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Claude Lepalme and the RDSO’s “A Night at the Movies”


I had the opportunity to chat over coffee with Claude Lapalme, Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra (RDSO). I learned that he is as engaging in person as when he appears on stage.

For now, I will share three thoughts:

1. This is his 29th season with the RSDO. He came to Red Deer with his wife, a cellist, and both have enjoyed our wonderful community for its many benefits. Another attraction is its proximity to Calgary and Edmonton where both are involved in the symphony scene. Immediately prior to Claude’s arrival, he had spent time studying in Toronto and the Netherlands.

2. When I asked him what had changed in his time here, he said, “There have been lots of changes over the years. The RDSO performed four concerts in 1990 while now we do seven. We have also expanded our educational offerings and community concerts and we have begun to do a bit of touring. We have visited Camrose on several occasions as well as other small centres. The personnel of the orchestra has changed and, as it changes, the product becomes a little bit more refined and more current ways of playing are being exemplified. There are different schools of performance; different conservatories teach different things. Since we deal a lot with older music, there are different ways of approaching different styles so it varies over time. As more scholarship is shared by professors and musicologists, the players will apprehend this knowledge and start to apply it. As an orchestra gets younger (older members retiring), new ideas come with this change of the guard.”

3. In response to a query as to the educational aspect of the RDSO, Claude said, “We had been visiting schools but stepped away for a period of time. We will now be doing this again but with a twist – the students will come to the symphony orchestra. Every year, twenty schools get to choose two songs they’ve learned in their elementary school choir programs (Grades 3 – 5). I orchestrate the pieces for a small orchestra of 12 or 13 people. We do four performances, two on a Monday and two more on a following Monday. We call it Choir Kids and they get to perform with us. We’ve been doing this since 1999. Last year I met someone who did the program in her Grade 6 year who introduced me to her child in Grade 3. That was quite moving for me.”

My wife and I will be attending our second-ever performance of the RDSO (A Night at the Movies) on Saturday, March 23 at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. Show time is 8:00 p.m. A call to the Black Knight Ticket Centre informed me there are only 50 tickets left.


Time to consider RDSO Season Tickets



From the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra

The RDSO Reveals Upcoming Season
The 2019-2020 Season has a lot in store for central Alberta. The Main Series will deliver seven concerts with programming ranging from Pachelbel, to Lapalme, to music from Broadway.

We The North | October 5, 2019 | RDC Arts Centre
Come hear music from Russia, Finland and Norway. Though conceived in icy cold climates, don’t be fooled – this music is still full of warmth. The first concert of the season will feature the newly appointed principal cellist of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Arnold Choi, in the highly demanding and exciting Sinfonia Concertante by Prokofiev.
Featuring Arnold Choi, Cello
PROKOFIEV: Sinfonia Concertante
SIBELIUS: Finlandia
GRIEG: Peer Gynt Suite

Czech Out These Bohemians | November 2, 2019 | RDC Arts Centre
Let Czech-born Edmontonian Zuzana Simurdova delight you in the very entertaining piano concertino by Bohuslav Martinů. And because there is no such thing as having too much Dvořák in life, this program will further visit the Bohemian countryside with his celebrated Serenade for Strings.
Featuring Zuzana Simurdova, Piano
MARTINŮ: Piano Concerto
DVOŘÁK: Serenade for Strings

Stringing The Holidays Together | December 7, 2019 | RDC Arts Centre
A concert for strings only, featuring the Rosedale Valley Strings Youth Orchestra playing alongside the RDSO’s string sections. This concert will feature a variety of Christmas favourites and a surprise or two.
Featuring Rosedale Valley Strings | Conductor Naomi Delafield

On Broadway | January 25, 2020 | RDC Arts Centre
The musical stage will come alive! This exciting pops concert will feature music ranging from old chestnuts to newly minted classics. From Cole Porter to Elton John, and Rogers & Hammerstein to Andrew Lloyd Webber, there will be something for everyone.
Selections From:
Rogers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Music; Cole Porter: Kiss me Kate; Claude Schönberg: Les Misérables; Elton John: The Lion King; Frederick Loewe: My Fair Lady; Stephen Sondheim: “A Little Night Music”; Pasek and Paul: The Greatest Showman ; Stephen Schwartz: Wicked; Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story ; Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera

Canada On Canvas | February 22, 2020 | RDC Arts Centre
An all-Canadian tribute to the visual arts. Among works by Somers (on Picasso) and Korndorf (on Maud Lewis), there will be an exciting new premiere. Our very own Claude Lapalme is composing an important new work to celebrate and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven.
Featuring the Premiere of the “Group of Seven Suite” by Claude Lapalme

Water Music | April 18, 2020 | Gaetz Memorial United Church
Presented by the RDSO, Rosa Barroca returns with a full complement of winds to present audience favorites from the baroque period, such as the Pachelbel Canon and the Suites from Handel’s Water Music.
Presenting Rosa Barocca
PACHELBEL: Canon and Gigue
HANDEL: Water Music

Finale Friday | FRIDAY, June 5, 2020 | RDC Arts Centre

Corey Hamm’s triumphant return to the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. He will wow us with an energetic performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Also on the program will be RDSO’s concerto competition winner from Red Deer’s 2019 Festival of the Performing Arts, Kathryn Fakeley. This incredible young cellist will be performing a movement of the Kabalevsky cello concerto. The evening will end with the 1812 Overture by
Tchaikovsky. It will be a sound spectacular!
Featuring Corey Hamm, Piano & 2019 Red Deer Festival of Performing Arts Winner Kathryn Fakeley, Cello
BARTÓK: Piano Concerto No. 2
KABALEVSKY: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture

For information regarding Season Memberships and a downloadable 2019-2020 Season booklet visit

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City of Red Deer

Unlimited bus rides and access to all city rec facilities all summer long!



From The City of Red Deer: Rip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is offering youth unlimited rides on Red Deer Transit and unlimited access to all City recreation facilities all summer with the Rip ‘N Rec Summer Pass. 

This is the third year the City has offered the promotion which brings together two of our most popular services, Recreation and Transit. For only $50 youth age six to 17 can purchase a Rip ‘N Rec Summer Pass that provides them unlimited access to drop-in activities from swimming, to fitness classes and gymnasium sports and the means to get there. 

“The Rip ‘n Rec Summer Pass is intended to provide youth with some healthy ways to spend their time this summer and the ride to get there,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “It allows youth access to all four City recreation centres including the outdoor pool all summer long. This promotion keeps our facilities hopping during the typically slower summer months and also provides a great incentive for Red Deer youth to get out, get active and have fun.” 

“We are really happy to continue to work with the Recreation section to make this pass a reality. We know that introducing youth to using public transit at an early age encourages lifelong ridership,” said Trever Sparrow, Red Deer Transit Superintendent of Conventional Services. “With this pass teens are able to hop on transit to get to their favourite places, like the splash park, swimming pool or even the mall. The Rip ‘N Rec pass provides parents with an affordable way for teens to travel around town during the summer.” 

The Rip ‘N Rec Pass can be purchased at any City recreation facility:

The Pass is valid until September 2, 2019. 

To learn more visit

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