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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Composer of the Year

The Composer of the Year for students’ own choice pieces will be Chopin. We encourage students to prepare a piece by Chopin at the grade level that is appropriate.

Editor’s note: Chopin does not appear in the RCM Syllabus until Grade/Level 6. Students who are not yet at that level would benefit from listening to recordings of Chopin (YouTube has many great examples) to help get the most out of sessions where Chopin is featured.

Clinician for 2019 

Edwin Gnandt


With a career that has extended over 30 years, Edwin Gnandt has enjoyed a varied collaborative life in music. Performances have taken him to major centers such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Edinburgh, Scotland; New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Sioux Falls, Lincoln, University of Wisconsin, Grand Rapids, Denver, Charlottetown, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Penticton, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Recent presentations at international conferences include the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities (HICAH), the International Journal of Arts & Sciences Conference (IJAS) in Barcelona, Spain and in 2016, the IJAS Conference in Venice, Italy. His piano students have gone on to graduate studies at various prestigious institutions such as: Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College, McGill University, University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa.

CASSA Nourishes Inspiration and Connection for Life-long Learning

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"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.

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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!"

Our Participants (and their parents) 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.”
  • "Please let me offer my sincere gratitude to you for organizing such a fantastic piano camp.  My son enjoyed it so much. He was inspired by the instruction he received and the musical experiences he had. I particularly appreciated the extended curriculum of art, composition, and song-writing. He particularly enjoyed the time spent making new friends.” 
  • “(My son) had a ***fabulous*** time at Cassa Piano!! He (was) all excited about learning a lot of repertoire with Barbara and learning theory.  He really “found his tribe” (during) this week.  It was so much fun and so engaging.”
  • "The masterclasses were great – lots of useful feedback.  I learned so much from the lectures.  Amazing teachers/clinicians.”
  • "The instructors/clinicians pushed me to improve and  shelped my music become alive."
  • "So much wonderful, open, inviting, collegial energy and atmosphere. Instruction is top notch."

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.

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 Winners  Eddy Jia, Amanda Caceres, Ian Yan Lok Wong

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

Contact CASSA

Images courtesy of Josh Boak and Gus van Helden

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