We regret to inform you that the show at The Bassment:
on Sunday, June 28, 2020
has been Corona-cancelled.
Please keep checking back for information about upcoming gigs.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Well, our world is certainly a different one than it was a couple of months ago! I hope that you and your people are staying at home, safe and sound. We all have to do our part, however small. This Covid 19 isolation business hit Solstice right away, as we sing facing each other, touch all of the equipment regularly and we're in, as what was said at the time, the primary target age group for catching the virus. First, we cancelled rehearsals. We haven't rehearsed together since March 5! So sad! However, I did give some new music to the group to work on at home. Hope they're working on it!
Now, gigs are being cancelled. Fortunately for us, Matthew volunteered to do the grunt work for one of those videos where everybody sings in their own at home and then it's put together, afterwards. He's got the skills! You can check out the video, here. Be well, everyone! See you on the other side!
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Last night, we sang at the Grandmothers for Grandmothers Annual Fundraising Gala. What a great crowd! They were there to have fun! And we did, too! This group does great work throughout the year raising money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help in Africa.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
It's been a busy and exciting fall for us. We've been working
on repertoire for both gospel and Christmas shows, we took
new promotional photos (coming soon!) with George Charpentier
and we welcomed Matthew Olson into the group. Matthew
has a music background and in currently directing "Into the Woods"
with Saskatoon Summer Players.
We just finished a great show at Grace Westminster United Church.
The folks at the show enjoyed a great dinner and the show went
really well. Grace Westminster has a terrific sound. It's a joy to sing,
Wednesday. July 31, 2019
While it's currently a lovely summer day, following one
of our spectacular summer overnight storms, I have been
busy ordering new music for both our gospel
on Friday, November 1, 2019 and our Christmas
show at The Bassment on Sunday, December 15,
2019. It's exciting for me to listen to the new
material, but it is a little odd to be listening to
songs about snow and cold, while wearing my
flip flops! I hope to see you at one - or both - of
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Our gig at The Bassment went really well.
Many thanks to Don, Troy and Julie at the
club for running things so smoothly. Many
thanks to Sheldon, D'Arce, Doug and Graham
for their efforts as the combo.
I was so pleased to see some new faces
in the crowd; many thanks to those folks who
bring first-timers with them to see us!
The new material sounded great and Pam
finally learned how to say/sing "ornithologist".
There aren't too many songs, I dare say,
that include the word "ornithologist".
Monday, May 13, 2019
I just found out that Phil Mattson passed away
this past January. Phil was a prolific arranger of
vocal jazz music and his arrangements were
well-suited to our style of singing. Solstice had
the opportunity to work with Phil on several
occasions. His arrangements are all so beautiful.
Friday, April 12, 2019
We have been learning some wonderful new music, including three Nat 'King' Cole songs. Last year, 2018, would have been his 100th birthday and many arrangers took advantage of the occasion to create new arrangements of some of his great songs. There is a very interesting story behind Nature Boy , both how it came to be written and how it came to Nat 'King' Cole. "You're Looking at Me" is the quintessential song where the world-weary customer tells his troubles to the local barkeep. In this arrangement, it's a woman who is drowning her sorrows. Our third Nat 'King' Cole song is Grant's terrific arrangement of Straighten Up and Fly Right. It, too, has an interesting story behind it.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
I've been spending the afternoon reviewing the set list for our gig in June. That's right - June! Where has the time gone?!
I know that we've been hard at work learning new material for our upcoming gigs. We have some wonderful new pieces that we've been rehearsing. You will get to hear some of it at our gig at The Bassment in June. Yes, I know it's Father's Day, but there you have it! Remember to get your tickets right away. There were disappointed people at our Christmas show who missed out because they left it too late. Hope to see you, there!
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Thanks so much; we are sold out for the show on Sunday, December 16!
We sold out about a week or two ago and are now hearing from people who left it too late to buy tickets. Keep tabs on our website so you know when our public events are being held. Jean has almost completed the Solstice Email List, so I will be able to send you information about upcoming gigs.
Congratulations to Brenda Laxdal who won the draw at ProActive Fitness for two free tickets to next Sunday's show!
Saturday, December 1, 2018
We began our Christmas season at the Cathedral last night, singing at a fundraiser. Lots of new faces - new fans, I hope, as well - and some of the usual suspects, too. We were thrilled to have Neil Currie and Esther Rabuka play with us, in addition to our regular drummer, D'Arce McMillan.
The Bassment show will be here before we know it!
Thursday, November 8, 2018
The gig at Grace Westminster was so fun! The only thing that would have made it better would be to have bought a dinner ticket for the supper. It smelled delicious! We sang a wide variety of repertoire at this gig, including lots of gospel songs.
We are now preparing for the gig on November 30, 2018. We will be performing some of our Christmas material, but not all. We are saving the new material for our Christmas gig at The Bassment on December 16, 2018! We hope you are able to join us at these shows.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
With reports about snowfall everywhere, I guess it is not too early to be thinking about Christmas. We are hard at work learning new Christmas and gospel music - as well as our usual stuff - for three upcoming gigs. They will all be a little different, so please feel free to come to more than one show!
The first one is a show at Grace Westminster United Church at 7:30 on Friday, October 19, 2018. A $30 ticket gets you dinner first, followed by the show. A $20 ticket gets you into just the show. Contact the church office at 306-653-1766 for tickets.
At 7:30 on Friday, November 30, 2018, we will be at The Cathedral of the Holy Family. This concert will help raise funds to send a group of Grade 7 and 8 students on an educational trip to Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa, this spring. For tickets, email: email@example.com.
We are so looking forward to these gigs; we hope to see you there!
Thursday, August 31, 2018
The weather has been reminding us that, while we have had a wonderful summer, fall will soon be upon us. I guess it's the teacher in me, but fall always excites me: meeting old friends and catching up, back to routines and most importantly, for me, back to singing! Solstice rehearsal was tonight and it's going to be another great season. We have some exciting new material in store and we hope to see you at our Christmas gig at The Bassment on December 16. You can get your tickets, already! Please click here.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Our sold-out gig at The Luncheon at The Bassment was terrific! We had a fabulous audience and they said they liked the new repertoire. New music included a wonderful Pentatonix version of Jolene featuring Nancy's terrific solo and Kim de Laforest. Many thanks to Kim for joining us at the show. Grant's new arrangements included Drive My Car, Money and With a Little Help from My Friends. Thanks also to Don Griffith and Troy Denet at The Bassment for all their planning and effort for our show. I have already turned my mind to Christmas music as we plan for our fall season.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Mother Nature has finally decided to let Spring arrive and we are now just a month away from the Bruncheon at The Bassment! Rehearsals are going well and we are really looking forward to singing our new material.
Congratulations to Diane Anderson, from Saskatoon, who won our last draw for two free tickets to the Bruncheon!
Tomorrow night, the family is off to see Next to Normal, the first offering from Cornerstone Theatre. They bill themselves as "theatre with a cause."
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Welcome, Baby Jane! Congratulations to Michelle and Liam!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
It may still be bitterly cold, but the days are getting longer and the sun is shining brighter and that's all good!
We are learning some wonderful new music, including a smokin' hot, Pentatonix version of Jolene. We're very excited that the wonderful Saskatoon violinist, Kim de Laforest, will be joining us at our gig in June playing fiddle on Jolene
and a few other tunes, as well! Saskatoon has an amazing wealth of incredibly talented musicians.
Friday, December 21, 2017
The Winter Solstice has arrived - and so has the cold! It was a rare treat for us to load in a for a winter gig and not freeze! We had great weather and a great gig at The Bassment, last Saturday night! The crowd was wonderful! And (to quote Elle Woods) it was super fun, too! It was impossible not to be in the Christmas spirit, that night! Many thanks to Troy Denet for making us sound so good! And it was very gratifying to hear some laughter out in the audience during
Text Me Merry Christmas. I think it's hilarious, too!
We have another draw on the go; this time for tickets to our June 17 Bruncheon at The Bassment.
Enter online, only, please. Good Luck!
Monday, November 27, 2017
We are less than a month away from our Christmas show; it's going to be a great gig! We have some wonderful new music and the group is sounding really good! We are very humble to learn that out Dec. 16 show is sold out! Don Griffith has already asked Solstice to perform again on June 17. Keep watching for ticket information.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Well, today was the day of the big draw for two tickets to our Dec. 16th show. The winner is Michele Campbell from Melfort, SK. Thanks to everyone who entered the draw.
The next Saskatoon Summer Players show is coming up soon. "Little Women" will be at The Broadway Theatre from November 8 - 11, 2017. One of my offspring has a role.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Rehearsals have been going really well and the new songs are sounding great, already! Lori has created a great email poster to remind people to enter our draw for two free tickets to our Christmas show at The Bassment and to let everyone know that tickets are already on sale for that performance. Hope you are able to join us, there!
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Tomorrow is our first rehearsal of the season! I am so excited about the new Christmas music that we'll be singing! I found some great songs and Grant has arranged some wonderful Pentatonix tunes. Tickets are on sale for our Christmas show at The Bassment. Just click on the link above for information about tickets.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Bruncheon, yesterday. We had a great time and we hope you all did, as well! Many thanks to Don Griffith and the crew at The Bassment for all their efforts to get everyone seated and fed. No small feat! Jill Mack on sound made us sound great, too! Thanks. also, to Garnet Lindsay for shooting some video for us. It was so fun to sing Grant's "Sunny Days Medley" in celebration of the sesquicentennial. It seemed to go over well. Arlyn came to the gig, as well. He looks a lot different than last year at the gig! See the photo below.
Something new: We are trying to collect the emails of our fans, so that we can contact them about upcoming gigs. Check out our Home Page for details! All emails collected between now and October 14, 2017 will be entered in a draw for two free tickets to our Christmas gig at The Bassment. We will make the draw on October 15, 2017.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
We are all looking forward to our gig at The Bassment this coming Sunday. It will be great fun to sing together and see our wonderful fans!
Today, I met for coffee with Amy Cannell (a former Solstite), as she was visiting from BC. We had a great talk and she filled me in on something that Patrick Collins (another former Solstite) has been involved with for several years. He has been biking and raising money for cancer research!
Monday, May 15, 2017
I am so thrilled! I just got news from Don Griffith at the Jazz Bassment that the details are in place for the Solstice Bruncheon! We have been working on some great new material, so it will be wonderful to be able to sing it for our fans. Grant wrote a special arrangement to celebrate Canada 150. It's great fun to sing and we know people will have fun listening to it! Tickets are on sale now. Click on the link above for more details and tickets. Keep in mind this gig is at The Bassment, not at the hotel. Hope to see you, there!
Saturday, February 4, 2017
The Star Phoenix had a retrospective article in the newspaper, today. Look, and behold, there was a picture (sans article) of Solstice from 1981! So, I dug it out of my collection and I thought I would put it here. From Left to right:
Garth Tait, Stephanie Smith, Guy Edlund, Richard Downey, Amy Chrichton, Wayne Gaskin, Arlene Kear, Brent Burbridge, Wanda Nykiforuk, Keith Jeffrey, Arden Skrudland, Lee, Braaten, Jean Jeffrey, Gregg Adams, Lynne Nykiforuk.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The Winter Solstice - a time of year, Jean and Grant's anniversary and the name of our first
Christmas recording from 1988. Today, I received an email from a man in Quebec. His family
lived in Saskatoon when our tape was released and they listened quite a bit when they
drove from Saskatoon to Quebec! Well, it seems the cassette has finally worn out and he
managed to track me down to ask about getting another copy. That's pretty special to us!
I'll send him "Cool Yule", as well.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
We are so grateful to everyone for coming out to our Christmas evening at The Bassment.
There was a wonderful, responsive sell-out crowd and we had a great time! It's quite likely
that we will be re-booked for next Christmas, so that's great news for us! Once I know if
we have a confirmed date, I will leave you know. (Any Guys and Dolls fans, out there?)
I'd like to send a big "thank you" out to Jamie Peever who did sound for us at The Bassment.
It sounded great! I will be reviewing Christmas music over the next few months, so
that we will have some new repertoire, as well.
Best wishes to everyone for a happy, safe holiday season!
Monday, December 5, 2016
The Arena Rebuild Fundraiser in Perdue was great fun! We managed to work the name of Perdue into "Let's Get Away from It All": "to Saskatoon Zoo, then it's off to Perdue!" The audience got a kick out of that!
The Recreation Complex is a wonderful facility. Apparently, the hardwood floor was made from wood saved from old churches. It was put in on an angle, kind of a herringbone pattern, and it's lovely. The stage has lots of great lighting
and the place is equipped with round or rectangular tables. If you're ever looking for a great venue to rent.... Just
But. back to the gig. Bruce Wilkinson did a great job for us on bass, as did D'Arce and Sheldon. Michelle and Pam
were away for this gig, so Heather Currie filled in for them. It's a lot of music to learn and she did a great job!
See you at the Bassment in a couple of weeks!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Less than a month to go until our Christmas gig at The Bassment! It's going to be so fun! We have a terrific variety of songs in the line-up: some traditional Christmas songs, some jazzy Christmas songs, as well as some songs from our regular repertoire. Ticket sales are going well, so get your tickets soon, so you aren't disappointed!
Monday, October 24, 2016
The gospel concert at Grosvenor Park United Church went really well! The program had something for everyone and we received many wonderful comments and phone calls from people. We also heard about folks that had never heard us before and who now are fans and who plan on coming to the Jazz Bassment for our December show! That's always encouraging when we learn of new people who have enjoyed our performance and plan on coming to see us again! Many thanks to Enid and her team at the church for putting on such a great event! (Pssst - We might be doing another gospel performance in the spring at a different church.)
Sunday, October 10, 2016
We rehearsed today with the band in preparation for our Gospel Concert at Grosvenor Park United Church, this Friday night. I love it when the instruments are there to fill out the sound! Doug and D'Arce are great! While, we will be performing some gospel favourites that our audiences may remember, we also have some awesome, new gospel songs that we can't wait to perform. The concert will also include a bit of our regular repertoire, as well. Looking forward to it. Should be great!
Friday, August 26, 2016
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler and choir directors everywhere turn their thoughts to repertoire and set lists. Actually, I've been busy planning for weeks already; it's always exciting to prepare for the upcoming season. With this year heralding the 40th Anniversary of Solstice, I wanted to include as much variety as possible in the music that we perform this season. In addition to singing our regular material, we've got a gospel concert and a Christmas concert, so there's surely something for everyone!
Monday, June 27, 2016
What a great time we had yesterday at the Jazz brunch! Kudos to Karen Gwillam for
doing a great job on sound for the gig. We were so pleased that the Brunch was sold
out, although we did meet some disppointed people who could not get tickets. We
also heard the food was good, too! Many thanks to Sheldon, D'Arce , Graham and
Doug for doing their usual fantastic work on the music.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
We just had our final rehearsal before the Jazz Brunch at the SaskTel Saskatchewan
Jazz Festival, this coming Sunday. We met with the band on the weekend and it
sounded good! We're ready and can hardly wait to get out there and perform for
everyone! I'm particularly pleased with some of our new songs: Sermonette,
Up to the Mountain, California Dreaming and so on. We've settled on one colour
for our performance outfits; it should make getting ready easier!
Thursday, May 26, 2016
We're working on some great gospel tunes at the moment: Lean On Me, Sermonette,
His Eye Is On the Sparrow. Some of them may even be ready for the Jazz Brunch. Lots
of other great events coming up in the next month. Both our girls dance in
Abiding Lines. In addition to performing for private functions and events like WE Day,
this dance troupe does two shows in Saskatoon on June 10th and 11th, 2016.
On June 12th, 2016, they head up to Prince Albert for another show, there. Beginning
June 24, 2016, is the Saskatoon Summer Players production of Grease. Heather is
pretty excited to be doing the choreography for the show. It's also very exciting that
her boyfriend, James, is playing Danny Zuko. I would suggest that you check out both
Sunday, May 15, 2016
We are fast approachng our 40th Anniversary! Solstice was formed by James Hawn in the fall of 1976. We have a few plans with regards to our upcoming season, so it was time to update our photos, again, with everyone in the group. Nancy has been in the group for a year, but we have been using an old photo. So, today was photo day up on campus.
Many thanks to Kirk Fong for taking pictures for us!
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Grant and I have just returned from The Bassment where we heard a terrific show with Oliver Jones. It was just tremendous! He's such an incredible musician, as were the bassist and drummer. I love the way he lets the song come through his interpretation.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Our Jazz Night was terrific! The Bassment sound tech extraordinaire, Karen Gwillam, managed to get us set-up and running in record time! With 12 musicians, 11 mics, speakers, 7 monitors, 7+ instruments, stands, lights, etc. etc., it's no small feat to get us ready to sing! Our new tunes went over well and we were so grateful for our supportive audience! It was an extra thrill for us, too, as Tommy Banks was in the house. There's nothing like having the Elder Statesman of Canadian music listening to get the adrenaline flowing! This incredible musician was in town to play with the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra on April 30, 2016. My weekend ended with the Kids of Note Spring Concert. I would strongly suggest that you take in one of their concerts. Their Christmas Concert is Sunday, November 27, 2016. You will be incredibly happy that you did! This weekend, May 7, 2016, Grant and I will taking in Oliver Jones at The Bassment. Can hardly wait!
Friday, April 22, 2016
Our Bassment Jazz Night is one week from tonight! We've got quite a few new songs ready and we're sounding great! Hope you're able to come out and join us!
I have been at a few Bassment shows myself, lately. That's pretty exciting, because I Don't Get Around Much, Anymore! Diane, Brenda, Phyllis and I saw Rosie and the Riveters. What a fun show they do! Blanche and I took in Eh440. Loved everything about them starting with their great name! Do try to see these two groups if you ever get the chance! In a different musical vein, I have been volunteering at the Saskatoon Music Festival. This past week, I was helping with Musical Theatre. It was great fun! So many talented performers. Many people may not be aware that anyone may attend Festival competitions. There is a nominal entry fee, but it's great to support local performers of all ages.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Aside from the bit of snow that fell today, it looks like spring is on the way! We have been hard at work rehearsing some new songs. "California Dreaming", "Easy to Love", "Up to the Mountain" and "You've Got Friend" are some of our terrific new songs. We're looking forward to being back with all of you at The Bassment on Friday, April 29.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Last week, we performed at The Festival of Trees Mother/Son Gala. The organizers asked for songs from "The Grinch", as this was the theme for this year. Grant quickly created a new arrangement for us; a medley that features all the songs from the TV show! We're so lucky that Grant is able, and willing, to do so many arrangements for us! This was Nancy's first gig and she did great! Rod had a terrible cold, but, he performed anyway, like the trouper he is. "Anything for Solstice!" We had a great time at this gig. It's nice to get the opportunity to perform some of our many Christmas songs and two delightful, little boys danced at the front for our entire show! Grant says that he picked up some new dance moves from them!
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Today was the first day of winter in Saskatoon, so it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It's just a week until our gig at The Festival of Trees and rehearsals have been going well. There is such a variety in the music for this performance, including some new songs. It'll be a great gig! In addition to our regular musicians, we're going to have a flute, as well, courtesy of Heather Currie.
Friday, September 3, 2015
The first rehearsal of the season - always exciting! It was great to see everyone and catch up on the summer activities. Nancy had her first rehearsal with us and she didn't run away screaming! Always a good sign! She did great and is a real trouper! I always get a few groans (not from Nancy!) about bringing out Christmas music in September, but we have a big Christmas gig in November and we need to start learning Christmas tunes along with our regular fare. I don't mind singing Christmas songs this early; I've already been looking at them for a couple of months, now, anyway!
Monday, June 29, 2015
There was such a great crowd at the Jazz Festival Brunch, yesterday! It is so humbling to see people coming back to hear us year after year. It's great when they bring new people, as well. We had our annual BBQ last night to wind up our season. We will be taking a break over the summer. and look forward to hearing about all the exotic places our group seems to be travelling. I will be turning my mind to our Christmas repertoire, as well as other new music. In August, I will be meeting with our new alto, Nancy Sparling, and going over music with her. While we will certainly miss Lynne, it's always exciting when someone new joins the group. We wish Lynne all the best as she moves on to other interests in her life! You can always catch her singing with The Saskatoon Chamber Singers.
Jean and Sheldon at the photo shoot. Sheldon is holding the light reflector.
Photo Credit: Kirk Fong
At the photo shoot, Grant found a sign that described him perfectly! Too funny!
Photo Credit: Kirk Fong
Michell and Arlyn at the sound check for the Brunch.
Photo Credit: Rod Bell
Photo Credit: Jean Currie
Sheldon Corbett, Doug Gilmour, Graham Pritchard
Photo Credit: Jean Currie
Jazz Brunch at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Rod took a "selfie" during "Trickle, Trickle" at the end of the show. LOL
Photo Credit: Rod Bell
Jazz Brunch at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Michelle Clancy and Graham Pritchard on guitar.
Photo Credit: Liam Clancy
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Our Bassment gig last night was so fun! It's always great when old friends come out to see us, but I also met some people who had ever heard us before. Judging by their reaction, I think they'll be back. Sound guy Troy Denet did a terrific job for us. Many thanks!
Jazz Night at the Saskatoon Jazz Society Bassment
Photo Credit: Cassidy Bell
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Rod's dog, Chara, loves to come down and listen to us rehearse - until we play "Something New". He does not like that baritone saxophone, so he takes off upstairs for safety! I wonder if he'll ever get used to it?
Chara enjoying our rehearsal.
Photo Credit: Grant Currie
Lynne, Pam and Michelle at rehearsal.
Photo Credit: Grant Currie
Monday, March 23, 2015
I sent our new website address to the Saskatoon Jazz Society and the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, so, now we can see the link in other places!
The website is coming along nicely. It looks great on mobile devices, too. I spent the day scanning (yes, Grant, I remembered how to scan!) old newspaper articles into the computer. Not even close to being finished doing that! Baby steps!
Saturday, April 18, 2015
"Hey, Mountie! Goin' to Jansen!" The gig for the RM meeting went very well. Jansen is a lovely community with great people. We were warmly welcomed and treated to a wonderful home-cooked meal. Many thanks to Charles for thinking of us to entertain at your event!
Thursday, April 2, 2015
We had a great rehearsal tonight and it looks as though one of our new songs, "Something New", is going to make it into the lineup for our gig in Jansen, SK! Grant's wonderful arrangement is similar to the Nikki Yannovsky version. Quincy Jones updated his original tune, "Soul Bossa Nova", for her to perform.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
All the biographies are now up on the website. I am even learning a few new things, like, when Solstice made its first recording, Michelle wasn't even born, yet! Yikes!
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tomorrow is the big reveal of the website to the group!!
So exciting!! We've only been talking about it since before Pam was in the group!
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Many thanks to Greg and Lori Newman for getting this website off the ground. Thanks to Lori for giving me private website lessons. Jean is not an easy teach. I can now click several boxes together and drag them somewhere else.
In other big news today, Michelle and Liam got married! It was a lovely ceremony. Pam and I both cried.