Seventh and eighth grade students from several public schools experienced a classical music timeline at a concert held at Westgate College.
Thunder Bay – In a Metallica t-shirt and social justice buttoned hat, Emily Kaupi might not fit the image of a classical music fan.
But a student at Westmount Public Schools was one of Wednesday’s most enthusiastic students. Her class is Westgate, an introduction to classical music for her Year 7 and her Year 8 students, as she watches the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra perform in her College Eight and Vocational cafeteria. Invited. Not always known for his love of Beethoven and Bach.
“I think it’s great,” said Emily. “I have the greatest appreciation for music like this. It takes a lot of talent, but I think it’s cool to see something like a viola in particular.”
She admitted that she didn’t listen to much classical music, but being exposed to classical music at school made her much more palatable to her and her classmates.
“Its roots are the beginning of some of the music I listen to, such as the dramatic. said Emily, who plans to start guitar lessons in the near future.
Valley Central Public School student Reed Drury said the concert was a great way to learn about another kind of music.
A trumpet-turned-tuba player, he said he was looking forward to the show.
“I think music is good. I like listening to music,” he said. “We play music in school, and maybe they are better, so they set a good example for us.”
Guest conductor Cosette Justo Valdes said that taking the orchestra to schools on the South Side and other schools in the city was a great way to show students that there was so much to love about classical music. It doesn’t have to belong to anything…a bygone era.
It’s also a chance to reach new audiences whose musical tastes are still unrefined.
“It all starts here. Our audience, our musicians and the future of music appreciation start with our children. It’s very important to show how cool classical music is and how accessible it is,” she said.
“We hang out with teachers and students from time to time, so it’s very important to share that we work hard and that we are here in the community.”
The key is to have fun, said Justo Valdes.
“We just played tango,” she said. “This particular program begins with the Renaissance and ends with composers who now live in Edmonton. I hope you enjoyed it.”
Teacher Michelle Somerfield says her Valley Central students benefit through partnerships like Lakehead Public Schools and TBSO.
“When teaching instrumental music it is very important to see a professional example set for your students. ‘ said Somerfield.