Performing for Aboriginal Children: An Interview with Douglas Burden

Editor's Abstract

When Yvonne Caruthers asked Claire Speed, Education Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), to write an article about the many educational outreach programs developed by the orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, Claire suggested that Yvonne contact Doug Burden, NACO’s bass trombonist, who participated in a program designed for First Nations children in Kispiox, British Columbia.
Yvonne interviewed Doug about the 2004 tour, which involved a educational kit about Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that NACO sent to every elementary school in B.C. Doug describes how, upon arriving at the Kispiox school, where students from four First Nations schools were gathered, the members of NACO’s 7-piece brass group were greeted “as if we were rock stars” because of all the preparation done by the teachers with a recorder specialist working with the kids.
Doug goes on to explain how the brass group integrated Aboriginal customs with western customs in their presentation to the kids – they were greeted by a welcome song and welcome dance, with the students wearing traditional dress. Best to let Doug tell the story in his own words, which he does in very heart-warming terms.
Be sure to read Claire Speed’s companion article, On Tour with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra: Reaching Out to Aboriginal Children, where she describes all the educational outreach programs developed by the orchestra.

Ann Drinan

Leave a Comment: