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This article was published 13/10/2015 (2204 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Students at Collège Sturgeon Heights had the opportunity recently to hear the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) at work.
In the hopes of bridging the gap between young people and symphony orchestra music, the WSO has visited six Winnipeg high schools and brought the performance to them. Collège Sturgeon Heights had the chance to hear the WSO on Oct. 7 right in their gym.
"There is a percentage of kids who will probably never come to the Concert Hall to see us," said Brent Johnson, manager of education and community engagement at the WSO. "They might not know how accessible we are. This way we can bring the orchestra to their home, to their school … it’s a tremendous experience."
The musicians played a wide range of music, including a rendition of Pharrell Williams’ Happy. The conductor also paused throughout the performance to ask the students questions and talk to them about what made certain songs special or different.
"There are a number of opportunities where the students get to interact," Johnson said. "We have two student soloists and this happens on the spot … so they get to play with the orchestra with their peers watching and it’s a very cool experience for them."
The orchestra also features a soloist that has been selected to perform with the WSO through an annual contest. This year’s flute soloist, Subin Cho, attended Sturgeon Heights four years ago.
"She got to perform for her teachers and peers, and to have that connection is impactful as well," Johnson said.
Students who saw the WSO in one of their six shows are invited to claim up to three free tickets to go see the orchestra in a month. There’s also a program called Soundcheck that grants discounts to students and people under 30, in the hopes of sharing this kind of music with the younger generation.
"It’s for the students to see, ‘wow, the orchestra is not above everyone,’" Johnson said. "We’re on the ground level literally and figuratively … it’s a fun week for the musicians too because they enjoy seeing the reactions of the students."
For more information, please visit: https://wso.ca/soundcheck/
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko was the community journalist for The Metro