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Festival Fanfare: Adjudicator achieves several conducting awards

2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival April 15 to 28.
Dr. Mark Tse is a Canadian conductor and educator. He conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and is an instructor of conducting and instrumental music teaching in secondary schools and guitar pedagogy.

THE BATTLEFORDS — The band, strings, instrumental solos, and small ensemble sessions for the 2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival are scheduled from April 15 - 19. Adjudicator this is Dr. Mark Tse. Dr. Tse is a Canadian conductor and educator serving as assistant professor of Instrumental Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan. He conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and is an instructor of conducting, instrumental music teaching in secondary schools and guitar pedagogy. He says he values kindness, collectivism and continuous learning.

Tse adds he is dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to access and cultivate the joy of music which includes musicians, conductors, composers and audiences, as well as people and genres that have been historically marginalized from orchestral music.

In the 2016 American Prize Competition, he won third place for Community Band Wind Ensemble Conduction and an honourable mention for College/University Wind Ensemble Conducting. In 2015, he won second place for College/University Wind Ensemble Conducting. 

There is no shortage of data showing learning to play an instrument benefits young people. An article online at Medical XPress entitled “Music Training Strengthens Children's Brains and Decision-Making Network” states, “If the brain is a muscle, then learning to play an instrument and read music is the ultimate exercise.”

Also discussed are two studies from the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC showing “that as little as two years of music instruction has multiple benefits.” “Music training can change both the structure of the brain's white matter, which carries signals through the brain and grey matter, which contains most of the brain's neurons that are active in processing information” and that “music instruction boosts engagement of brain networks responsible for decision making and the ability to focus attention and inhibit impulses.”

To read more about how scientists used testing such as MRI scans and EEG to track data for these studies, check out the article on under the topic of neuroscience.

The 2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival is scheduled to run from April 15 - 28 with the celebratory gala night at the Dekker Centre. For local folks wanting to support the festival, there are a variety of options. Businesses or individuals may wish to sponsor a session or award. Volunteer opportunities come in all sizes. For folks with more complicated schedules, volunteering might be making phone calls or running errands. For folks with less complicated schedules, volunteering might involve being a greeter outside of sessions during the festival or being a secretary for the adjudicator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and see where your time, skills, or resources might be of most help. Correspondence can be directed by email to the Committee secretary Amy Francais or P.O. Box 1301, North Battleford, Sask., S9A 3L8.

I like an element of chaos in music. That feeling is the best thing ever, as long as you don’t have too much of it. When Jazz broke through in England, I remember sneaking to listen on the radio much to my parent’s disapproval.” — Jeff Beck, ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone and other magazines' lists of the greatest guitarists (1944-2023)