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Samuel Dmyterko (middle) is a a fourth-year USask Bachelor of Music student.

USask student thrilled to compose for Wind Orchestra

The USask Wind Orchestra will premiere a piece written by Samuel Dmyterko


By Chris Putnam

At its spring concert this Friday, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Wind Orchestra will celebrate Canadian composers—including one from the orchestra’s own ranks.

The ensemble will debut a piece written by Samuel Dmyterko, a fourth-year USask Bachelor of Music student and horn player with the orchestra.

The concert, Northern Reflections, starts at 7:30 pm on March 15 at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon. Tickets are on sale now.

“I’ve been writing music for as long as I can remember, but I really started to write music seriously around a couple years ago,” Dmyterko said.

Titled Clover Creek, Dmyterko’s new composition is a symphonic poem about a group of children on an adventure. He wrote it specially for the USask Wind Orchestra.

“I try to write music that's accessible for all and that tells a story—that takes a listener on a journey,” said Dmyterko.

The undergraduate music student is a two-time winner of USask’s Murray Adaskin Composition Award. He is also an accomplished orchestral horn player who has performed as third horn with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra since last year.

The USask Wind Orchestra is made up of students from across USask who play wind or percussion instruments. Ensemble director Dr. Darrin Oehlerking (DMA) always encourages students to compose music for the orchestra, but it’s rare that a student’s piece makes it to a concert.

“Samuel is an excellent musician and student. He has already established an impressive reputation as a performer. His composition skills are, in my opinion, quite advanced for someone with his experience,” said Oehlerking.

Another of Dmyterko’s compositions was performed by the USask Wind Orchestra at a virtual concert in 2021. That piece has since been played by two other Saskatchewan orchestras.

“I feel extremely grateful that I’m a part of the ensemble and that I’ve gotten this opportunity. Over the past four years in this ensemble, the players and the band director, Dr. Darrin Oehlerking, have been like a second family to me. They’ve helped me through my lowest points, they’ve supported me throughout my musical journey, and I just I wouldn’t be the same person I am without them. So it’s a huge privilege to have the opportunity to present a piece to a lot of my friends and colleagues and to perform it in such a wonderful environment,” Dmyterko said.

Dmyterko expects to graduate this spring with his Bachelor of Music. In the fall, he will begin a Master of Music degree at McGill University.

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