I think they know that this is something special and they love being a part of it and their automatic reaction is to want to have other people a part of it, too.
—Tanya Derksen, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
The young musicians of the Sistema Winnipeg program capped off the season with a concert at the Shaw Performing Arts Centre at The Forks on June 12.
At the event, 80 children from Elwick Community School and King Edward Community School got to display their talents for family and friends.
"The kids were fantastic," says Tanya Derksen, director of education and outreach with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. "They love performing because they do it quite often and they've been preparing for this for a long time."
The WSO's Alexander Mickelthwate hosted the evening, he said that the students in the Sistema program have an even bigger opportunity than he had growing up, because they are getting music instruction every day, as opposed to once a week. He emphasized that the program can propel the children to do whatever they want, be it music or anything else.
Sistema students also performed as a choir (Jason Hayes)
The Sistema Winnipeg program started last year at Elwick and was expanded this year to King Edward. The students from King Edward learned music basics on cardboard and Styrofoam instruments during the fall and only started playing real instruments in January.
10 additional students have already signed up at both schools for next year. "I feel like we've got a lot of momentum going," says Derksen. "The kids love being in the program. When new kids are welcomed in they're very receptive and already do quite a bit of mentoring.
"I think they know that this is something special and they love being a part of it and their automatic reaction is to want to have other people a part of it, too."
Earlier this year the WSO and CBC Manitoba staged an instrument drive that collected 97 instruments. Sistema hopes to expand the program to include wind and brass instruments in 2014-2015.
Did you know this?Sistema program provides more than instruments