Read all about it!
en français

Happy New Year from the Managing Director

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a great holiday break and that you're recharged and ready for a new year and a new decade!  Thank you for being a part of our program and for supporting our initiatives in music and music education. Your support has never been more crucial and we appreciate the efforts you continue to make to advocate for the arts.

We've got an exciting year ahead for our Youth4Music program.  Nominations are now open for our NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award and our Youth4Music Project Plan is moving ahead.  We're looking for students to get involved and help us shape the Plan for roll-out later this year.

In other news, our Music Monday events are taking shape across the country with more and more students participating in this national celebration. You can get involved, too, and help us make this year's celebration our biggest yet.

I hope 2020 brings all of you a year of adventure, laughs, friendship, and music!

Patricia Valenteyn
Managing Director

Youth4Music News

NUFSICISUM: Nominations now open!

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada is now accepting nominations for the 2020 NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award! The Coalition believes in celebrating youth who are making a difference in their schools and communities through music, and will recognize the efforts and contributions of exceptional young leaders with Elementary, Intermediate, and Senior NUFSICISUM Awards.

Teachers are invited to nominate students who demonstrate a passion for music, and who have made positive contributions to their school and/or community music program(s). Teachers may submit nominations for multiple students. NUFSICISUM (read it backwards!) winners will each be awarded a plaque recognizing their achievement and cheque for $200, with an additional $200 awarded to their schools in support of music programming; runners up will receive a Certificate of Merit, and all nominees will receive a Letter of Recognition. 

All nominations must be received by March 13, 2020. The 2020 NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award winners will be announced on May 4, 2020 as part of the Coalition’s national Music Monday celebration.

Youth4Music Project Plan: Pilot Phase

Last March at the 2019 Youth4Music Toronto Leadership Symposium, we introduced a new program component with the working title of the Youth4Music Project Plan. Since then, with the feedback of youth participants, the Project Plan has evolved into a comprehensive set of resources designed to equip youth with the necessary tools for planning and executing music-based projects. Through the Project Plan, we hope to engage youth across Canada by empowering them to contribute positively to their communities through music. 

We are currently seeking additional feedback on the Project Plan through a pilot phase involving both school and community groups. Please contact if you are interested in forming a pilot group.

Coalition News

Music Monday Special Feature: Spotlight on… Worrell McFarlane

If you’ve seen the official Music Monday Anthem video, then you’ve seen Ben Macdonald (piano), Irene Harrett (bass), and Worrell McFarlane (drums) as they recorded Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom,” while being mentored by a trio of Canadian jazz superstars - Robi Botos (piano), Dave Young (bass), and Jim Doxas (drums). (And if you haven’t seen the video, what are you waiting for?)

In the lead up to Music Monday 2020, as we prepare to sing and play “Hymn to Freedom” #TogetherInHarmony for the second year in a row, we thought we’d catch up with the young artists who made the anthem recording possible. We last saw them perform as a trio in March of 2019, when they dazzled us at the Youth4Music Toronto Leadership Symposium, and we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on each of them a year later. This month, in the first of our Music Monday Special Feature series, we’re thrilled to introduce you to drummer Worrell McFarlane!

Music Monday 2020 Celebrations!

As the new year begins, the Coalition is eagerly looking towards May, in anticipation of Music Monday 2020! Each month, we’ll be featuring fabulous celebrations that will be taking place throughout the country on May 4. For our first installment, we’re highlighting the National Arts Centre’s concert and livestream from Ottawa, featuring a massed choir under the direction of Jackie Hawley; a Star Wars/space-themed celebration in St. John’s, in partnership with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District; and Winnipeg’s annual MUSIC MONDAY @ THE FORKS event. To learn more about these and other amazing events, check out our website.

In Your Backyard

The Winnipeg New Music Festival

If you’re in the Winnipeg area at the end of the month, why not take in a performance at the Winnipeg New Music Festival? This year’s festival features a variety of distinguished guest performers, including some outstanding youth musicians. On January 26, members of the University of Manitoba’s Percussion Ensemble and Experimental Improv Ensemble will perform student compositions at Form and Flow at the Forks; on January 27, the Orchestral Voices of the Future concert will feature the works of several emerging Canadian composers; and on January 30, the Brandon University New Music Ensemble will perform new Indigenous music at the Skywalk Concert Series. Click here to purchase individual event tickets or festival passes.

New Brunswick Youth Orchestra Concerts

If you’re in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island this winter, you have the chance to hear the talented young musicians of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) in concert. If you missed NBYO’s first concert of the new year in Fredericton on January 12 you can catch their weekend of performances next month in Moncton on February 8 and Charlottetown on February 9. They finish up their season on March 15 with the NBYO Season Finale in Saint John, so catch them while you can!

MusicFest Canada: National Honour Ensembles Auditions

Are you a young musician interested in improving your musical skills, learning from world renowned directors, and forge new friendships with other young musicians from across the country? Consider auditioning for one of MusicFest Canada’s National Honour Ensembles! Participants will spend an unforgettable week of music-making in Calgary, culminating in a performance extravaganza on May 22. Auditions for the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, the Thomastik-Infeld Canadian String Orchestra, and the Woodshed Canadian Percussion Ensemble will be accepted until January 31; auditions for the Conn-Selmer Centrestage Jazz Band, the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir, and the Humber National Youth Jazz Combo will be accepted until March 15. Further information on audition procedures is available at

Youth4Music Playlist

Brrr!!! It’s the time of year for skating and skiing, bundling up in mitts and scarves, and hunkering down by the fire with a blanket. Winter in Canada can be magical and exhilarating or dreary and bleak, and nothing captures the spirit of the season quite like music. For our first playlist of the 2020s we’ve rounded up the songs that reflect the different ways Canadians experience winter. So whether you’re braving the elements or keeping cozy indoors, the Youth4Music Playlist: Canadian Winter Edition is the perfect soundtrack!

Thank you • Merci • Miigwech • kinana'skomitina'wa'w

We are able to do all of this awesome work because of the support from many groups. For a full listing of this support go to Coalition, Youth4Music and Music Monday

Instagram Twitter Spotify


P.O. Box 556    Toronto, Ontario    M1S 3C5

Phone: 416.298.2871