Music Monday Celebrations at the National Arts Centre will Join Thousands of Music Makers in Canada's Largest, Simultaneous Sing-along

On Monday, May 1st, thousands of students, musicians, parents and community members across Canada will sing together creating the world's largest single event dedicated to raising awareness for music education.  At this time each year, as a testament to the unifying power of music, our country comes together from coast to coast to coast to simultaneously sing the Music Monday anthem.  

The only nationwide celebration of music that actively engages children and youth in their schools and communities, Music Monday will be observed in many ways across the country: in school classrooms and assemblies, and concerts of community bands and choirs with special events being planned in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Brandon, Scarborough, Montreal, St. John's, and in Charlottetown, the birthplace of confederation.

In honour of Canada's sesquicentennial, this year's annual Music Monday National Showcase Concert will take place in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre (NAC) and live-streamed through the Music Monday and NAC websites on May 1st from 12 to 1 p.m. EDT.

Hosted by opera superstar Measha Brueggergosman and Seamus O'Regan, MP, the National Showcase Concert includes performances of "Song of Life" composed by Métis songwriter Susan Scofield, a massed children’s choir directed by Robert Filion, the Métis Fiddle Quartet, singer-songwriter Mimi O'Bonsawin, an operatic duo by soprano Ashley Boychuk and harpist Sarah Veber, the Hamlet Complet youth jazz ensemble, Lisgar Collegiate Institute String ensemble, and the 75-member Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra under the baton of Angus Armstrong.

The 13th annual Music Monday celebration introduces Sing It Together, a new anthem co-written by multiple award-winning songwriters Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas. Sing It Together invites all Canadians to join in singing for joy, for truth, for healing, for light and for freedom. Songwriter Marc Jordan, musicians from the official Music Monday video and a massed children's choir of over 300 youth from 23 local school and community choirs will lead the nationwide sing-along of Sing It Together at the National Showcase Concert. Participating choirs include: the Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa, the Cantiamo Training Choir, École secondaire publique De La Salle, Assumption Elementary School, Berrigan Elementary School, Blossom Park Public School, École élémentaire publique Charlotte-Lemieux, École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion, Elgin Street Public School, Grant Alternative School, Henry Larsen Elementary School, Heritage Public School, Immaculata High School, Lady Evelyn Alternative Public School, Land O'Lakes Public School, Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Pleasant Corners Public School, Robert Bateman Public School, Dr. F.J. McDonald Catholic School, St. Elizabeth Catholic School, St. Gregory Catholic School, St. Jerome Catholic School, and Sir Robert Borden High School.

The National Showcase Concert will include the premiere of "Strong as a Nation", the first in a series of videos by Cole Forrest, a young Aboriginal film-maker and spoken word poet who recently won the James Bartelman Creative Writing Award. The video, which features Indigenous drumming from regions across Canada interspersed with spoken word, has been created for a Youth4Music Aboriginal project. 

In Charlottetown, in honour of Music Monday and as part of the NAC Orchestra’s Canada 150 Tour to the Atlantic Provinces, Music Director Alexander Shelley, War Horses and musicians of the NAC Orchestra will lead brass, woodwind and string workshops for students at various locations on May 1st. That will be followed by a parade by students from Peakes Quay to Province House, following in the footsteps of the Fathers of Confederation. The events will culminate with a free Music Monday concert at 1:30 pm local time at Trinity United Church that will feature internationally renowned violinist James Ehnes, a massed choir of about 600 students, PEI’s Singing Strings, and War Horses with Tian Wigmore, directed by Alexander Shelley. Later that evening, the NAC Orchestra led by Alexander Shelley and featuring James Ehnes will perform a concert at 8 p.m. at the Confederation Centre for the Arts, presented by the PEI Symphony Orchestra.

"Music is the heartbeat of Canada, a vibrant part of the fabric of our country's heritage," says Holly Nimmons, Executive Director of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.  "For many Canadians, particularly the thousands of students and teachers who participate each year, Music Monday celebrates that legacy. So with this in mind, we were inspired by Canada's 150th Anniversary to create a special program, imagery and an anthem that spotlights the diverse facets of how Canadians enjoy music in their lives."

The new Music Monday anthem Sing It Together was commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education. The recording and official music video feature Inuit throat singing, Métis fiddling, indigenous drumming, and children's choirs in celebration of Canadian musical heritages. To view the four-minute video, go to

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada wishes to thank the Government of Canada, TD Bank Group, and the NAMM Foundation for their generous support as well as Titanium level support from Yamaha Canada Music Inc., Long and McQuade and all of other partner organizations. 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.

For a full list of sponsors of the National Showcase Concert, please visit



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Music Monday is a signature program of the Coalition for Music Education.  It is Canada's nationwide celebration of the power of music in our lives, especially our schools.  Music Monday is the only national celebration of music education that actively engages children and youth in their schools and communities. The first Monday in May (this year, May 1, 2017) music makers of all generations and genres gather in their schools and communities to make music, and at the same time during the day we join with one voice, by singing the official Music Monday anthem for a simultaneous nation-wide sing-along.


Youth4Music is a network of youth who are passionate about music in their lives - learning, appreciating, creating and making music. Youth4Music provides a platform for youth voices, and leadership opportunities for youth to make a difference for music in their schools and communities.  The program is "for youth - by youth - through music." 


Music Monday is an annual initiative of the Coalition for Music Education, an organization made up of parents, students, educators, and business people from varying walks of life who support school music programs and highlight the importance of music education for all young people in Canada. More info:


The National Arts Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across Canada to help create a national stage for the performing arts, and acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country. A home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams – the NAC Orchestra, English Theatre, French Theatre and Dance, as well as the Scene festivals and NAC Presents, which showcase established and emerging Canadian artists. The organization is at the forefront of youth and educational activities, offering artist training, programs for children and youth, and resources for teachers in communities across Canada. The NAC is also a pioneer in new media, using technology to teach students and young artists around the globe, by creating top-rated podcasts, and providing a wide range of NAC Orchestra concerts on demand. The NAC is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada, and one of the largest in the world.


In September 2015 Alexander Shelley took up the mantle as Music Director, leading a new era for the National Arts Centre’s Orchestra. Shelley has an unwavering reputation as one of Europe’s leading young conductors, notably as Chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and most recently as the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada's National Arts Centre, the NAC Orchestra gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. It is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, its ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. Since its inception the Orchestra has commissioned 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers. In 2001 it inaugurated the National Arts Centre Awards for Canadian Composers and the recipients thus far have been Denys Bouliane, John Estacio, Peter Paul Koprowski, Gary Kulesha, Alexina Louie and Ana Sokolović.


People from across Canada and around the world can follow this extraordinary tour by visiting  Daily reports will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter @NACOrchCNA.

The Canada 150 Tour is made possible with leadership support from Tour Patrons Gail and David O’Brien, Presenting Supporters Alice and Grant Burton, Supporting Partners Peng Lin and Yu Gu, Education Partner Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM and Digital Partner Facebook.


Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Communications 
National Arts Centre
613 947 7000 x560


Victoria Lord
Coalition for Music Education in Canada
416 484 9047

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