Episode 1


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Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, NACO Principal Youth Conductor and host
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Cris Derksen, cellist
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Aliénor Rougeot, climate activist and host

Get inspired with Daniel and Aliénor! On the first leg of The Great Canadian Orchestra Field Trip, experience the musical compositions of Antonio Vivaldi, Marjan Mozetich, and Jessie Montgomery. 

Featuring performances by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, NAC Orchestra, and guest appearances from Cree cellist Cris Derksen and astronaut David St. Jacques, this is your chance to jump into the minds of artists throughout the ages who have been inspired by nature.

Learner’s companion guide

In the Learner’s companion to Episode 1, students are invited to engage with what it means to be inspired by nature. Learn more about the music and musicians featured in the accompanying video series, and complete activities that range from creating brand new musical instruments out of recycled materials to preparing postcards for an audience who needs to hear youth voices. 

Curriculum links: Science, Geography, Social Studies, Music, and Visual Arts 

Learning outcomes

  • Name the instruments that make up the symphony orchestra
  • Explain the basics of climate change to friends and family
  • Build your own musical instrument from recycled materials

“Finding powerful sources of motivation is necessary for my work, and often that entails reminding myself what and who I am fighting for.”

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    Climate activist Aliénor Rougeot

Featured performances

ANTONIO VIVALDI The Four Seasons: Spring 
In The Four Seasons, each of the four movements begins with a short poem that sets the tone for the music to follow. Each poem describes a different part of the calendar year. A reflection of the poetry, Vivaldi’s work invites listeners to experience the outdoor world in constant transition from Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter. 

Performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Juno-nominated cellist and composer, Cris Derksen’s New Heya is written for cello, voice, and electronics. The composition draws the listener in with a bed of lush and interlocking sounds. Using a combination of live instruments and electronics, Derksen beautifully weaves textures of folk and classical with Indigenous musical traditions.

Composed and performed by Cris Derksen.

Violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery was commissioned to write Starburst for premiere by the Sphinx Virtuosi ensemble in 2012. She equates her composition Starburst to the Sphinx Virtuosi ensemble itself—which she calls an “explosion of stars,” altering the galaxy for the better.

Performed by the NAC Orchestra.

MARJAN MOZETICH Postcards from the Sky
Postcards from the Sky is a series of short pieces for string orchestra. Filled with imagery of the sky and nature, composer Marjan Mozetich invites listeners to take in short moments—postcards of sights and sounds from above.

Performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.