If the key to excellence in musical performance lies in passion and perseverance, imagine the difference it makes to spend time with professional musicians who embody these qualities. Not only does High River Gift of Music feature world-class artists in concert, we also share their gifts with our community through masterclasses, band clinics, one-on-one teaching sessions and outreach activities. Nothing brings more pleasure than providing music students with the opportunity to learn from these exceptional artists.
“Attending a concert performed by musicians of such a high caliber was an experience that our students will remember for years to come.”
Artists from around the world inspire High River youth with their talent, insights, and passion for music. From online classes to in-person workshops and concerts, we facilitate connections with working musicians that allow local students to hone their performance and listening skills.
A HISTORY OF music education and community outreach
A rollicking outdoor concert
This free family-focused outdoor concert to George Lane Park featured Honens artistic director Jon Kimura-Parker, the piano-four-hands artistry of the Bergmann Duo and cellist Arnold Choi in a joyous presentation of Carnival of the Animals. It was a pleasure to partner with Honens to provide this concert as a gift to our High River community.
Outreach at The Manor
Flutist Marie-Noëlle Choquette and guitarist Charles Hobson of Duo Beija-Flor brought a breath of springtime in an outreach concert at The Manor. We thank Prairie Debut for the generous support of this refreshing performance.
Music masterclass scholarships
Our scholarship program continued, as we connected three young local pianists and a vocalist with Canadian musicians Philip Chui, Megan Milatz and voice instructor Patricia Thompson in virtual music masterclasses. Thanks to Prairie Debut and TD Bank for partnering with us in this initiative.
Virtual support for local music students
With the support of TD Bank and Prairie Debut, we made a connnection which would encourage young local talents to blossom. Our 2021 Master Lesson Scholarship program, paired young musicians with professionals in a series of three one-on-one lessons.
Honing fiddle technique during a time of isolation
In May 2020, former guest artist Hezekiah Leung of the Rolston String Quartet shared the technique involved in creating a great vibrato in a virtual lesson with fiddle students at Cayley School. Thanks to TD Bank for supporting this online learning session.
A saxophone saga continues
Former guest artist Michael Morimoto of the Proteus Quartet inspired local performer Jordan Middleton during a youth reach in 2018, to the extent that Jordan spent the summer busking to earn his own soprano sax. In spring 2020, we helped Michael and Jordan to connect again during a one-on-one virtual music lesson.
Honens Laureate leads masterclass with local students
2015 Honens International Piano Competition winner Luca Buratto has performed on three continents, and has been described as “a name to watch” by The Guardian and “no ordinary virtuoso” by The Telegraph. In 2017, he shared his insights with music students in High River.
WindSync charms with fresh interpretation of Peter and the Wolf
WindSync enthralled students from Holy Spirit Academy, Ecole Joe Clark School, and Spitzee school with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf. After this showcase performance of wind instruments, many the students became keen to play the bassoon, french horn, clarinet, flute, and oboe once they reach middle school. A truly inspiring performance.
Young sax players inspired by the Proteus Quartet
In 2018, members of the Proteus Quartet shared tips and tricks about sax performance with music students at Ecole Senator Riley School. The story didn’t end here, as aspiring musician and student Jordan Middleton took up the sax and went on to win the NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership award the following year.
Flûte Alors! goes beyond expectations
In a 2017 visit to High River, Flûte Alors! showed students that the recorder belongs not only in the band room but on the concert stage as well. “Dedicated to pushing the limits of the recorder and expanding the instrument’s repertoire,” the group performs surprising versions of rock, pop, jazz and classical music.
Guy Few and Nadina Mackie-Jackson coach High River music students
Juno-award-winning and charismatic trumpet player Guy Few and widely-recorded Canadian bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson coached students in the finer points of wind instrument performance during a visit to High River.
IMAGE | © Taylor Weaver, High River Times
Yadong Guan Trio encourages families after Alberta flood
In spring of 2013, the Yadong Guan Trio brought the music of China to displaced flood families at Saddlebrook. The trio’s High RIver performance combined music of the pipa, a 2000-year-old Chinese instrument, with guitar and cello in an ‘East meets West’ sound featuring Chinese and Irish music, classical works, and a selection of songs from Quebec.
“I was impressed with the performers’ ability to immediately connect with our students. They were inspiring and I can truthfully say we were honoured to have hosted such a special event…The smiles on their students’ faces and the shared knowing glances said it all.”
Want to expand music education for your students?
Please contact us to discuss how we can help you to connect with exceptional Canadian musicians.
TD Classical Kids program
We are grateful to all that our long-term sponsor TD Bank does to encourage music education. The TD Classical Kids youth outreach program allows us to enrich the lives of young people through innovative, interactive classical music concerts and educational programming.
This music education program is just one of many outreach activities supported by TD Bank.
Music to go
If the idea of bringing a High River Gift of Music guest artist to your classroom, community centre or organization appeals, we’re happy to foster the connection. Reach out to discuss how our online classes, music education and outreach activities can help encourage a love of music in those around you.