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The Downtowners Optimist Club of Regina is proud to put on the Optimist Band Festival. We receive substantial support from the Saskatchewan Band Association and valued help and input from local band directors. It is our premier public service project. The planning and organizing is nearly year round. One thing needing to be done ahead of the festival time is "stuffing" the envelopes that go out to the adjudicators with information specific to each band. Many organizational steps are needed to be gone through ahead of time to ensure a well run festival. After 29 years of presenting the festival the Optimists have gotten very good at it. However the picture above might make someone ask HOW MANY OPTIMISTS DOES IT TAKE TO STUFF ONE ENVELOPE.
The night before the bands start to arrive warmup rooms, stages and clinic rooms are setup.
We are exceptionally fortunate to be able to provide the Conexus Arts Center as the festival's venue. Virtually every nook and corner is used but all aspects of the festival is held in this one first class facility. The young concert band members who all perform main stage in a building acoustically designed for world class performers receive a real experience. At the same time the main stage is filled with concert bands the Jazz bands are performing in a large performance room, the J. Schumiatcher room, on the lower level. There is more information and it's location at Conexus Arts Center
Bands arrive usually at least one hour ahead of their performance time. They come in the front doors to group up and be Optimist escorted to their assigned "drop off" spot. Coats and instrument cases are left there for the remainder of the band's stay. If there is enough time before or after the bands performance, they are encouraged to enter the main auditorium and to hear other bands. When the bands scheduled warmup room is clear and available they will again be Optimist escorted from the drop off area, past back stage and up to the warmup room. Time available to be in the warmup room is normally 25 to 40 minuets. The progress of the main stage determines the timing of everything. When the stage is about to be ready the band will again be Optimist escorted from the warmup room down to main stage.
Everyone is welcome to come hear the bands. Some come for their child's band only, others come for all day. At the door there is a charge of $5.00. Optimists are "friend of youth" and are pleased to provide admittance for children and students at no charge. We want the general public to come and enjoy the accomplished performances of the young people. A very popular spot is the Jazz performances on the lower level.
Bands enter the stage and when ready are introduced. When the adjudicators are ready, the performance of two pieces is on. Three of the highly accomplished group of adjudicators write and dictate comments, feed back and unless no marks is requested, will assign marks on the performance.
After the performance, its stage left and again they are Optimist escorted from the performance stage down to the clinic rooms. Here an adjudicator gives a clinic that lasts for approximately double the bands performance time. These adjudicators are among the most highly qualified and exceptional music educators from right across Canada and into the United States.
After clinic the bands make their own way up two levels from the lower level to the cafeteria level for group and individual pictures.
After the buss drops off the band at the front enterance, it has to be moved to the east parking lot. Thats where departing bands are pickup, as all bands leaving on a bus must go out through the east doors and not through the congestion at the front of building.