Musician Rick Scott danced across the stage with a red trumpet accompanied by the laughter of children during the Vancouver Island Symphony Education Concert.
The concert was held Feb. 17 at the Port Theatre. Scott, Pierre Simard, V.I. Symphony’s artistic director, and orchestra musicians introduced kids in the Nanaimo school district to the instruments and sounds of the symphony.
The concert also featured the combined voices of about 90 children who are part of the symphony’s Grade 5 Choir.
Margo Holmes, executive director of the Vancouver Island Symphony, said when the show opens it’s great to see the young audience members cheering for their peers.
“To me, this is my favourite concert we do and it’s my favourite concert because you feel like you are lighting sparks with children and they could end up being a musician or an actor or a theatre technician or just taught to come to the theatre and be a ticket buyer,” she said. “Without this kind of concert we are not lighting the spark for the symphony, because there would be no other opportunity for them to see a live orchestra so that is why this program is so important to us. It’s important that every child gets to come. That is why it’s important to us that we fund it.”
The V.I. Symphony’s Music Education Program allows students from the Nanaimo school district to attend a symphony show at the Port Theatre each February. The schools pay $1 plus bus costs and the symphony raises the rest of the money, through donations and sponsors, for students to attend.
The symphony is continually looking for sponsors for the program. People can donate $300 to allow one Grade 4 class to attend the show, donate $150 to send one Vancouver Island Symphony orchestra musician to a school or donate $150 to sponsor one child to sing in the V.I. Symphony’s Grade 5 Choir.
The organization is also looking for what it calls symphony champions. People who donate and support the Vancouver Island Symphony’s programs and free concerts, including Symphony By the Sea.
For more information, please visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com.