Q. How has arts education grown and changed since you arrived at the NAC in 2000?
A. It’s grown exponentially! In fact it’s now part of our DNA. Our programs now reach many remote regions of the country. We used to offer about a dozen local programs. Now we reach over 100,000 national and international audiences annually.
Q. Are there any particularly memorable moments?
A. Smiles are what I remember. The smile of a young girl at an orphanage in Mexico after she played the violin with Pinchas Zukerman; an Inuit teenager’s smile upon hearing his composition performed by our NAC Orchestra; a mother’s smile watching her special needs daughter sing and dance to the music of the NAC Orchestra’s brass quintet.
Q. Music education programs are now a big part of NAC Orchestra tours. Do other orchestras do this type of outreach?
A. There is a lot of “orchestra traffic” in the world. But when the NAC Orchestra tours, we are unique through the breadth and scope of our education offerings – for every concert we perform, we offer 10 education activities at schools and other community locations.
Q. What are the plans for the future of music education at the NAC?
A. More community engagement locally and nationally! Just wait until our music education team, led by Music Director Alexander Shelley, unveils some of the initiatives we’re working on. Canadians will be blown away!
Prélude magazine – The People
Spring–Summer issue, 2016