National Arts Centre and Coalition for Music Education Celebrate Music Monday on May 2nd Concert at Woodroffe High School features 400-voice choir and special guests.

The National Arts Centre in partnership with the Coalition for Music Education in Canada will celebrate Music Monday with a live showcase concert with students from 10 local schools and community choirs at Woodroffe High School. Roughly 400 youth will join hundreds of thousands of children singing across the country in celebration of music education at 12:30 p.m. on May 2nd, 2016. The concert takes place in the gymnasium of Woodroffe High School, located at  2410 Georgina Drive in Ottawa.

Hosted by CBC’s host of “All in a Day” Alan Neal and Youth4Music champion Venessa Lachance, this special event will also feature Canadian spoken word artist YAO performing a song created by youth from the area; the “Mud Lake Symphony” performed by students from Regina Street Public School with composer Jesse Stewart; and youth from Michele Heights in the I Love to Jam program (a new City of Ottawa/NAC pilot program launched this year). Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor will also proclaim May 2nd, 2016, to be Music Monday in Ottawa.

Repertoire sung by the massed choir will include Will You Listen by Shireen Abu-Khadr & Lori Dolloff, a bilingual rendition of the Music Monday anthem "We are One" by Canadian singer/songwriter Connor Ross as well as Laura Hawley's YouTube sensation song “Live, Love, Share” (formerly known as "Alhamdulilllah" that was sung to welcome Syrian Refugees to Canada). 

"It's really exciting to me. It's definitely important for young people to have music because not only is it an art, it's a discipline," said composer Connor Ross (CBC interview May, 2015).

This marks the 12th year that the National Arts Centre will join the Coalition for Music Education along with hundreds of thousands of community members in the National Capital Region and across the country in a nation-wide sing-along which highlights the importance of learning music for young people in Canada.

The NAC’s Music Monday massed choir includes youth from local elementary and secondary school choirs to perform alongside the Cantiamo Girls Choir under the direction of Jackie Hawley. Participating choirs include: D. Roy Kennedy Public School, Dr. F.J. McDonald Catholic School, École élémentaire publique Charlotte-Lemieux, École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion, École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers, Henry Larsen Public School, Regina Street Public School, St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Woodroffe High School.

The Music Monday performance at Woodroffe High School on May 2nd is a component of a new six-week pilot project between the National Arts Centre, the City of Ottawa, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, and primary, junior intermediate and high schools in the neighbourhoods of Foster Farm, Michele Heights, Bayshore and Brittania in Ottawa’s west end.

“We are thrilled to bring so many youth together for this wonderful event that celebrates and unites us through the power of music. Many of the schools  we are working with this year have never participated in Music Monday before, and are very excited that we are bringing the event to their community,” says Director, Music Education and Community Engagement Genevieve Cimon.  

Spoken word artist YAO has visited four schools to create a tribute song to the community that will be premiered at Music Monday, and composer Jesse Stewart will work with Regina Street Public School on a new interactive version of the “Mud Lake Symphony.” Jackie Hawley will also lend her support for this performance and has visited all participating schools, offering professional development advice to teachers and helping to prepare the students.

Music Monday is an annual event organized by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, a national advocacy organization that for 20 years has represented educators, parents, music lovers, industry – and most of all students – to promote and protect quality music programs in schools. Music Monday is the world’s largest single event dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of music education and has inspired similar initiatives in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Hungary. For more information, please visit musicmonday.ca.

Music Monday is made possible in part by support from the Friends of the NAC Orchestra and the individual and corporate donors of the National Youth and Education Trust, the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre. The NAC is proud to partner with the Coalition for Music Education in Canada for this event.

About the Mud Lake Symphony:

Mud Lake is a hidden gem in this neighborhood and one of the most attractive birding spots in Ottawa. Officially known as the Britannia Conservation Area, this 79-hectare conservation area consists of woodland, riparian, wetland and upland habitats surrounding a large eutrophic (nutrient-rich) pond known as Mud Lake. This large greenspace is bordered by the Ottawa River to the north and by residential and shopping districts to the south.  Regina Street Public School backs onto Mud Lake and they have become the "custodians" of this lake. Together with composer Jesse Stewart, they created the “Mud Lake Symphony” last year, inspired by the sounds of the 250 bird species that make Mud Lake their home.  This year, Jesse Stewart will add a vocal component to their song and they will perform this enhanced version at Music Monday.  Over the next two years, the project will lead to a presentation of the Mud Lake Symphony with the NAC Orchestra and our hope is that all schools in this district will have the chance to explore and be inspired by Mud Lake in person.  

What is Music Monday?

The Coalition for Music Education created Music Monday to:

  • Celebrate the importance of music in our lives and especially in our schools, and
  • Celebrate the galvanizing power of music and demonstrate how that power is rooted in school music programs.

Music education is a powerful tool for engagement, harmony, creativity and achievement in our young people.  Music Monday is a tangible demonstration of how music programs unite us, shape young lives and contribute to the cultural vitality of Canada.

Music Monday highlights the importance of music education and the need to protect and enhance quality music programs for every child in Canadian schools.

On the first Monday in May, hundreds of thousands of young music makers across Canada will unite in song for the 12th annual Music Monday celebration.  Celebrations will take place at the grassroots community level and a nation-wide Showcase webcast.

Hundreds of concerts take place in schools and communities from coast to coast by students, teachers, and music-makers. 

The official Music Monday anthem this year is "We are One" by Canadian singer/songwriter Connor Ross. The song was recorded in The Orange Lounge studios in Toronto, under the direction of multi-platinum award-winning producer, Rob Wells.

Visit MusicMonday.ca for additional details about Music Monday and the 12th anniversary Showcase Webcast!

More about the National Youth and Education Trust

The National Youth and Education Trust is the primary resource for youth and education funding at the National Arts Centre. Through the Trust, individual and corporate donors from all across the country help the NAC nurture and develop the creativity of young people in all regions across Canada and support the educators and artists who challenge and encourage them.

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