The term pivot became central to the vocabulary of so many organizations over the past 18 months, the SYJO being no exception. The 2020-21 season saw us rehearsing in two cohorts for much of the year, but never having the opportunity to perform. And so, we pivoted. With the support of SK Arts, we partnered with Saskatoon guitarist Joel Grundahl to record Two Seconds to Midnight by Alan Baylock. Although I’ll let the recording that resulted speak for itself, I’m sure you’ll agree that Joel added the “wow” factor!
In keeping with the last-minute title of the piece, the day of the recording I made a snap decision to have the musicians pull out their cell phones to capture the project, just before we made our “first take”. While I’m an “ideas guy”, the audio/video doesn’t magically come together by itself. There were parts submitted after the fact by the two soloists, a couple band members, as well as Sarah and Adam who filled out the ranks. Our “13th man”, so-to-speak, was Wayne Giesbrecht who put his skills to work piecing the whole thing together with artistic sensibility.
In short, this project would not have happened without the hard work and flexibility of quite a few people, not the least of whom are the aspiring musicians of the Saskatoon Youth Jazz Orchestra. The SYJO continues to benefit from the ongoing support of the board of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra and the Saskatoon Concert Band, their band hall being our rehearsal and now production location.
We hope you enjoy our feature tune, as well as the other four audio only selections that resulted from this project!
About the SYJO
The Saskatoon Youth Jazz Orchestra is the SJO's companion orchestra consisting of up-and-coming, student-aged musicians. Directed by Nick Fanner, the SYJO is composed of musicians selected each year following an auditions process held in the early fall. The orchestra regularly performs at SJO concerts as well as the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.