| May 07, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - May 7, 2009 Partnership in music program provides musical opportunities for studentsby Julie Druker

Anne Archer and her flute class at Sharbot Lake High School practise for their upcoming “Band Bash” concert in Kingston. l to r: Brook Neuman, Anne Archer, Cory Holtz, Cadence Cumpson and Melissa Sproule. Anna Baker is also a student in the class.

Over 250 students involved in the Limestone District School Board’s Partnership in Music Program have been honing up their skills for a number of weeks in preparation for their upcoming Kingston concert called Band Bash. For those in Anne Archer’s flute class at Sharbot Lake High School, the extra time that they are given to practice for the concert is welcomed with enthusiasm and cheers; playing music is obviously something that these students enjoy.

Anne Archer, a professional flute player, teaches flute in the Partnership in Music Program at a number of schools in the area including Sharbot Lake High School, Loughborough Public School in Sydenham and Prince Charles Public School in Verona.

The program serves children in grades 6, 7 and 8 and it came into existence roughly 15 years ago when a number of elementary schools were forced to drop their music programs as a result of budget cuts. The program is available to all schools in the Limestone District School Board and there are currently about 15 schools and 250 students involved in the program this year.

For the most part the program was put in place to cover instruction on band instruments: flute, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, tuba as well as guitar and drums in some schools.

Archer explained “The program was designed as a way of bringing music to interested kids by allowing professional musicians in the community to come into the schools and provide an hour’s worth of group instruction per week. The students are asked to either buy or rent the instruments and the board pays for the instruction, which is a great deal because music instruction can be quite expensive otherwise”.

Anne admitted, “We’ve been really lucky here at Sharbot Lake high school since the head of the music department, Claudio Valentini, arranged for the purchase of five new flutes; the old flutes we had were impossible to play”.

Out in the music portable behind the school four female flute students take out their music, hold their flutes in place and begin their class, which focused on the five songs that will be performed at the concert.

There is ample banter back and forth as Archer quizzes them on the theoretical elements of the music. Together they run through each song one bar at time and then play longer sections as they master each bar.

The concert program will include the Manchester March, a whimsical tune called Hoe Down Hay Ride, and some contemporary rock and pop favorites.

Billed as a “special large group musical experience”, the concert provides students with large-scale concert experience in a professional venue. Archer describes the concert as "the crowning moment" in the Music Partnership Program. "All of the students involved in the program get together and play the songs we've been working on since the March break and it's always thrilling when for the first time the students get to hear this great, massive sound."

Gordon Craig who conducts the Queen’s orchestra and Wind Ensemble as well as the Kingston Symphony Youth Orchestra will be the guest conductor.

The concert will take place from 5:30 to 6PM at Duncan McArthur Hall, Kingston, at the corner of Union Street and Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd.

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