On Tour with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra: Reaching Out to Aboriginal Children

Editor's Abstract

The National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), based in Ottawa, has developed an innovative and very successful outreach program to school districts, particularly for Aboriginal children. While on tour throughout Canada, the orchestra presents teacher resource kits and student guides, focusing on the music of Beethoven, Mozart, and Vivaldi. The Vivaldi kit contains references to Aboriginal culture and includes an original story. Combined with recorder clinics at participating schools, NACO’s educational outreach has reached over 18,000 students.
Claire Speed, NACO’s Education Director, explains in detail how they’ve put together this program, under the guidance of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman. She also describes NACO’s in-depth outreach program designed entirely for students who attend First Nations (reserve) schools.
Be sure to read the companion article, Yvonne Caruthers’ interview with Doug Burden, bass trombonist with NACO, who describes the experiences he and his NACO brass colleagues had with the First Nations’ children during the Kispiox Music Project in British Columbia.

Ann Drinan

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