Our History of Music

Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop- Historical Information

In the spring of 1980, Robert Eklund, then band director at Central Memorial High School, founder of the Calgary Stampede Band organization and President of the Alberta Band Association encouraged his student teacher, Robert George to apply for funding through the Alberta Band Association to develop and operate a summer band workshop focused on junior high school students.

The first workshop in 1981 was held at Bowness High School with a staff of seven dedicated music educators and over 30 students.  In an effort to establish a more centralized venue, the workshop was then moved to the Conservatory of Music at Mount Royal College (now Mount Royal University) for the next summer.  

In 1982, Dr. Vondis Miller was appointed director of Bands and Music Education at the University of Calgary, and invited Mr. George to offer the workshop at the university. Over time, the workshop grew to over 200 participants annually. It was administered by a team assembled by Mr. George, through the auspices of the Faculty of Continuing Education. Additional sponsors, most notably the Optimist Club of North Calgary, St John’s Music and Long and McQuade Music were added to the organization, as the Alberta Band Association ended their grant program.

In 1992, Mr. George moved to Arizona to pursue further graduate study, and Nicole Haycock assumed the coordination responsibilities for the workshop. The workshop continued for many successful years on the University of Calgary campus. 
The primary focus of this workshop has always been to offer students the opportunity to work with amazing music educators at an affordable fee.  In 2008, the Summer Band Workshop partnered with Chinook Learning Services (The Calgary Board of Education Summer Programs) until its closure in 2018.  We are very grateful for the amazing support provided to the workshop by the dedicated administrators at Chinook Learning Services.

We greatly appreciate the dedicated music educators of Calgary and the surrounding rural areas who continue to encourage their students to participate in this week-long musical experience.   This workshop will continue long into the future as many former students of the workshop have themselves become master teachers and now teach at the workshop.  The staff and students greatly appreciate the support shared by CADME (Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education) to keep our workshop accessible to all musicians of all ages.