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fall 2012 newsletter header


Making beautiful music for a very special occasion


Peace Day 2012 - choir and orchestra

Peace Day 2012 - Chow and Dewar
Olivia Chow, with MP Paul Dewar, accepting the 2012 Peace Award

OrKidstra was privileged to be invited to perform at the 2012 Peace Awards ceremony, when the Honourable Olivia Chow accepted the Peace Award posthumously for Jack Layton, her late husband and former leader of the NDP.


Inspired by Jack's nomination, The Leading Note Foundation commissioned Dr. James Wright to compose a song "To Young Canadians" using the words from Jack's last letter to Canadians. The beautiful and inspiring song received its world premiere at the Peace Day Awards Ceremony on September 29th at 2:00 pm in City Hall.


Peace Day 2012 - James Wright
Composer Dr. James Wright

The ceremony began with the singing of O Canada, followed by a performance by the KidPlayers of the last movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony. They were joined by OrKidstra's KidSingers, the Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa, the Cantiamo Training Choir and the Ottawa Children's Chamber Choir in Beethoven's Ode to Joy. To cap off the ceremony, the orchestra and joint choirs gave a moving rendition of the featured work, "To Young Canadians" with Jenna Glatt as featured soloist, all conducted by KidSingers director Jeannie HunterThe audience demonstrated its appreciation with a standing ovation - and more than a few tears!

Peace Day 2012 - end of performance


To view a video of the performance, click on the link: Peace Day performance of "To Young Canadians" 

The beginning of a beautiful friendship 


On Saturday, October 27 at the National Arts Centre, OrKidstra children shared a room with the Iqaluit Fiddle Club.  However, this was no ordinary room as, through the miracle of technology, the 'walls' were over two thousand kilometres apart. Nunavut exchange 2 - videoconference at the NAC October 2012


The video-conference was the first step in what will be an eventual exchange between OrKidstra and the Fiddle Club early in 2013.


To the delight of the kids and the small audience in the Fountain Room at the NAC, the large screen sputtered into life and OrKidstra members were able to meet their new friends face to face.  With the help of Darlene Nuqingaq (and Karen Donnelly from NACO) in the North and Margaret Tobolowska in the South, we learned how to throat sing, stumbled through Amazing Grace in Inuktitut, and joined forces to play Ode to Joy.
Nunavut exchange - videoconference at NAC October 2012


Some of the children explained the impact music has had on their lives.  In the words of one 14-year old, "Doctors heal our bodies.  Music heals our souls and minds."

See a video of the drummers who opened the event in the Ottawa Citizen on-line article

OrKidstra on tour


Most of the children in the OrKidstra programs attend Centretown schools. As the end of the school year approaches, OrKidstra "goes on tour" to perform for their classmates.


Ms. Margaret and the KidSingers teaching "The Leading Notes" at Cambridge Street School

May and June saw many OrKidstra perfomances beginning on May 14 with the KidSingers tour. On a beautiful sunny late Spring morning, they performed for an enthusiastic audience of their peers at St. Anthony Elementary School and then walked the short distance to Cambridge Street Public School where they sang for an equally receptive group of children.


Ms. Laura leads the KidSingers at St. Anthony's
centretown tour 2012 - trombone
This is the sound of a trombone!

On June 15 - another hot, sunny day - the KidPlayers gave two wonderful concerts at Centennial Public School and Glashan Public School. The students in the audience learned about the sounds made by the different instruments, clapped in time to the music, sang and generally had fun! One lucky kid at each school got to conduct the orchestra, much to the delight of schoolmates! 

Centretown tour 2012 - guest conductor at Centennial 2
KidPlayers with a "guest conductor" at Centennial

End of Year Concerts


Guests were treated to an amazing performance by the KiddlyWinks and Beginner Violins on June 7. These after-school programs for children living in Lowertown run at York

York Street concert 1 - June 2012
KiddyWinks and Beginner Violins at York Street

Street Public School under the energetic direction of Ms. Cendrine Despax. Guests were treated to such a wonderful variety of music-making - voices, recorders, violins and drums - all performed with great gusto. The concert ended with a rousing rendition of a "Stomp" that left the audience breathless! 


KiddlyWinks and Beginner violins concert 2 - June 2012 - York Street
Beginner Violins

OrKidstra's final concert of the 2011-2012 season was held on June 20. You may recall that, at the time, Ottawa was in the midst of a prolonged heat wave that saw daily temperatures soar above 30 degrees. As the Bronson Centre does not enjoy air-conditioning, its concert hall had become unbearably hot and stuffy.  What to do? Enter Ms Tina: with a quick phone call to Dominion Chalmers Church, its beautiful air-conditioned space was made available for OrKidstra's performance. And what a perfomance it was! Inspired by the majestic setting, the KidPlayers and KidSingers, joined by York Street's Beginner Violins and KiddlyWinks, played their very best, impressing the audience with how far they had come in just one short year.    

End of year concert 2012 at Dominion Chalmers
Ms. Margaret conducting the KidPlayers while the KidSingers wait to join in "Ode to Joy"

Empowering kids...


An exciting new initiative is giving five KidPlayers who have demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication an opportunity to improve their playing and gain greater orchestral experience. Thanks to a benefactor, these young musicians were given private lessons during the summer to prepare for September auditions at the Ottawa

dedication level 2012 - Gareth, Daniela, Peter, Ngoc Kim, Declan
Gareth, Daniela, Peter, Ngoc Kim and Declan

Youth Orchestra AcademyDaniela, Ngoc Kim, Gareth and Declan are now members of the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra; Peter plays with the Senior Chamber Winds Ensemble. Each of them is the recipient of a scholarship to the OYOA whose invaluable support is much appreciated. 

These "Dedication Level" musicians are also participating in a Chamber Music Program sponsored by The Leading Note Foundation: they are enjoying coaching sessions with members of the Volo Quartet, the culmination of which will be performances in the Cultures in Concert series as well as many other opportunities.

Building community... 
Hand in hand with OrKidstra's new chamber music program, The Leading Note Foundation will be launching a chamber music series, Cultures in Concert, whose first concert, Voyage to China, will take place in the new year at the Ottawa Chinese-Canadian Heritage Centre. The program will feature the music of China performed by the Volo Quartet, musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments and OrKidstra's "Rising Stars" chamber players. 
Our supporters...


Support for OrKidstra comes in many forms and from a variety of sources. A few recent examples:


Ms. Hewitt with Jennifer, Peter, Jasmine, Paul, Susanna and Daniel


Angela Hewitt shared her passion for music with several OrKidstra musicians who were among the children invited to attend a rehearsal of Ms. Hewitt and the Chamber Players of Canada in Christ Church Cathedral last May. 

LNF board member Claire Marshall captured the event in a
 letter to the Ottawa Citizen.





When it was announced that pennies would no longer be manufactured and would soon be out of circulation, it seemed natural to start a Penny Drive as a fundraiser. The enthusiasm for this spread quickly among the kids and their families, their schools and teachers, our board of directors and volunteers.

Who could have guessed how many coins we would collect and how heavy all those bags and boxes of pennies, together with lots of silver change, would be? A huge thanks to the many people who counted and rolled thousands of pennies by hand and to those who loaded boxes of loose coins into their cars and took them as far away as Toronto to find machines to count them!

Including the matching $1,000 from donors, a total of $2652.66 went into the operating funds of OrKidstra! Now that's a lot of pennies!! 

The directors of Friends for Peace were so moved and impressed by the OrKidstra team who commissioned Jim Wright's score for "To Young Canadians" and brought together the KidPlayers, KidSingers and two local children's choirs for an awe-inspiring performance at the Peace Day ceremony that they decided to award the 2012 Peace Grant to OrKidstraMany thanks to Ian Prattis and all of our Friends for Peace.


On October 12, 2012, a special OrKidstra fundraiser took place at Mackay United Church. Musicians Leah Roseman, Parv Eshghi, and Margaret Tobolowska (OrKidstra's Artistic Director) generously donated their talent in a beautiful program of Beethoven, Schubert and Franck. It was a lovely intimate evening of chamber music that brought together many friends of OrKidstra and raised $1,300 and  inspired another $1,100 in donations. Thank you to the artists, the volunteers of Mackay United Church, Colin Traquair who designed the eye-catching poster and all our donors and supporters. We were reminded of the generosity of Ottawa's musicians, many of whom supported OrKidstra in its very first fundraising concert in October 2007, which included members of the NACO Leah Roseman and the late violinist/violist Sally Benson.


Members of the Musical Arts Club 
of Ottawa

The Musical Arts Club of Ottawa, made up of over 50 professional music teachers and performers, supports young musicians of the area through contributions to music organizations, held a scholarship fundraising gala concert at Dominion Chalmers on October 20. The Leading Note Foundation was the recipient of a generous scholarship for the OrKidstra program.


Ezra Poplove - mentor 2012



If you are a resident of the Glebe or happen to shop along Bank Street from time to time, you may have noticed a cellist busking at the corner of Bank and Third just outside Starbucks on many occasions this summer. Ezra Poplove is a high school student, a member of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and an OrKidstra mentor who decided to raise money for the program by doing what he loves to do - play his cello. In early November, Ezra presented the Leading Note Foundation with a cheque for $450! Way to go, Ezra! Thank you for your generosity!! 

Down to business!

The Leading Note Foundation's Annual General Meeting was held on October 16 to review the year 2011-12. Members reviewed the year-end financial statements and made appointments to the Board of Directors for the coming year. 

Anyone interested in further details on the minutes of the Leading Note Foundation 2012 AGM or for a quick view of income and expenses for 2011 is welcome to click on the links.
Mark your calendar now for upcoming OrKidstra events!


KiddlyWinks and Beginner Violins holiday concert

Friday, December 7 at 3:30

York Street Public School

310 York Street



NACO players, OrKidstra and soloists join forces

for the annual Christmas FanFair concert 

Sunday, December 16 at noon

NAC foyer



OrKidstra's holiday concert

Thursday, December 20 at 5:30 p.m. 

Bronson Centre

211 Bronson Avenue


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And heartfelt thanks to our faithful circle of 
OrKidstra Friends! 


OrKidstra has experienced remarkable success, but success brings its own challenges! Though staff and volunteers work hard to stretch each and every dollar, demand for programs is exceeding current resources. We need your support more than ever.


Please play your part, and spread the word!    613-859-3559






Teach children the beauty of music, 
and music will teach them the beauty of life 


Maestro Josť Antonio Abreu, Founder of the El Sistema orchestral program
                     for Venezuelan children and youth
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