Carissa Klopoushak and Deborah Buck in recital, January 8, 2012

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A spirit of high festivity surrounded the recital of violin and piano music opening the year 2012, the Centenary of Lyell Gustin’s arrival in Saskatoon and the beginning of his illustrious career here! Violinist Carissa Klopoushak of Montreal, along with collaborative pianist Deborah Buck of Saskatoon, captivated the large audience with a performance of works by Brahms, Debussy, Schumann and Bartok, and a Ukrainian folksong setting. Both artists are Saskatchewan-born and musically educated, and both are Gustin musical descendants (i.e., students of Gustin graduates). The Sunday evening recital, held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, was preceded by Ms. Klopoushak’s lively pre-concert talk on the repertoire.
 

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Honouring Lyell Gustin’s French Heritage, Celebrating Centenaries! Sunday, February 19, 2012

On February 19,  Gustin House presented a program honouring Lyell Gustin’s French heritage (Mr. Gustin’s father, Ammi Gustin, was of French Huguenot lineage). Ross Carstairs and Gregory Schulte performed music for flute and keyboard by Poulenc, Fauré, Roussel and Leclair. Daniel Béland, host of the weekly program “Classical Discoveries” on CFCR 90.5 FM Saskatoon, gave a stimulating talk on classical music repertoire and programming.

This celebration of Lyell Gustin’s French heritage marked two centenaries in 2012: Lyell Gustin’s 1912 arrival in Saskatoon from his family home in Quebec and the beginning of his long and illustrious career here; and the establishment in 1912 by Saskatchewan Francophones of the Assemblée Ccommunautaire Fransaskoise to protect and promote French language and culture. A festive reception concluded the afternoon.
 
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Catherine Vickers, pianist, in recital, April 15, 2012

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Saskatchewan-born prodigy and international artist Catherine Vickers gave a memorable piano recital on Sunday, April 15, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Her brilliant performance of monumental works by Schubert, Chopin, Ravel and Schoenberg enthralled an audience that included numerous out-of-town guests. Ms. Vickers’ pre-concert talk addressed in particular the piano compositions of Schoenberg and enriched the understanding of all the repertoire of the evening. The recital was the second in a series celebrating the centenary of Lyell Gustin’s arrival in Saskatoon in 1912.
 

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Lyell Gustin Day in Saskatoon, May 27, 2012: Heritage Plaque Unveiling

In recognition of a century of the musical leadership and legacy of Lyell Gustin (1895-1988), City Council proclaimed May 27, 2012 as Lyell Gustin Day in Saskatoon! This day, and indeed the entire year, celebrated Dr. Gustin’s arrival here from his family home in Quebec in the summer of 1912. Already an accomplished and award-winning musician at the time, he chose Saskatoon as his permanent home, and over the next 70 years made a profound impact on music and the arts in our city, our province and nation, and beyond. Among special events on May 27 was a Heritage Plaque Unveiling Ceremony.

At the Gustin studio/residence at 512-10th Street, dignitaries and guests gathered in the early afternoon of May 27 to unveil bronze plaques identifying Gustin House and the historic Trounce House (located at the back of the lot) as designated Provincial and Municipal Heritage Property. Notably, the declaration of the Dr. Lyell Gustin Residence as Provincial Heritage Property is only the third such designation in Saskatoon.  Photos below by Michael Pomedli.

 

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Lyell Gustin Day in Saskatoon, May 27, 2012: High Tea and Concert

A festive High Tea marking the Lyell Gustin Centenary was attended by 120 guests of Gustin House and the Saskatoon Registered Music Teachers’ Association. Dr. Gustin had a key role in founding the latter organization 80 years ago, and many of the members are graduates of his Studio, or students of graduates-- “Gustin musical descendants.” Among the visitors from five provinces were graduates of the Gustin Studio, and Lyell Gustin’s nephew, Stuart Gustin, accompanied by five members of his family, all from Vancouver.                 

The Tea included presentations to honourees of both organizations, and concluded with a musical program featuring pianists Boyd McDonald and Robin Harrison, and other performers. Held at the historic Bessborough Hotel where many events connected with the Gustin Studios have taken pace over the decades, this special celebration was a highlight of the 100th anniversary of the Lyell Gustin musical legacy.
Photos below by Stephen Nicholson.

 

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Lyell Gustin Day in Saskatoon, May 27, 2012: Celebratory Events

Churches Commemorate Music Ministers
As Dr. Gustin had encouraged his students to generously contribute their gifts to their communities and their churches, many went on to lifelong service in congregations in the province and across the nation. On Sunday, May 27, a number of downtown and Broadway area churches, as well as others in the city, acknowledged in a variety of ways the contributions of Gustin graduates and of all who have served in music ministry. 

An Evening of Visiting at Gustin House
Gustin House was open for the evening of May 27, particularly to welcome out-of-town guests who had not visited the Studio recently, and anyone who wished to see the newly-unveiled heritage plaques. Many wonderful reunions among former Gustin students took place on this informal occasion!

Scholarship Competition, a Musical Prelude to Centenary Day
As a timely prelude to the Centenary events on May 27, the Lyell Gustin Memorial Piano Competition was held on Saturday, May 26, at St. James Church, 12th Street and Dufferin. Open to pianists aged 18 and under, the annual competition is arranged by the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association and draws student musicians from across the province. This year’s adjudicator was Sylvia Shadick-Taylor of Edmonton, a native of Saskatoon and former student of prominent Gustin graduate, Sheila Shinkewski. The top prize, a Gustin/Trounce Heritage Committee Scholarship, went to Chris Waddell of Saskatoon, shown below in performance.

 
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Oleksander Mycyk and Sofia Mycyk, in recital, August 21, 2012

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On the evening of August 21, cellist Oleksander Mycyk and pianist Sofia Mycyk delighted an audience at Andrew’s Presbyterian Church with a fine performance of music ranging from Bach to Sarasate. All compositions on the program had originally been written for instruments other than cello; Mr. Mycyk elaborated on the works in an engaging pre-concert talk and demonstration. The brother-sister duo, who were raised in Saskatoon and had their first music studies here, brought to conclusion the 2012 Centenary Series that featured artists originating in Saskatchewan in tribute to Lyell Gustin and his lifelong commitment to celebrating the outstanding talent of our province.
 

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Centenary Finale: New Orford String Quartet, October 14, 2012

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The Lyell Gustin Centenary Year came to conclusion with a magnificent performance by the New Orford String Quartet at Third Avenue United Church on Sunday, October 14, 2012.  The critically acclaimed ensemble—Jonathan Crow, concertmaster, and Eric Nowlin, associate principal violist of the Toronto Symphony; and Andrew Wan, concertmaster, and Brian Manker, principal cellist of the Montreal Symphony—performed works by Haydn, Hetu, and Brahms. An enthusiastic audience gave numerous ovations to this exceptional group, who made their first appearance in Saskatoon on this occasion. The venue, historic Third Avenue Church, has long been linked with the Lyell Gustin tradition, as Dr Gustin arranged for many musical events to be held there over the decades, beginning during the 1920s.

Gustin House acknowledges the Centennial Sponsors who made this concert possible, to whom we are deeply grateful: Robert and Lura Mae Sider of Saskatoon, through the Robert D. and Lura Mae Meeds Sider Fund (Saskatoon Community Foundation), and Cecily and Robert Bradshaw of Toronto.

 

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Singing Life’s Journey, Composing with Flowers, November 18, 2012

With an evening of exquisite song and glorious flowers, Gustin House said farewell to the Lyell Gustin Centenary Year. Held in Dr. Gustin’s own Studio on Sunday, November 18, the event was a fitting conclusion to the numerous and varied celebrations of 2012. Tenor Michael Harris and pianist Gregory Schulte performed selections from Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise, and Gerald Finzi’s solo cantata, Dies Natalis, which has been described as “one of the masterpieces of 20th Century English music.” The musical settings of poetry celebrated Lyell Gustin’s love of literature and his custom of gathering students and colleagues to read classic works together. Floral designer Fred Chlan demonstrated the art of arranging flowers, commenting on compositional principles of balance, harmony, and form; his presentation both recalled Dr. Gustin’s love of nature and beauty, and highlighted the importance of tradition and heritage in our lives and our society.
 
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