Cassa Piano

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Cassa Piano July 23 - 27, 2018
Performances: Thursday 7 pm and Friday 2 pm

St. Vladimir's Cultural Centre, 404 Meredith Road NE 

 9:00 am - 5:00 pm daily

See the registration form and the fee summary for additional information.

Cassa Piano is an exciting five-day experience for pianists, aged 10 to adult, to explore the many facets of piano playing in a supportive, fun atmosphere that promotes a positive attitude towards practising and performing. Students are coached in prepared solo repertoire and new ensemble pieces. Students attend classes in musical style, interpretation, memorization, technique and performance anxiety. Classes in choir, art, improvisation, and a featured composer (a different composer is selected each year) are also offered. Classes on Alexander technique are offered in select years.

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Clinicians for 2018 

Dr. Jennifer Snow and Dr. Andrew Hisey

Dr. Snow

Dr. Jennifer Snow

Dr. Jennifer Snow is the Executive Director of The Frances Clark Center. She has held the positions of Vice President, Teacher Education and Chief Academic Officer, Examinations for the Royal Conservatory. She is actively involved with areas of creativity and innovation integrating technology and education and is dedicated to career advancement for young professionals. A passionate educator, Jennifer was previously on the keyboard faculty at the renowned UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she taught piano, collaborative piano, and pedagogy. Her students hold teaching, performing, and arts leadership positions internationally. 

More information about Dr. Snow is available here.


Dr. Andrew Hisey

DR. ANDREW HISEY is recognized across the United States and Canada for his innovative and inspiring work teaching people to engage with and make music at the piano. He was a Regional Leader for the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program and continues to serve that organization as a senior examiner. He has played a major role in the creation of several widely recognized series of piano music books—The Composer Editions; Christopher Norton: Connections for Piano; Pattern Play: Inspiring Creativity at the Piano, and the 2001, 2008 and 2015 editions of The Celebration Series repertoire and etudes anthologies published by RCM Publishing.

More information about Dr. Hisey is available here.

Featured Composer for 2018 is “Own Choice"

There is no specific featured composer for 2018. Students will have their own choice of composer.

The Royal Conservatory of Music Syllabus (available online) has a good choice of compositions for the yearly featured composers or speak to your piano teacher for recommendations. 

Outperform Fear - Nicole Owen

We are excited about offering Nicole Owen’s presentation to our Piano and Adult Piano sessions. 

This one-hour workshop is ideal for performers who are tired of fear getting in their way.  

How many gifted performing artists waste years training and practicing for the performance they never give?  The fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, the fear of stepping on to the stage having forgotten to put your pants on! No matter how great or small your fear is, it will always get in the way of your dreams and desires. You have two choices: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise and you haven’t spent all of those endless hours just to turn and run!

In this workshop we explore the origins of fear and learn the tools that will help you make fear your friend instead of your foe. 

Nicole Owen is the creator of the Performer’s Advantage – a full-length course designed to help performing artists find freedom and fulfillment in pursuit of the full creative expression. She has combined over 26 years of experience as a performer and her training as a musician, Professional Certified Coach and Daring Way Facilitator has given her insights into the challenges Performing Artists face and the tools to help them overcome. 

CASSA Provides Passion and Enthusiasm for Piano

"Even on the surface, of course, the CASSA programs have many valuable assets, such as the fantastic quality of the teaching and the originality of the programs. Yet what the programs offer to young people beyond all that, is an amazing chance to explore their artistic and emotional selves while still maintaining an atmosphere of childish fun and discovery. I had never before experienced the kind of environment where everyone was passionate about piano and about music in general, and there was no awkwardness or embarrassment in the expression of that passion. The outside world may not have thought avidly piano-focused teenagers were ‘cool,' but CASSA continues to validate our enthusiasm.”

CASSA Nourishes Inspiration and Connection for Life-long Learning


"CASSA provides a supportive and inspirational network of friends and teachers who share a love for the arts. The number of people I've managed to connect with through this network over the years has benefitted me both in terms of my musical career and my own emotional well-being."

CASSA’s Non-competitive Environment Encourages Artistry

An important aspect of the CASSA experience is the non-competitive nature of the programs. This is something that can be hard to come by, with so much of the musical world focused on high-profile competitions, festivals and examinations. From day one of each CASSA program, it is clearly established that everyone present has an important part to play in the final performance. The old saying that "there are no small roles" is particularly important and everyone is encouraged to perform to the best of their ability. In short, every person there, no matter his or her age or experience, is treated like an artist.

CASSA Provides a Worthwhile Sense of Accomplishment

"Every CASSA student goes on stage feeling they have accomplished something truly wonderful. This organization represents true dedication to the arts as well as the people in them, and I can't thank them enough for their support and inspiration over the years. Here's to another magical year, and may there be many more!"

2018 Performances

Piano Program Performances will be Thursday 7:00 pm and Friday 2:00 pm 

St. Vladimir's Cultural Centre

404 Meredith Road (Memorial Drive and Edmonton Trail)

Calgary, Alberta

We wish to remind you that videotaping of CASSA productions and performances is not permitted. DVDs of performances are available through CASSA. Friends and relatives may take photographs, but to avoid distracting the performers, please do not use flash photography during the performance.

Our Participants Love the Piano Session Experience

“Art, lots of music, good clinicians.”

I learned a lot and met new people who share the same interests as I do.”

It’s an awesome program to go to! Amazing people (and t-shirts).”

Special adventure: Explore Piano Improvisation

Jennifer Aumentado

The improvisation portion of Cassa Piano is a great way for CASSA students to explore another genre of piano playing, in particular JAZZ music. Improv Class is designed as a drop in class—students come and go, but everyone is encouraged to participate. My goal is to explore the foundations of playing from a lead sheet and to explore the musical theories behind improvisation. We can have up to 10 students at a one time. To add to the excitement, all these students come into the class with varying degrees of musical knowledge—anywhere from Grade 3 to Grade 10 Royal Conservatory, to some jazz band performance, to some totally new at jazz.

Scholarships for Cassa Piano

Marissa Staddon Memorial Scholarship Fund

Marissa Staddon Memorial Scholarship Fund, through the Calgary Arts Summer School Association (CASSA), will award a $100 scholarship to the most outstanding Piano session student each year.

2017 Winner Georgeanne van Helden

Irina Ginzburg Memorial Fund

Irina Ginzburg was an enthusiastic supporter of CASSA’s summer programs. She was first a volunteer at Cassa Piano, then joined the teaching staff and became an active member of the CASSA Board of Directors. In her honour, a scholarship will be awarded to the most improved Cassa Piano student(s) each year.

2017 Winner Satai Miller

ARMTA Recognition Fund 

This award recognizes 3 exceptional Piano session students who, in the opinion of the instructors, show outstanding promise and dedication to success and currently study with an ARMTA member. The award consists of three $100 scholarships.

2017 Winnesr  Eddy Jia, Amanda Caceres, Ian Yan Lok Wong

See the Donors and Sponsors Page for additional information on Scholarships and Bursaries 

Contact CASSA

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