The voices of more than 100 elementary and high school students rang through the Capitol Theatre on Monday afternoon, and throughout schools across Canada.
Students gathered to celebrate the 14th annual Music Monday, Windsor’s version of the national event that shines a spotlight on the importance of music in education.
At exactly 1 p.m. students and teachers of the Greater Essex County District School Board joined in chorus to sing the Music Monday anthem Sing it Together.
The goal of the event is to have every student across Canada sing the song at the same time.
In addition to the nationwide singalong, the event showcased three groups of stage performers: the Tecumseh Vista Elementary Handbell Choir, the Walkerville Centre for the Creative Arts Concert Band, and the WCCA Concert Choir.
Between performances, selected students took to the podium to deliver personal testimonies about what music means to them. Several students praised their former and current music teachers for their mentorship — in music and in life.
Walkerville Collegiate student Ashton Curtis, 15, told the audience that his listening taste began with Eminem and Beyoncé, but quickly expanded when he entered high school and met other musicians his age.
“Music basically just gives me something to relate to. There’s certain music that I don’t like, but for the most part music just feels so nice to listen to and be a part of,” said Curtis. He’s been playing saxophone for five years, and sings in his school’s concert choir.
Curtis said it feels great to be a part of the music community.
“It’s a very welcoming community, and you get to experience so many things that you never would have otherwise. As the arts, it’s the way you express yourself. You can’t really be you without music, or the arts in general.”
Curtis was glad to be a part of Music Monday.
Just before the group chorus, Peter Wiebe, the music director of the Windsor Community Orchestra, led the students on and off stage in a few practice runs of the Sing it Together. The group went from dissonant to harmonious in mere minutes.
A group of students in the crowd led by an interpreter used sign language to present the song.
The Coalition for Music Education in Canada created the event so that students could enrich their communities with the musical skills they develop and improve in school.
The coalition formed in 1992 as a way to improve the state of music education in Canada. Before that, according to the group, music education in schools was sometimes rare and elitist.
The school board shared the Capitol performance online through a live stream broadcast.
Source: Windsor Star