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SATURDAY October 1, 2022
9AM - 3:30 PM
York University
(Accolade east building)

What is it?

The Beginning Band Symposium provides an opportunity for professional development with an experienced clinician. Topics may include, but are not limited to, rehearsal techniques, repertoire ideas, introductory band class lessons, engagement and program development. BBS also allows teachers to connect with colleagues from across the province.

2022 FEES

Please note that you have to be a member of the OBA to attend the York/OBA Beginning Band Symposium.

The event fees are as follows:

New/Renewing Membership (Regular) & Symposium Fee ..............................  $80

New/Renewing Membership (Student/Retiree) & Symposium Fee .... $45

Symposium Fee

(Regular)........................................ $55

Symposium Fee


By selecting either of the above two options, you agree that you are a member of the Ontario Band Association. Should you not be a member, you will be asked to purchase a membership upon confirmation.




Beginning band rehearsal techniques

Back to Band 3 in 1 recharge session

The beginning instrumental music classroom in 2022 and beyond

Beginning band repertoire reading session

"If you play something, say something!"

"Passion and Possibility" kickstart/keynote

Q&A with Brian


8:30 – 9:00    Registration, coffee & muffins, secure your seat!

9:00 – 9:45    Welcome, Passion & Possibility Keynote Address (Balmages)

The intersection of our musical being and creativity can provide a new, refreshing, and confident outlook on the way forward. In fact, this “great reset” can usher in a revitalized, newly inspired approach to music making. Let the possibilities begin!


9:45 – 10:40  Beginning Band Rehearsal Techniques
Join Brian Balmages as he conducts a local area lab band through several beginning pieces while discussing relevant rehearsal strategies appropriate not only for beginning bands, but also important for any level of musician.

10:40 – 11:00  Shopping/Morning Break

11:00 – 12:00   Back to Band Recharge and Repertoire Session
This session will include methods, supplemental books, and fundamental strategies to address technique - so everyone can hit the ground running as we all look to overcome the challenges from the past two years. The session will continue with a shorter repertoire reading / review clinic featuring 10-12 pieces that will be accessible to programs, yet exciting for students.

12:00 – 1:00  LUNCH BREAK (On your own, campus food court is a 3 minute walk away)

1:00 – 2:00  If You PLAY Something, SAY Something!
Everyone agrees on the importance of playing musically. But HOW is this accomplished? And what does it even mean to play musically? Getting the ensemble to understand its role in breathing life into a phrase is one of the most critical elements in any rehearsal or performance. Explore the
difference between true musicality and the concept of “choreographed musicianship” as Balmages engages the audience through performance so attendees can actually EXPERIENCE the different tiers of musicality.

2:00 – 2:15  Shopping/Afternoon Break

2:20 – 3:00  The Beginning Instrumental Classroom in 2022 and beyond
Brian will showcase tips and tricks, using the latest online and other digital resources – with a focus on start up and teaching fundamentals through technique and repertoire.

3:00 – 3:30  Final Remarks/End of Symposium/Short Q+A time with Brian

2022 CLINICIAN: brian balmages


Brian Balmages (b. 1975) is an award-winning composer and conductor. His music has been performed throughout the world with commissions ranging from elementary schools to professional orchestras and chamber ensembles. World premieres include the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” United States Coast Guard Band, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Brass, and more. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. He is a recipient of the A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association, won the 2020 NBA William D. Revelli Composition Contest with his work Love and Light, and was awarded the inaugural James Madison University Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Visual and Performing Arts. In the same year, he was commissioned by his other alma mater, the University of Miami, to compose music for the inauguration of the institution’s 6th president, Dr. Julio Frenk. 

As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state and region bands and orchestras through the United States, as well as with university and professional ensembles throughout the world. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference, numerous state American String Teachers Association conferences and others. Additional conducting appearances have included venues such as the Kennedy Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, as well as band and orchestra engagements in Australia, Canada and Italy. Currently, he is Director of Digital Education and MakeMusic Publications for Alfred Music.


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