Classical musicians meet curious kids at Hume School

"Anything can happen with an audience like this."

Classical musicians Nicola Everton

About two hundred elementary school kids got a taste of classical chamber music at the Hume gym last week, and they had lots of questions.

“Why is your voice so loud, and why doesn’t it run out?” one boy asked classical singer Noemi Kiss.

“Well,” she said with a smile, “it doesn’t run out because I sing with my whole body. I don’t just sing from my throat. And it might run out when I get really old.”

The session was also attended by students from Ecole des Sentiers-Alpins and Redfish school. Unexpected questions are the hallmark of playing for kids, said the trio of musicians from the chamber music organization Selkirk Pro Musica.

“They are interactive with us,” said clarinetist Nicola Everton. “Their feedback is instant. They are either not interested in talking or they are riveted and listening and then the good questions come out.”

“There are funny questions that catch us off guard,” says Kiss. “That is also the challenge — you don’t know what to expect. Anything could happen with an audience like this.”

“But it is also a great opportunity,” says pianist Sue Gould, “to inspire kids to do music, because that is what our community is: it is music making, people that come together and make music. It was encouraging to see so many kids here say that they play musical instruments.”

Gould lives in Golden while Kiss and Everton are very active in classical music circles in Nelson. The trio performed at Hume School as a part of a schools program run by the Nelson chamber music organization Selkirk Pro Musica. Small groups of musicians playing classical, jazz, celtic, or folk music visit the schools, funded by the Osprey Foundation and the BC Touring Council.