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CSO Orchestral Training & Leadership Workshop

Hosted by members of the Concordia Symphony Orchestra (CSO)

Sign up for our new Orchestral Training and Leadership Workshop. Included in this workshop are repertoire preparation and orchestral training sessions for advanced string players and young conductors with a focus on rehearsal procedures and leadership coaching. Workshop topics range from roles and responsibilities of principal positions, orchestral bowings, orchestral protocols to professional demeanour, and leadership styles.

As a selected participant, you will receive a stipend to work in a leadership role during ensemble rehearsals and concert preparation (rotation of principal positions). You will be mentored by CSO clinicians and conductor and learn the skills to effectively lead an ensemble towards a successful performance.

Mentoring Sessions

You will have the opportunity to book individual mentoring sessions with clinicians for advice and guidance in their music careers.

Scholarship Awards

Two participants will be chosen to receive a scholarship award in the amount of $500.00 each to support their music studies. The awards will be presented on the last day of the workshop.

Workshop Highlights

  • Repertoire preparation and live performance
  • $1000 in scholarship prizes
  • Mentoring sessions with CSO principals and conductor
  • Lectures on a range of topics from performance practice, orchestral bowings, balance and intonation in orchestral performance, and leadership development
  • Score study, baton technique, and podium practice for young conductors
  • COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place

Workshop Details

Dates: Tuesday, August 03 to Saturday, August 07, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday) and 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Saturday)
Duration: 5 days  (Tuesday to Friday: rehearsals and lectures. Saturday: dress rehearsal and live performance)
Venue: Tegler Student Centre
Tuition: $250.00

Enrollment: Based on COVID-19 regulations at the time, the program administrators may restrict the number of admissions to a maximum of 10 participants.

Please note: Mandatory use of masks on campus.

With thanks to our sponsors:

Sponsored by Long & McQuade

The Chinese Cultural Society

Tentative Schedule

TimeAug 3Aug 4Aug 5Aug 6
6:00-6:30 pmIntroductions

Lecture I (Tegler)
Mentorship Session  (A 314)
Lecture II (Tegler)
Mentorship session (A 314)
Lecture III(Tegler)
Mentorship session (A 314)
Lecture IV (Tegler)
6:30-8:15 pmRehearsal IRehearsal IIRehearsal IIIRehearsal IV
8:15-8:30 pmIntermissionIntermissionIntermissionIntermission
8:30-9:00 pmRehearsal I
Rehearsal II+Podium practice IRehearsal III+Podium practice IIRehearsal IV+Podium practice III

Performance Schedule – August 7

9:30-10:30 amDress rehearsal
10:30-10:45 amAward Ceremony
11:00-11:30 amPerformance

Register Today

Registration opens on June 23, 2021
Registration Deadline: July 28, 2021
Selection results: July 30, 2021

  1. String Players: 5-minute video with a recording of the applicant’s performance featuring repertoire that demonstrates his/her technical and musicianship abilities.
  1. Conductors: Conducting participants are expected to have a foundational knowledge of conducting techniques with proven completion of a university-level conducting course or equivalent experience. The sessions will focus on score preparation, baton technique, rehearsal methods, and leadership coaching, including reserved podium time with the string ensemble and mentoring sessions with clinicians. 

Open to string players and aspiring conductors (18 years old and up) 

Selection Process

All applicants will be contacted by email on July 30 for the selection results.

Part distribution (I and II violins) will also be announced on July 30.  Both string players and conductors are encouraged to download their parts from the website and come prepared for the first rehearsal on August 03. 

Refunds: CUE will refund the tuition in the case a candidate is not selected to participate due to maximum gathering sizes having been reached or in the event of a program cancellation in compliance with COVID-19 regulations.


Artistic Director: Dr. Danielle Lisboa
Program Coordinator: Frank Ho


Danielle Lisboa, conducting
Frank Ho, violin
Darrel Soetaert, viola 
John Fedor, cello 


Antonio Vivaldi – Concerto for Strings in G major, RV 151 “Concerto alla Rustica”
Edvard Grieg – Holberg Suite, Op. 40

Download your score and parts here:

Vivaldi’s Concerto alla Rustica

Grieg’s Holberg Suite

Workshop Pictures

Workshop Feedback

“The amount of podium time was definitely a highlight! I loved the chance to connect with peers and offer feedback to each other throughout the program.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed every session and got some excellent notes from each one!”

“They were warm and welcoming! Definitely there to support us! Watching the young conductors developing and learning how to communicate with us in the orchestra efficiently and creatively. It was inspiring to see how quickly they moved from clumsy to skilled in just a few sessions in spite of the pressure.”

“The fact that it was such a unique course offering – especially in Edmonton, where beginning conductors/aspiring orchestral musicians may not often receive opportunities at this fairly early stage to conduct instrumental groups, or to serve as concertmaster. The podium time was very appreciated as well. I appreciated being able to see the conductor’s gesture from the front during the piano sessions, but it would have perhaps been beneficial to sit behind the orchestra for some rehearsals to see this perspective.”

“Having Robert Uchida come in was a treat! I also liked being able to have the freedom to lead as concert Master and dictate the pace of the Vivaldi rehearsals at my own discretion.”

“All useful and timely information, especially orchestra protocol and manners. The concert master presentation was fascinating. The level of detail required to fully understand a composer and a piece is incredible Just the style and amplitude of vibrato is enough to make or break an audition.”

“Getting experience on the podium”

“being able to work with the orchestra and get hands on experience”

“It was excellent experience.”

“Everything was very useful and practical. Has helped to build a stronger foundation of knowledge and skills that can be used for many years to come”

“For myself as a beginning conductor, I needed a reminder that greater things are still achievable, and I need to keep climbing the ladder. It was good to learn about professional organizations, useful resources, and “tricks of the trade,” but also to have those interactions with string players and learn how to communicate through words as well as conducting. Going forward, I feel encouraged to keep striving for excellence and developing my skills whenever I get the chance!”

“I learned how to run an effective and efficient rehearsal, as well as to acknowledge instrumental parts from the inside-out – very helpful for improving my ears and reminding me of punctuality! I also learned the steps to internalizing the score and how it is a unique experience for each person… finally, remembering to always number my bars and predict problem-spots in advance of rehearsal. Working through these elements have served as a useful and necessary reminder, as I dive into my next rehearsal-performance adventure!”

“Working with the string orchestra, as well as a collaborative pianist!”

“Liked all the clinicians and guest speakers”

Further Information

If you have any questions or would like more information, please email Frank Ho, Program Coordinator.

Click here for information about the Concordia Symphony Orchestra.