It is that time of year again, that time in November when we celebrate Canadian music.
Canada Music Week was initiated in 1960 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association. It was decided that Canada Music Week would be observed the last full week of November to coincide with the feast of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
The aims of Canada Music Week are:
• To bring to the attention of the public, through various means, the importance of Canadian music.
• To support composers and performers of Canadian music.
• To introduce contemporary music to young Canadians and stimulate a keener appreciation and understanding of this music.
• To encourage music educators to widen their knowledge and experience of Canadian works.
Thousands of Canadians experience Canada Music Week festivities each year in their communities. This year the Nelson Branch of the Registered Music Teachers have a full day planned for November 19. The day will begin with a mini festival of Canadian music to be facilitated by Arne Sahlén.
Sahlén is a pianist, teacher and clinician, and has adjudicated piano and composition since 1982. He performs and teaches internationally, and has appeared in character as composer Johannes Brahms. He was co-director of Victoria Piano Summer School for 26 years, where he developed a major jazz and ragtime festival. Sahlén has served since 1992 as a visiting professor at Cambodia’s Royal University of Fine Arts. He promotes Canadian music in Canada and abroad, writes regularly for music magazines, and composes in classical, ragtime and other styles.
Nelson’s Canada Music Week activities will take place at the Evangelical Covenant Church. The mini festival will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In the afternoon Sahlen will lead a workshop in jazz, ragtime and blues for teachers and interested students at 2:30 p.m. The final event of the day will be an evening concert with performers chosen from the morning festival. The audience will also be treated to a performance by Arne Sahlen. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation.