For the third year in a row, the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières is presenting its “Classe en résidence” program, an intensive partnership with three different primary schools in the orchestra’s region. Designed not only to polish musical skills, but also to help students focus on goals, cooperate with others, develop self-esteem, persevere in their school work, the program twins eighty-one grade 5 and 6 students with OSTR musicians. The students have taken part in classroom visits, exchanges, master classes, and more. This week, the program culminates with a visit with OSTR Music Director Jacques Lacombe, a trip to Montreal for a rehearsal at Place des Arts, a rehearsal hosted by one of the participating schools, and, on Friday, 18 April, attendance as honoured guests at the OSTR’s Good Friday concert. They will hear music by Denis Gougeon, Haydn, and Fauré. For more information about the “Classe en résidence” program, please visit ostr.ca.
Three Canadian orchestras are participating in Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program this year: the Calgary Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. They join 56 other orchestras around the world selected to participate in the program, which connects orchestras and schools to some extraordinary resources developed by music education experts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI). WMI provides teachers and students with curriculum guides; workbooks; professional development webinars; concert scripts, repertoire lists, and visual materials; and an array of web resources. Through the program, students participate in active music-making in the classroom, performing repertoire on recorder, violin, voice or body percussion and take part in creative work such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied. Last week in both Calgary and Thunder Bay, participating students sang and played recorders with their heroes in the orchestra during a live performance, giving the students the chance to apply the musical concepts they studied throughout the year. For more information about Link Up, please visit carnegiehall.org.
We were delighted to read about the active participation by Canadian orchestras in this year’s Music Monday festivities, scheduled for May 5. Music Monday, now in its 10th year, is an annual pan-Canadian celebration of music, linking student music-makers (and their teachers) with professional musicians, in support of a higher profile for publicly-funded, widely-available music programs in Canadian schools. Hats off to the Vancouver Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Winspear Centre, National Arts Centre, and Symphony Nova Scotia for their efforts, recently highlighted in the Music Monday newsletter. You can search for activities in your own community here.