Students Experience TBSO Concerts

Today, students in Grades 4 to 6 experienced the sounds of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in special field trips to the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium for the first Carnegie Hall Link Up concerts in over two years.

This year’s Carnegie Hall Link Up performances were themed The Orchestra Swings and borrowed the essence of the big band jazz era of the 1930s and 1940s. Members of the local jazz band the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet performed on stage with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and together played unique instruments such as oboes, wood congas, and the French horn, as well as more familiar instruments such as violins, drums, and the piano.

In past years, Carnegie Hall Link Up concerts for intermediate students would encourage audience participation with the use of small instruments such as the recorder. This year’s event, however, had the young spectators engaged through singing, clapping, and beat work.

“Throughout the year, music classes allow students to explore the basics of voice, rhythm reading, and composing their own melodies. This is the ninth year that Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra have been supporting students in this program. It truly is a celebration of the Arts,“ said Fred Van Elburg, Elementary Coordinator.

The Link Up program is an internationally acclaimed education program and product of the Carnegie Hall Weill Institute of Music. The concert is orchestrated to expose the students to popular and lesser-known instruments, teach various types of music, and appeal to youth through lively and captivating entertainment. The show also allows students to experience a common interest and participate in a professional symphony orchestra.

Ryleigh Dupuis, Executive Director and General Manager of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, says exposure to music early on can be influential and can help inspire career paths in many young people. She is pleased to continue to offer musical education through live shows for school communities.

“The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is proud to partner with community schools and educators to provide unique and engaging musical experiences for youth. Through the pandemic, we worked virtually and maintained strong relationships with schools and students, but nothing compares to being together in person,” said Dupuis.

The viewing of the live concerts is linked to several elements of the Ontario Music Curriculum for intermediate students, such as repertoire exploration, knowledge of instrument families, and the concert experience.