As dig! magazine goes to press, the twenty-five core members of this year’s Bridge music program at Hugh John Macdonald School are in the final stages of rehearsal for an Inner-city Celebration of the Arts. The concert, April 24 at Calvary Temple, will feature performances ranging from choral groups to dance troupes to aboriginal drumming from nineteen inner-city schools. It will also feature our band.
The Bridge Orchestra is primarily grade 7 and 8 students, most of whom hadn’t played before this year’s program started in October, and for many English is not their first language. The band features electric guitar, bass, drum set, congas, keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, and vocals. (Yes, this is a big group!)
Our mission each year is to instill a life-long love of music in students, the benefits of which are many. (I could talk your ear off about the positive, and sometimes surprising, side-effects of this program.) By adopting a rhythm-first approach, students can make music almost right away, quickly learning the technique of their instrument while listening to each other to find the groove. That early success breeds enthusiasm. And there is no shortage of enthusiasm with this group!
On April 24, our hard work culminates with a performance of “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. These kids are gonna shine!