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Composition Course

  • 11 Oct 2022
  • 24 Jan 2023
  • 2 sessions
  • 11 Oct 2022, 7:00 PM (CST) 1 Nov 2022, 8:00 PM (CST)
  • 8 Nov 2022, 7:00 PM (CST) 24 Jan 2023, 8:00 PM (CST)
  • Virtual - Online Program
  • 14


  • This is for band musicians who have never taken formal composition training. Participants must have at LEAST 2 years in band.
  • For those who HAVE taken prior SBA Composition courses or have Level 1 equivalent theory experience.

Registration is closed

SBA Composition Course - Level 1 & 2

In SBA's Composition Course participants will work with professional composer Paul Suchan to investigate how to use melody, harmony, form, accompaniment, texture, and orchestration to create a composition for a small wind ensemble.

Each participant will work on their own composition which will be played and recorded by experienced musicians. The program will be delivered entirely online with ONE virtual class per week.  Weekly sessions will run on TUESDAYS from 7:00pm-8:00pm. 

During the Course participants will: 

  • Apply knowledge of chord tones and non-chord tones to create melodies over basic chord progressions.
  • Use form to create structure and contrast in a composition.
  • Analyze and design bass lines and background lines to establish style.
  • Apply knowledge of range, timbre, and percussive colours to create variety and interest in your music.
  • Compose an individual piece & receive feedback on your own compositional style

Extra Special Opportunity - Help Compose Special 40th Anniversary Band Piece

Saskatchewan Composer Paul Suchan has been commissioned by the SBA to compose a multi-movement work to celebrate the SBA's 40th anniversary. All participants who complete the Composition Course will be invited to work directly with Paul on the 40th Anniversary composition.  When finished, the 40th Anniversary composition will be played at SBA Band Camps and made available to SK schools and Community Bands for the fall of 2023.  Contributors to the project will be formally recognized by the SBA.

NOTE:  Work on the 40th Anniversary composition will begin AFTER the conclusion of the Composition Course.  Course participants, along with other selected individuals, will be invited to participate in the special project at NO additional cost. 

Registering for the Correct Composition Course Level:

    Youth under 18 years of age MUST be registered by a parent/guardian and parent/guardian information is required at the top of the online registration form.

    The full course - Level 1 & 2 - is open to any band student with at least 2 years of band experience who have NOT taken an SBA composition course before.  Level 1 begins on October 11, 2022 for 4 weeks and is immediately followed by Level 2. 

    Level 2 spaces are reserved for those who have previously taken Level 1 or have other prior composition training (eg with Paul at summer band camp).  Level 2 participants will join in starting on Nov. 8, 2022.

    The entire course will have a break over the holidays and will conclude on January 24, 2023 with a Listening Party to enjoy hearing each other's pieces performed by experienced musicians.  Those who do the full course will participate in 12 weeks of instruction while Level 2 participants will join for the final 8 weeks of instruction.

    Prerequisite Knowledge for the course:

    EITHER :

    • Be comfortable reading music.
    • Understand and be able to read and write whole notes, dotted half notes, quarter notes, and their equivalent rests.
    • Able to write out and play at least one major scale on your instrument.


    • Have at least two FULL years' experience playing in band.

    Participant Testimonial from Summer 2021: 

    "Online composition class introduced me to composition. I had intermediate musical experience through my school band and jazz band but composition class taught me composition for the first time. In one week, I learned to compose a short tune for six instruments. The camp showed me how to put together notes and chords purposefully and smoothly, and it allowed me to bring my creativity to the page. I was learning how to bring music to life and this was very exciting. The friendly atmosphere, the expert, approachable mentorship, and this feeling that I was doing something new and fun was the highlight of my summer. I would recommend this class for anyone who wants to develop a fuller understanding of the music they play and learn core elements of what makes the music they like work. I would also recommend this class for anyone who wants to see their musical ideas develop into a true composition." 


    Contact the SBA office at or 306-993-9729

    Saskatchewan Band Association           306-993-9729 

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