Pablo Diemecke of the Die Mahler Quartet gives an elementary school students a quick violin lesson during a concert made possible by the Selkirk Pro Musica youth engagement program.

Student engagement program nears completion

Selkirk Pro Musica paired students with professional Kootenay musicians.

Selkirk Pro Musica’s youth engagement pilot program is nearing completion and organizers hope the successful venture—which pairs School District 8 kids with touring musicians—will be able to continue next year.

“That experience of having professional musicians play for the students has been tremendous. It’s been very, very successful,” said project coordinator Elizabeth Cunningham, who has overseen the first five of eight concerts held in Nelson and the surrounding area.

“This made it possible for all the kids to have a chance to experience the music really close up.”

In some cases, students even got a chance to interact with the musicians themselves. During one memorable concert Cunningham watched as musician Liz Massey played an impromptu jig while a student performed a Scottish dance.

“This girl with long curly beautiful hair, she just started dancing spontaneously around the gym. It was a very special moment that I think many people will remember.”

She said the experiences are more valuable than we may realize.

“In many cases these students have never had a chance to listen to classical music live before.”

In general, the school concerts were paired with pre-existing Selkirk Pro Music shows. But due to a budget windfall, they were able to raise the number of concerts to eight.

Cunningham said the program recently received news that the grant they’d applied for from the BC Touring Council had not been approved.

“In order to continue we will be doing a fundraising campaign. We’ve only talked over a few possibilities, but there’s a chance we could throw a little year-end gala, celebrating what we’ve done.”

Three more concerts remain in the series, and will be performed at South Nelson, Hume and Blewett Schools. Cunningham said the feedback from the school communities has been warm.

Performers at the upcoming concerts will include Alex Nichol, Jeff Faragher, Rob Fahie, Craig Korth and Bessie Wapp.

Cunningham said it was important to her that the series include communities such as Kaslo and Salmo, rather than staying Nelson-centric.

“We really wanted to reach those smaller places that don’t normally have a chance like this.”

Cunningham said ultimately they would like to see the program expand.

“We would really love to build on it, and continue. We’ve been able to reach most of the schools in the area, but not all of them…yet.”

For more information, visit Selkirk Pro Musica on Facebook.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read