A former resident of North Battleford has won the 2013 YWCA Women of Distinction Education Award.
The award was presented in Saskatoon May 24 toArlene Shiplett, who has been an active horn teacher and performer for almost 30 years. At the awards ceremony, it was made known that Shiplett has taught every horn student in Saskatoon since she moved there in 1992.
Shiplett was born and raised in North Battleford. Her mother, Ann Shiplett, was the first curator of the Chapel Gallery, now retired. Her late father, Everett, ran a poultry operation outside Battleford and Royal Dairies in North Battleford.She returns to the Battlefords every year to play the Western Development Museum's steam calliope.
She has also returned to the Battlefords to collaborate with local teachers, including Amy Francis and Adam Streisel at the North Battleford Comprehensive High School and Gene Aulinger of the North Battleford community bands, in working with their students.
In June 2011, she performed at a concert in North Battleford with Jaya Hoy, piano, and Myra Lyn, violin.
Shiplett became involved in music at an early age with piano lessons, choir and both school and private band programs. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Musical Education in 1986. She became a member of the Saskatoon Symphony in 1992.
For several years Shiplett taught band in rural Saskatchewan and played in the symphony. Since 2000, she has narrowed her focus to teaching horn at the University of Saskatchewan as well as private teaching and coaching. She is the brass instructor for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, is the administrative assistant for the North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony and works at Musicraft Instrument Repair.
Shiplett formed the Saskatoon Horn Choir in 2002. It has evolved into a group made up of horn players from every adult band and orchestra in Saskatoon. There is also a junior form of this group. Most participants are private students of Shiplett's and were to perform at the Moose Jaw Band Festival this month.
In 2008, she became the Northern Saskatchewan presenter of the National Arts Centre's Music Alive Program, every year visiting schools across northern Saskatchewan performing presentations to elementary schools.
She is also a member of the Gala Trio along with Audrey Bayduza, piano and Gaye-Lynn Kern, soprano. This dynamic group performs a wide range of repertoire from classical to pop to jazz standards.
Shiplett is in her ninth year performing with the International Brass Quintet at the International Peace Gardens. The IMC Brass Quintet meets for two weeks every summer to perform in Minot, N.D., on the Festival of the Arts series at the Peace Gardens and informal concerts in Boissevain, Man.
Shiplett has also performed with Prairie Virtuosi, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Brandon Chamber Orchestra, Saskatoon Philharmonic, Saskatoon Opera, North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony and Saskatoon Concert Band and Saskatoon Community Wind Ensemble as well as various chamber groups in Saskatoon.
Her other accomplishments include winning the 2004 Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award at the University of Saskatchewan, conducting the mass horn choir at the Call of the Wild horn conference in Cold Lake, Alta. and forming mass horn choirs to perform at the University of Saskatchewan Brass Days and special events.
She is married to Lee Springett. They have no children, a very spoiled cat and seven horns.