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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

 

“Music is the only language understood by everyone in our wonderful diverse world.” Bramwell Tovey, Music Director, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

 

Premier Christy Clark, here are some messages you might pay attention to and change your point of view regarding Education Funding in British Columbia. Listen to your own Liberal team, in their recommendation to, restore funding for education in British Columbia; and, keep your promise of “FAMILIES FIRST”.

#NOMusicEducationCuts

#NOMusicEducationCuts

#CutsAreHurtingKids

#CutsAreHurtingKids

 

Premier Christy Clark: Do you still “hope they, (being cuts to Education Funding), are being kept away from hurting Kids”?

I hope you get the message, loud and clear, that restoring Education Funding in British Columbia must not be a long-term goal of our government. It must be an immediate and ongoing goal of the government we elected.

From a parent: Here’s proof positive WHY funding Music Education in our schools is important: “My daughter is studying micro-biology at university now. Her preparation was piano theory and a GAP year in a singer-songwriter program. The interplay is obvious in her work so far.” Kevin Teichroeb

Premier Christy Clark please pay attention to the KIDS, and show the leadership we voted for, in you, by restoring Education Funding in British Columbia, NOW; because later, in your current long-term goals agenda, it won’t matter.

#RestoreEducationFundingNOW

#RestoreEducationFundingNOW

Premier Christy Clark:

From a young clarinetist in elementary band: “please don’t take away the band. It would break my heart.” VSB39

bc-music16nw1

 

 

 

ATTEND the Vancouver School Board Budget Meeting, open to the public, Tuesday April 15, 2014 at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School – 7pm. #NOMusicEducationCuts #InvestInVanKids

Here is WHY:

Madame Premier,

You have a child attending a school located in the Vancouver School District #39 area.

I extend to you, as a parent of a school-aged child, a sincere invitation to  the public discussion on the 2014/15 VSB Budget at 7:00pm, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.

From students in school music programs, and, in their own words, here is WHY: (Please watch the video)

 

Please, do, #InvestInVanKids, and in your child’s education.

Respectfully,

Susan C. Weiss

SPEAK UP IN SUPPORT OF MUSIC EDUCATION!

#RallyNOMusicEducationCuts

JOIN the Twitter campaign #InvestInVanKids
FOLLOW  #RallyNOMusicEducationCuts https://twitter.com/susanopera
WRITE a letter to Premier Christy Clark
ATTEND the VSB Public Budget Meeting at 7 p.m., April 15

 

IT IS NO SECRET THAT I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT EDUCATION.

I am also passionately upset, grievously so, that the Vancouver School Board, yet again, (they tried to do the same in 2010), is proposing to ELIMINATE, yes, ELIMINATE, the Elementary School band and string music program in, School District #39, that they govern, to SAVE $630K+.

I, Susan Weiss, unequivocally support, encourage and plead with everyone who cares about education, (whether you have children in school or not), to make yourself heard, seen and shout it out: “VSB, DO NOT ELIMINATE MUSIC PROGRAMS IN OUR VANCOUVER SCHOOLS!

#RallyNOMusicEducationCuts

I share this letter from Access to Music Foundation President and CEO Elka Yarlowe:

10 APR 14

“The Vancouver School Board’s recent budget proposal including either a fee raise or total elimination of the Band and Strings Program, has compelled Access to Music Foundation President and CEO Elka Yarlowe to put out a call to action.

She’s written an open letter to the city’s school board engaging Vancouverites to speak up to government and through social media about the importance of early music education in youth development, and take part in the public discussion coming up at 7:00pm, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.

The recommendation in the 2014/2015 preliminary budget is “to eliminate the band and strings program for a savings of $630,651.

Alternatively, the Board could increase the annual fee for the band and strings program to $25 per month for a total of $250.00 per year. This however would only generate an additional $350,000.”

Access to Music hopes you can help encourage the Vancouver School Board to keep funding in place to ensure VanCity’s kids have access to elementary school music programs.

Your voice can make the difference, please join us today to help us make a better tomorrow for our kids.

You can contribute in the following ways:

JOIN our Twitter campaign using #InvestInVanKids to show your support of music education;

WRITE a letter to Premier Christy Clark asking for improvements to school funding – an example is at www.accesstomusic.ca

AND

ATTEND the public budget meeting on Tuesday, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School at 7pm.

It’s not just about music. It is about providing a creative and innovative way to make the overall learning experience for every child a meaningful and lasting one.”

Please click this link to read the full open letter from Elka Yarlowe to the VSB.

http://www.modmaypromotions.com/private/pdf/VSB-A2M_openletter.pdf

 

#RallyNOMusicEducationCuts

#RallyNOMusicEducationCuts

 

 

San Diego Opera latest drama:

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/apr/07/much-handwringing-slow-progress-san-diego-operas-f/

Why can’t the boss man Ian Campbell write his own memo to the company Production Stage Manager? Looks like the Board President is the new boss woman; at least in the memo department.

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As the story reads the cast of characters gets even more #operadramatic, Legal Counsel to the Board of Directors was best man at Ian Campbell’s wedding!

Two new Board members added, (reported to be friends of Campbell’s), and the mandatory $25K donation was waived. (One could not find a more contemporary opera libretto in the making.)

Meanwhile on the Save Opera San Diego front there is a new petition “Ian Campbell, resign with dignity” put forward http://www.thepetitionsite.com/628/921/897/resign-with-dignity-mr-campbell/

He might, hurriedly, ponder this action indicated in the petition, before all dignity disappears…..;

From me to Carol Lazier: Four words: BRAVA! and, thank you!

Here is Lazier’s statement:

“Other companies of our size like Dallas Opera have been able to re-make themselves into successful companies without drastic steps like closure or bankruptcy. My gift is being given as a challenge to the Board of Directors in order to give us some time and resources to consider and explore realistic options from experts in the field who we can find through Opera America.

“I gave the money to encourage us to rescind the dissolution vote as soon as possible. Having four full-scale productions is clearly unsustainable in our community. What would a re-tooled and financially stable season and company look like? A company with new fundraising methods, new repertoire, new cost saving measures and an inspired future? One supported by a community already now broader, more innovative, and more emotionally committed than I have ever seen?

“This money is not being given to restart raising financial support from the community for the company as it exists today. Raising public support can only come after we have a workable business plan. Opera is the greatest of the performing arts. It’s a culmination of all the other arts – music, drama, voice, dance, theater. The stories are timeless. The arts nourish our souls and connect us as human beings. With the arts being cut in schools, arts education programs such as the ones San Diego Opera supports are critical to help fill the gap. This gift is to be used to explore other options, anything other than ceasing operations after 49 successful years.

“ If we close, 400 jobs will be lost and all our assets, including our profitable scenic studio will be sold off. Our city’s reputation will be tarnished. How can ‘America’s finest city’ not have an opera company? Perhaps this is the blessing of a near death experience – the capacity to nurture this new life we have been given.”

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