to choose if we like them or not,” said Mantei.
In the case of other musicians, she is looking forward to seeing them live, since she has only heard their music online.
“You can go and find them and listen to them,” said Mantei. “So we do that, too. We study them all up, and try to find some.”
This year will also mark the first time the legion has hosted concerts through the series. Mantei said they have received some concerns about concerts at ECS, due to the distance and the number of stairs from parking lot to the cafetorium.
It is also more affordable to rent the legion’s hall, and the EAC might be able to sell alcohol at the legion, which they haven’t been able to do at other venues.
Mantei said the EAC is trying to have a blitz so that it can sell more subscriptions than in the last couple of years, and to offset some of the funding losses suffered in recent years. They’re also looking for sponsors.
This will be the first series in which it has been known as the Estevan Concert Series, but there is still an affiliation with the Stars for Saskatchewan series.