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Youth4Music News

NUFSICISUM: Nominations now open!

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada is 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.

Music Monday Special Feature: Spotlight on… Irene Harrett

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. Up next in our Music Monday Special Feature series is the fabulous Irene Harrett!

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 2020 Celebrations!

We’re another month closer to Music Monday, and as May 4 approaches we’re highlighting Music Monday celebrations across Canada; this month it’s Halifax, Vancouver, and Windsor. Our Spotlight Celebration in Halifax, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, will take place at the beautiful Halifax Central Library, with performances by student musicians representing communities and cultures across the province, plus special guest speakers.

On the other side of the country, the CMEBC (Coalition for Music Education BC) and the British Columbia Ministry of Education partner with us for a free public concert on the steps of the BC Legislature in Victoria. This Regional Celebration will bring together hundreds of student musicians from Victoria elementary and secondary schools, demonstrating the value of music education for students of all ages, while sharing important messages and songs with the broader community.

Last but not least, the Greater Essex County District School Board will celebrate with students, parents, educators, and community members with a concert at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor, ON, in partnership with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. Read more about these and other exciting Music Monday celebrations on our website, or check the Celebration Map for a Music Monday event in your community.

New Leadership for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and VSO School of Music

It is with tremendous joy and enthusiasm that the Coalition for Music Education celebrates the appointment this week of our Vice Chair, Angela Elster, to the position of President and CEO of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the VSO School of Music

Angela joined the VSO senior management team in 2018 as Vice President of the VSO School of Music and Community Programs, and there is little doubt that she has had a significant impact on the VSO mandate during the past two years. 

Dr. Eric Favaro, Chair of the Coalition for Music Education said, “I have known and worked with Angela for more than twenty years and her dedication to music and arts education in Canada is unparalleled. She demonstrates a strong commitment to musical excellence, and we at the Coalition are honoured and privileged to have her on our Board of Directors in the position of Vice Chair. 

Her appointment as President and CEO demonstrates a model that other orchestras across Canada and around the world can emulate. The positive impact of professional performing arts organizations in our communities cultivates music education and is something to celebrate. I know Angela will continue to create a positive future for music education in schools and communities in her new role.”

Congratulations, Angela!

In Your Backyard

Ukulele Drop-In Sessions at UTSC

Have you always wanted to learn the ukulele? Are you an experienced player in need of a group to jam with? Then look no further than This Uke’s for U-TSC, the University of Toronto Scarborough’s weekly drop-in ukulele jam session! Facilitated by Coalition Board member Lynn Tucker, UTSC’s Department of Arts, Culture, and Media holds this free drop-in every Wednesday from 1-2 pm; no experience is necessary, and instruments are provided. Last year, a group of regular participants led a ukulele jam session at our Youth4Music Toronto Leadership Symposium, and it was one of the highlights of the day! For more info on how to get involved, visit the This Uke’s for U-TSC Facebook page.

Upcoming Concerts at Université de Montréal

If you’re looking for an evening of arts and culture in the Montreal area, why not take in a concert featuring the talented young musicians of the Faculty of Music at Université de Montréal? The U de M Big Band presents an evening of jazz on February 20, and the ongoing Opéramania series is sure to delight opera lovers of all ages. Visit the U de M event calendar for more information.

Showcase at Breakout West 2020

The Breakout West Festival is accepting submissions to showcase at the 2020 festival, taking place this fall in Winnipeg. Hosted by the Western Canadian Music Alliance, Breakout West is an annual festival and conference that brings together musicians, music lovers, and industry professionals to promote and celebrate the music of Western Canada. Interested musicians from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and Northwest Territories are invited to submit their applications by March 18.

Youth4Music Playlist

It’s been said that good things come in small packages, and that is certainly true of February, the shortest month of the year. With February comes Black History Month, Carnaval de Québec, Valentine’s Day, Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur, public holidays in several provinces and territories, Groundhog Day, Winterlude, and more - all in the span of only 28 days! This month we’re happy to bring you the Youth4Music Playlist: Short & Sweet Edition. Just like February, the songs in this month’s playlist all pack a considerable amount into a short period of time. Find us on Spotify to stream the complete list. Happy listening!

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

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Phone: 416.298.2871