As a performer, Gillian Snider’s relationship with music is complex, complicated and compelling. The Saskatonian is a well-known artist who has performed extensively over the past approximately 20 years. Her musical resume includes The Whiskey Jerks, The Ray Elliott Band, several jazz ensembles, and tributes to Janis Juplin and Joni Mitchell, but she has always stopped short of solo performances.
Coming from a successful musical family, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that performing should be almost second nature. Gillian’s mother, Jackie Allan, and her auntie Coralie, were the well-known musical act know as the Allan Sisters who performed regularly on the Tommy Hunter show for nearly 12 years and who had a successful music career for many years. Gillian‘s father, Art Snider, was music director at CBC television and owned several recording studios and record labels. However it took Gillian numerous years before she could gather the courage to perform in front of an audience herself.
“It has to do with the piano,” says Gillian. “I grew up in a musical family....the way
I was taught made me afraid of making mistakes.” Finally, at the age of 41, she found the courage to step onto the stage as part of an ensemble as a vocalist and as an accordian player. In spite of her extensive formal music education in piano, it was Gillian‘s love for singing jazz that enabled her to break through her paralyzing fear of performing. She is a regular performer now at Saskatoon’s Jazz Bassment, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival and the Ness Creek Music Festival. The accordian and song writing, she says, has opened up an odd and adventurous world which has taken her acorss the country and back.
Singing and accompanying herself on piano was not something she even considered as an option. However that is about to change. On November 18, at 7:30 pm Gillian is scheduled to perform as a solo artist at the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern Sk. She will perform a mix of originals and favourite covers accompanying her own vocals on the piano and accordion. This concert is the next in the series “Live and Local” produced by Joe Callahan. Tickets are available online at stationarts.com
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder