Raymond Baril is Assistant Professor of Music and Section Head for Winds and Brass in the Department of Music at Grant MacEwan University, and, for the past 30 years, he has been the Director of the MacEwan University Jazz Ensemble. He is in his 18th season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Edmonton Winds and recently has taken on the role as director of the River City Big Band. Prior to his appointment at MacEwan University, Raymond was a music educator with Edmonton Public Schools, conductor of the University of Alberta Concert Band, Executive Director of the Alberta Band Association and, worked as assistant conductor for the Cosmopolitan Music Society. Raymond remains a much sought after national clinician and adjudicator as well as a featured guest speaker at music education conferences across the country.
Raymond continues to work as one of Edmonton’s busiest saxophonists and woodwind doublers. He was a regular member of the Tommy Banks Big Band for 25 years and is currently a member of the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra. He has appeared with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions as a section member and soloist, as well as a guest conductor. He also continues to be in demand as both a conductor and woodwind specialist for pit orchestras in various local and touring productions. In 2005, Raymond’s ensembles released two CDs: First Time Out with the Grant MacEwan College/University of Alberta Big Band and Among Friends with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia. In 2011, the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia released a second CD, O Music, which featured the wind band works of Edmonton composer Allan Gilliland, and won a Western Canadian Music award in 2012.
Raymond attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received a Master of Music degree in conducting. He holds undergraduate degrees in both music performance and education from the University of Alberta, and is currently working on his Doctorate in Saxophone Performance at the University of Alberta. Raymond has been the recipient of many awards for his contribution to music and music education including the Tommy Banks Award, presented by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the David Peterkin Memorial Award, presented by Phi Beta Mu. He has also received the Elkhorn Award for Director of the Year by the Alberta Band Association, the Best Teaching Practices Award from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, a District Service Award from Edmonton Public Schools, and an Excellence in Teaching Award from Alberta Learning.