Maestro Valery Gergiev and the Stradivarius Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vancouver, October 20, 11 Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, Canada

Strauss Metamorphosen – transported me to a wonderful place

Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1- OVER THE TOP! Brilliant and knocked my socks off!

Tchaikovsky Serenade in C Major  – big smiles on my face and warmed my soul.

VALERY GERGIEV you are brilliant and so is Stradivarius Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre – I was so fascinated by the change in seating for each selection – such a sound…thank you for one of the most memorable orchestral music experiences in my life!

BRAVO and BRAVISSSSSSIMO!

This will be a fantastic event in Vancouver, Canada. Get you tickets soon!

VSO New Music Festival is live!.

VSO New Music Festival is live!.

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That’s all!

My most simple, and, direct question: Premier Christy Clark:

Have you responded to Justine Taylor, Grade 12 Student, Delta Secondary School questions?

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=821472801199055&id=100000090293697

Premier Christy Clark, are you the problem, or, the solution?

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My take away from Premier Christy Clark’s “Mandate Letter” http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/cabinet_ministers/peter_fassbender_mandate_letter.pdf to BC Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender:

And excerpts from: http://tomkertes.ca/does-christy-clark-want-to-break-teachers-union/ )

“Clark’s letter kicks off the next round in the education debate by attempting to frame collective bargaining as the issue, not adequate funding for education.”

“Clark seems committed to invest less in public schools“……

“She needs to deflect the issue, especially if she can do this while discrediting the public education system’s greatest advocates – its teachers.”

“It’s time for Christy Clark to focus on public education, not weakening the present collective bargaining system.”

“The BCTF has time and again conducted itself within the system”:

Respecting the rule of law, following essential service levels, bargaining in good faith,”

“And focusing on doing what’s needed to defend the interests of students, teachers, and the community at large.”

“It’s time for government to recognize the value of tension and share power in a pluralistic democracy.”

“It’s time for government to bargain in good faith”

“And to get real about reaching a fair and reasonable agreement that meets the needs of BC’s students and families through quality public education for all.”

In my honest and humble opinion, it is our Public Schools and our Public Education that holds our province, British Columbia, and our nation, Canada, together.

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Michael Kaiser,

I concur with the last sentence of your post http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5472397

“Wouldn’t the future of the arts in America be brighter if we dedicated our efforts to creating more and better art rather than bigger and fancier buildings?”

It is a burning question; and “build it, and, they will come”, IMO, is no longer relevant.

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Adding to this, #IndieOpera is leading the way in presenting Opera in venues other than the “palaces” you mention; such as #divebars, parks, barges on lakes, rivers, city streets, farmers markets, train stations and the list goes on.

Start-Ups for live streaming such as http://virtualarts.tv/ is actively striving to connect the performing arts to people globally.

Just another example that compliments going to a movie theatre to see the performing arts live, delayed, simulcast etc.

And certainly less expensive than building a new state of the art #ArtsPalace too.

Thank you for this post!

PS: We still need the live performing arts to thrive; and in existing #ArtsPalaces too! Without the live performing arts there will be nothing to beam up to a #VirtualArtsCommunity wherever, whatever and whoever they may be.

Now, bring on the discussion! Keep it nice, please and ThankYou!

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Join us on Sunday May 11th for this amazing live performance!

 

20th Anniversary Rwanda Genocide

http://www.clydefitchreport.com

Watch the event from NYC or Kigali or join in online: http://goo.gl/eDTxE4

 

A Celebration of Music in Canada

A Celebration of Music in Canada

This is such a wonderful celebration of music across our nation, Canada. To everyone participating let the music ring, and sing, sing, sing too!

The Webcast begins at 12:00 p.m. EDT (1:30 pm NDT, 1:00 ADT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 10:00 MDT, 9:00 PDT), SO JOIN IN! http://www.musicmonday.ca/webcast/

UPDATE: Maestro Bramwell Tovey speaks below about the potential cuts of the band and string music program in Vancouver schools.

Happily, the Vancouver School Board Trustees voted on April 30, 2014 to keep the band and string music program in Vancouver Schools for one more year.

The VSB39 will form a task force to help find a solution to making the band and string music program permanent in the Elementary Schools so we will never have to go through the agony of lobbying for this ever again.

Music is alive again in the Elementary Schools in Vancouver, Canada.

……”Music Monday is a nationwide celebration of music education in Canada, organized by the Coalition for Music Education. This year, Vancouver was chosen as the official location where the Music Monday song will be broadcast from.

Christin Reardon MacLellan, president of the Coalition for Music Education in B.C., believes that the large pool of participants shows that music is far from being a niche interest.

“No matter where you’re from, what language you speak, what your background is,” she says, “music is common to everyone.”

The Music Monday song, entitled I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) was co-commissioned by the coalition and CBC Music, and written by Commander Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson.

This year, Hadfield will be in Edmonton, participating in the nationwide performance led by Maestro Bramwell Tovey in Vancouver.

“I think the main goal of Music Monday is to show how much support there is for music across Canada,” says Tovey. “And to celebrate that role that music plays in young people’s lives while at the same time showing those in a position of power to help propagation of music in education to realize that there actually is a tremendous amount of support for music.”

The importance of music education hits close to home for Tovey, as he was deeply influenced by music education as a child. “I went to a state school in the U.K. I was able to join the orchestra, I was able to join the local band, to play piano at concerts, do a lot of accompanying of choirs, singing in choirs, all of this under the school system,” he says.

“Without that experience, and without that window on the wider world which was given to me in school, I probably would not have achieved what I’ve been very fortunate to achieve over the course of my career.”

While the live webcast is a large part of the event, there are a number of other activities planned. Tovey will be answering questions as part of a segment called “Meet the Maestro”. Reardon MacLellan, and others, will give speeches in favour of music education. Also, there will be a special segment in Vancouver called “Uniformed Musicians”.

“We have adults from any walk of life, you know, many different careers, many different backgrounds who still have music as an important part of their lives,” says Reardon MacLellan. “They dress up in their work uniforms, whatever that might be, and they perform with the kids. It’s to communicate the importance of lifelong music making.”

This event is coming at a tender time for the Vancouver school board. They will vote tonight (April 30), on a proposal by school board chair Patti Bacchus to give the elementary band and strings program a one-year reprieve and create a task force to analyze how the program can become sustainable for future years.

Tonight’s decision will turn Vancouver’s Music Monday into either a celebration or a lament. All that the musicians can do is hope for the best.

“I’m hoping that Patti Bacchus’s proposal is adopted unanimously by the school board,” says Tovey. “With that stay of execution, the importance of music can be evaluated in the calm of a year’s grace, and all who are interested in the state of music in the schools can support the VSB and lobby the provincial government to see if we can put music on a more secure permanent footing.”

Music Monday will take place at the Telus World of Science on May 5 in Vancouver and all across Canada.

 

To reinforce #NOMusicEducation cuts in SD #39, (or other school districts for that matter), I unequivocally support Maestro Bramwell Tovey’s apolitical and ardent advocacy for Vancouver SD#39 not cutting band and string programs at the Elementary School level.

 

#NOMusicEducationCuts

#NOMusicEducationCuts

 

April 15, 2014, Maestro Bramwell Tovey, in his own words:

In April 2010 there was a similar public hearing when the Vancouver School Board had proposed eliminating band and strings programs. Extensive public consultation resulted in the proposal to abolish being withdrawn. The VSB were widely praised for this action which was in response to the overwhelming message of support for music in our schools from parents, pupils, the VSO and many other interested parties. The VSB listened and reacted with great leadership and insight.

At that time, I made a submission in person, which I am unable to do tonight as ironically, I am in the UK leading the spring course for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, an organization dependent on the music education programs in British schools.

Our 2010 submission contained many details about the value of music in the lives of children. I would refer you to those remarks which were published in the Vancouver Sun and are available online. It is not necessary to repeat why music is so essential a part of a rounded education – but briefly, may I remind everyone present that music is the only language understood by everyone in our wonderfully diverse community of citizens.

Music is the expression of the inner narrative of every child, the common thread of communication to those who participate in a band or orchestra.

Tonight we wish to express the strongest disapproval of the VSB’s latest proposal to eliminate the Elementary band and strings programs. We are extremely sympathetic to the predicament of the Vancouver Schools Board whose budgets must be balanced and whose role is to make difficult decisions, the depth and complexity of which require an understanding and judgment which by its very nature is highly specialist.

We are aware that VSB are encouraging those against the cuts to take up the matter with the provincial government. However, we sincerely believe that there is a particular concern about the elimination of the Elementary and String program that it is only possible for the VSB to solve.

Reinstating an eliminated program is very rare indeed. The teachers’ jobs have gone, the pupils have departed, the instruments have been sold. The whole support infrastructure has to be recreated from scratch, a very expensive undertaking, even when money seems to grow on trees.

Restoring levels of funding to an already existing program at a later date in better circumstances, is a much simpler scenario. It is difficult to believe that if VSB eliminates this program at this moment, a future VSB would welcome the opportunity in better times, to face all the financial issues of recreating it. This is why we are urging the VSB not to eliminate the Elementary band and strings program entirely. It would be impossible to resurrect it at a later date.

If the Elementary program were to be eliminated now, it seems inevitable that at the next VSB budget, high school programs would follow the same fate.

We cannot begin to understand the depth of the issues facing VSB in the many essential areas of public education for which they are responsible. Our only expertise is in music. We have seen the power of music to unite people of widely disparate backgrounds. We have been in the schools, working with the students and teachers with the full support of the VSB under the banner of our program VSO CONNECTS. As VSB knows, as music director, I have been fully involved with this program with the presentation “Meet the Maestro,” conducting school bands and orchestras, meeting with parent/teacher groups, raising money for groups and much else besides.

We are aware that the VSB is urging those against the cuts to speak out against the provincial government. The VSO will pursue its own private channels with the provincial government to communicate our serious concerns about the situation regarding the VSB budget problems. We are a non-partisan arts organization, but when it comes to the education of the children in our community, we realize that as a centre of excellence in performance and education, we have responsibilities.

For the VSO the stakes are much higher in 2014 than in 2010. VSO Connects, which was only in its infancy in 2010, is now a fully fledged program, drawing on several years of success and operating in every school district in the Lower Mainland. In 2011 the VSO School of Music opened its doors, offering additional individual lesson capacity, group learning from infancy, adult classes and a great deal more.

Perhaps most importantly, the VSO is in a community partnership with the extraordinary work going on in the St James Music Academy on the downtown Eastside where opportunities for young people are few and far between. As mentors and partners to SJMA, working with students and ensembles the VSO has renewed its mission to bring music to as many children as possible in our community.

If I might repeat one thing from our 2010 submission it would be this

– 

The social benefits of music are extraordinary –

If a student holds a musical instrument then he or she can’t hold a knife, or a joint, or a needle or a crack pipe – or a gun. 


If a student is in a choir or a band or an orchestra, they are communicating through the universal art of music at the heart of our community.

Please support the children who play music as one Grade 8 student said this week, because its something they can do for their entire life.

The VSO recognizes the dilemma facing the VSB, but please, do not take the instruments away from the elementary students.

Submitted with great respect on behalf of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

#RallyNOMusicEducationCuts

 

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