“To Wake the Soul by Tender Strokes of Art”

Bringing the Best in Live Music to Schools in Durham and Beyond

By: John Arkelian

ENSEMBLE VIVANT, Euterpe’s flagship performance group, along with other world-class musicians, have been enriching the lives of children and their communities in the Durham Region under the auspices of the telMAX/Euterpe/Yamaha initiative. It is well-documented that classical, jazz and related musical styles are immensely important for the young developing mind, providing innumerable health and life-enhancing benefits for children that last throughout their lives. Sadly, however, the vast majority of children today are not exposed to these musical genres.

Zsombor Burany, CEO of telMAX, Durham Region’s local telecommunications provider, has partnered with Euterpe Corporation and Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. to bring Ensemble Vivant’s LIVE, highly developed, interactive performance programs of these musical forms and styles to Durham Region. For Mr. Burany, partnering with Euterpe is the perfect match, as he grew up in Europe at a time when attending live, high calibre classical music concerts and learning this music was a way of life. telMAX began this initiative by sponsoring Ensemble Vivant’s brilliant concert at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre in May, 2018, as a gift to the Durham Region.

Since the launch of this initiative in Durham Region, telMAX and Euterpe have to date engaged Ensemble Vivant to perform at 17 public schools in the Durham Region. At each school Ensemble Vivant gives two one-hour performances for the students. Performing on high quality acoustic instruments, with the grand piano provided rent-free by Yamaha Canada Music Ltd., 2 performances are given at each public school in one given day. A typical scenario is a first performance for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students followed by a second performance for Grades 4 to 6. However, the group has also performed for middle school and high school students in the Durham Region. The kids are engaged and exude tremendous joy and excitement about the music. “Wow that really rocks!”, they exclaim upon hearing music by J.S. Bach for the first time in their lives. The reactions and responses are all-telling throughout the musical journey, with the kids expressing how the music made them feel. The children ask “When will you come back to play for us?”. The students express that they want to hear more of this music, and that they want to “play music too”. Many of the children even know what instrument they would like to learn. This is true at all Euterpe performances, no matter the demographic.

Planting musical seeds and awakening young minds to the joy of this music is what it’s all about for Euterpe and for Ensemble Vivant.

Please reference this glowing article “To Wake the Soul by Tender Strokes of Art” in Arts Forum Magazine by award-winning journalist John Arkelian.

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