Media Release:REGINA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO RECOGNIZE INDIGENOUS STORYTELLING MONTH AND BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH FREE PERFORMANCES

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN:  In February 2024, the Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is presenting free concerts in celebration of Indigenous Storytelling Month and Black History Month.   Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima is the story of one of Saskatchewan’s first settlers of African descent, published as a children’s picture book by the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM). The RSO partnered with the SACHM to set the book to music creating a live experience that includes music by composers from the Classical world, performance by an Indigenous drummer and live storytelling.

The story chronicles one of Saskatchewan’s first settlers of African descent, Dr. Alfred Schmitz Shadd. Through this story, students will learn about compassion and the philosophy of social responsibility that led Dr. Shadd to become an engaged citizen.  This collaboration originally was created as an online program for use in schools in September 2022.  The RSO in Schools Online program includes a video of the performance and a detailed lesson guide for teachers – both available for free.

The concert will be performed by the Regina Symphony Chamber Players, the 12 principals or “first chair” musicians of the Regina Symphony.  Sharon-Ann Brown, accomplished performer, community leader and author will provide the narration, with teacher Evan Whitestar, sharing his skill in drumming and singing.  Carol Lafayette-Boyd, Executive Director of SACHM will be sharing stories about being black in Saskatchewan and introducing the concert.

The first pair of performances will take place on Thursday, February 8 and Friday, February 9 at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Auditorium in Regina at 10:30 am each day.  These performances are being offered to over 400 students from the Regina area, and this will be the first time it is performed live for students.  The museum is also supporting the concert by providing additional educational opportunities for the students in recognition of Indigenous Storytelling Month.

Li’l Shadd will then be performed on Sunday, February 11 at Central Library at 2 pm as part of the Free Library Concert Series.  This long-running partnership between the Regina Public Library and the RSO is a great option for music fans of all ages looking for an accessible concert experience.

The RSO will also be performing Li’l Shadd during the Wascana Winter Festival on Monday, February 19th at Holy Rosary Cathedral.  There will be a performance at 1 PM and 2:45 PM, both free to attend.  The festival is a four-day, community run event with outdoor and indoor activities options.

Information on these and other RSO upcoming performances is available at www.reginasymphony.com