News & Events
Please select the menu entries at the left to see more information about past fund-raising events and presentations and to visit our newsletter archive. You can also view a detailed description of the Symposium that we hosted in 2012.
Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 12:00 p.m - NAC FanfairKiddlyWinks and KidSingers will take part in the performance by the National Arts Centre Players in the foyer of the NAC starting at noon. As well, three OrKidstra Chamber groups will perform in NAC Foyer before Fanfair begins starting at 10:45 a.m.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 5:30 in the Bronson Centre - Holiday ConcertAnnual Holiday Concert in the auditorium of the Bronson Centre, featuring 200 high-energy, joyful OrKidstra students ages 5 to 18!
Past Events of Note
September 2013 - Peace Day EventOrKidstra participated once again in the annual Peace Day event.
April, 2013 - The Iqaluit Fiddle Club's Return Visit to Ottawa
|The second part of the Iqaluit exchange program took place April 23 to 28 when 16 members of the Iqaluit Fiddle Club came to Ottawa. Activities included a scavenger hunt in the ByWard Market, a visit to the Museum of Nature and a walking tour of downtown landmarks. They also toured Parliament Hill and sat in on Question Period. As part of their community service, the two groups worked together at St. Luke’s community kitchen. But certainly the most exciting element was the music: the Iqaluit Fiddle Club joined forces with the OrKidstra musicians in a series of workshops and rehearsals culminating in two performances with the NAC Orchestra as part of the Orchestra’s TD Family Adventures series on April 27.|
Read a more detailed day-by-day account of the visit by our intrepid board member, Claire Marshall. And, many thanks to Claire, violin teacher Grace Bruno and student mentor, Tegan Patmore, for their tireless work to make this event a resounding success.
March, 2013 - OrKidstra Children's Northern Adventure With Iqaluit Fiddle Club
Under the auspices of the YMCA Youth Exchange Program, 15 young members of OrKidstra travelled to Iqaluit from March 11 to 16 for the first part of a musical and cultural exchange with children from the Iqaluit Fiddle Club.
The OrKidstra musicians’ days in Iqaluit were filled with a variety of activities inherent to Northern culture: dog-sledding and soccer on sea ice, Inuit games, caribou stew and bannock. They also enjoyed a talk by Polar Explorer Matty McNair, a visit to the Nunavut Research Institute and a tour of the Legislative Assembly. An important part of the exchange was community service and the OrKidstra kids were “reading buddies” at several Iqaluit schools.
And then there was the musical component: workshops, rehearsals and two concerts with their new friends from the Iqaluit Fiddle Club. The highlight was a joint performance on Friday, March 16 by the two instrumental groups along with a 200-voice massed choir.
Also travelling to Iqaluit with the OrKidstra musicians was Olivia Pelling, an Ottawa-based luthier, who shared her expertise in building and repairing string instruments with others in Iqaluit who have the dexterity and skills to take on luthier work.
Read a more detailed day-by-day account of OrKidstra's exciting trip by our board member, Claire Marshall, who accompanied the children on the trip, along with teachers Grace Bruno and Margaret Tobolowska.
February 14, 2013 - Angela Hewitt Visits OrKidstra On Valentine's Day
Angela Hewitt took time out of her busy performing schedule to visit the OrKidstra classes on Valentine's Day (view more photos from this event). Her visit (you didn't know she played violin, did you?) was graciously captured by board member Claire Marshall in the following letter to the Ottawa Citizen:
When you love music, there is no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to play music together—no matter your skill level. And differences in skill level were certainly evident in Mac Hall at the Bronson Centre Thursday night. Angela Hewitt, world-renowned pianist, shared her joy and energies with youth in OrKidstra—the music program for inner-city kids run by The Leading Note Foundation.
Ms. Hewitt gave generously of her time, playing a 3/4 size violin with the beginners, clapping and snapping along while the kids chanted their music principles (treasure your instrument, it is your voice, etc), and conducting the young orchestra through a sprightly march. “Don’t forget the dynamics!” she urged “They’re really important to the music.”
Answering questions like What is your favourite piano? What other instruments do you play? How much do you practise? Do your hands get tired? she provided insights into the focussed dedication demanded of a concert pianist. “Do you ever get bored with all the playing?” “Never. There is always something new to learn.”
“I started when I was three, and always loved to practise. I hope you do, too. If you can practise even just 20 minutes every single day it’s better than practising a whole hour one day and not doing anything the next. If I don’t practise every day I get all itchy! ” “What’s your favourite piece?” “Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to play it all straight through and I think it is the most moving piece of music there is.”
Thank you, Ms. Hewitt, for passing on your enthusiasm to these children. More than just learning music, these kids are building a community of respect and joy. The large red, hand-lettered Valentine card they gave you is their way of showing their love for music and their thanks for your encouragement. Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 2013 - Viennese Winter BallFor the second year in a row, the OrKidstra program was one of the beneficiaries of the Viennese Winter Ball. Both the OrKidstra band and string quintet entertained the elegantly dressed guests as they arrived for the social event of the year. View more photos from this event. The OrKidstra string quintet and Tina Fedeski are shown with Jeff Boyd, the regional president of the Royal Bank of Canada, one of the major sponsors of the gala event.
January 2013 - Benefit Concert
|Belgian flutist, Marc Grauwels, and Canadian pianist, Stéphane Lemelin, presented an outstanding fundraising concert to benefit the OrKidstra pro-gram. The concert was sponsored by the Ambassador of Belgium, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa and OrKidstra. Also featured in the program were Margaret Tobolowska (cello), Christian Paquette (flute), Graham McVeety (flute) and Allison Miller (flute). The OrKidstra wind and brass ensemble provided the pre-concert warmup in the lobby of Tabaret Hall, energetically conducted by Miss Tina! Our sincere thanks to all involved. View more photos from the benefit concert.|
December 2012 - Holiday Concert
The annual OrKidstra Holiday Concert took place on Thursday, December 20, 2012 in the Auditorium of the Bronson Centre. We can safely (and proudly) say that this was the best concert ever. Absolutely amazing! View a video of highlights from the concert. And, see more photos from this event.
The KiddlyWinks program held their own holiday concert at York Street Public School just a few days prior to this. View photos from this event.
December 2012 - NAC Fanfare Concert
NACO musicians, KidSingers, KiddlyWinks and soloists joined forces for the annual Christmas Fanfare concert in the foyer of the National Arts Centre. Two chamber groups consisting of members of OrKidstra also entertained the guests prior to the concert.Children from the KidSingers and KiddlyWinks programs share the stage with members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
|The wind and brass chamber ensemble.||OrKidstra's superstar string quintet in action.|
November 2012 - Canadian Institute of Child Health Leadership Award
On November 19, 2012, The Canadian Institute of Child Health [CICH] presented their 2012 Annual Leadership Award to Tina Fedeski, recognizing her as the "driving force behind Ottawa's Leading Note Foundation and its outstanding OrKidstra program."
The Award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership contributing to the health and well-being of children and youth in the Ottawa Region.
In presenting the Award, CICH stated that the 2012 CICH Leadership Award was well earned by Tina Fedeski, citing not only the strong growth of the OrKidstra program - from 30 children in 2007 to over 200 today - but also applauding the goal of OrKidstra to create not "virtuoso musicians, but virtuoso people."
In her acceptance speech Tina thanked a legion of generous individuals who have contributed to the growth of OrKidstra. She noted that with 32 linguistic backgrounds in the program, "OrKidstra has become far more than a music program - it is a way to empower children and build community through the universal language of music." She concluded her remarks with a particularly apt quote from an OrKidstra student: "Doctors heal our bodies. Music heals our minds and souls."
"This award is a significant moment for us all because it publicly recognizes the importance of active music making to the health and well-being of the child".
The 2012 CICH Award evening was their 15th Annual Crayons & Cravats Gala. The OrKidstra String Quintet (aged 14 to 17, shown above with Tina) performed for the opening reception and charmed the guests with their accomplished playing.
September 2012 - Peace Day Event
|On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Honourable Olivia Chow (seen at right with Paul Dewar) accepted the Peace Award posthumously for Jack Layton, her late husband. Inspired by Jack’s nomination, Dr. James Wright, a champion of The Leading Note Foundation's work in Ottawa, was commissioned to write "To Young Canadians" for the occasion. The world premiere of the piece was presented at City Hall by OrKidstra, the KidSingers, the Cantiamo Girls Choir and the chamber choir of the Ottawa Children's Choir. To say that the event was a resounding success would be an understatement - there wasn't a dry eye in the house! Listen to the performance. View more photos from this event.|
|Soprano Jenna Glatt (bottom right) with the massed choir.||Olivia Chow and Paul Dewar (upper right) look on as Jeannie Hunter conducts Dr. James Wright (at keyboard) and the OrKidstra strings in "To Young Canadians"|
Standing ovation at City Hall !
Part of the dedication on the new song says: “Jack Layton's legacy will live forever in the hearts and minds of all Canadians, but perhaps especially for youth. "To Young Canadians" is a tribute to a great Canadian, whose message it aims to spread through the universal language of music.”
Love is better than anger, hope is better than fear,So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we'll change the world.I believe in the power to change things, I believe in the power of youth.I believe in your dreams for Canada, ray of hope shining strong and true.I believe in the power to change things, I believe in the power of youth.Canada, O Canada, I believe in you!My friends, know that love is better than anger, hope is better than fear,So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we'll change the world.I believe in your youthful vision, passion, energy, bonds that bind.I believe you will meet each challenge with every fibre of heart and mind.I believe in your youthful vision, generosity, justice true.Canada, O Canada, I believe in you!My friends, know that love is better than anger, hope is better than fear,So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we'll change the world.We can change the world!
June 2012 - OrKidstra Year-End Concert
The OrKidstra Year-End Concert featuring the KidPlayers, KidSingers and KiddlyWinks took place in the lovely air-conditioned atmosphere of Dominion-Chalmers United Church and was a resounding success! A fantastic way to end our fifth year!!
May 2012 - Angela Hewitt Thrilled To Share Passion With OrKidstra Children
|On Friday, May 18, 2012, Angela Hewitt and the Chamber Players of Canada held a rehearsal at Christ Church in Ottawa for their concert that evening. Members of OrKidstra were among the children from several schools who were kindly invited to attend. Ms. Hewitt was extremely warm and engaging and all of the children (and adults) present were suitably inspired. The event was warmly captured by a letter to the Ottawa Citizen by our very own board member, Claire Marshall. Thanks, Claire!|
March 2012 - Symposium On "Social Harmony Through Music Education"
The Foundation hosted a symposium on "Social HarmonyThrough Music Education", inspired by the Ottawa Chamber Music Society’s Simón Bolívar String Quartet [SBSQ] residency. The Symposium brought together local, national and international music education leaders interested in music as a tool for social development. The purpose was to to explore opportunities for school and community programming that promote active music-making as a means to inspire children to achieve their potential and make strong, life-long contributions to their community.
As part of the symposium, OrKidstra presented a concert along with the Simón Bolívar String Quartet, featuring the world premiere of Thaw, a work by Ottawa composer, Nicholas Piper. It was all a resounding success! For more details, please visit the Symposium 2012 section of our website.Nick Piper conducts OrKidstra and the Simón Bolívar String Quartet in the world premier of Thaw, a work that was composed specifically for the closing concert of the symposium.
September 2011 - Tina Fedeski Accepts Peace Award On Behalf of OrKidstra
|Why are all the Kids cheering? Their director, Ms. Tina, has just been awarded the Peace Prize by Mayor Jim Watson!|
|The award was one of four given on October 1st at City Hall for leadership in creating a peaceful society. Prior to the Peace Awards event, the KidPlayers and KidSingers performed to a full house and resounding applause! A week after the award ceremony, Friends of Peace informed The Leading Note Foundation that we would be receiving a $2,000 Peace Grant to further our work with OrKidstra! It's gifts like these that inspire us and keep us going!|
October 2010 - KidSingers On Parliament Hill
|The KidSingers performed on Parliament Hill at the installation ceremony of the new Governor General, David Johnston.|
October 2009 - The Glenn Gould Prize Celebration of Music
Our Executive Director, Tina Fedeski, participated in an exciting four-day event in Toronto called The Glenn Gould Prize Celebration of Music. On Wednesday, October 28, Tina was part of a panel discussing El Sistema Around the World: Unlocking the Secrets of Success. She shared the story of our El Sistema-inspired programs – the OrKidstra and KidSingers - along with two other founders of similarly inspired music programs from Glasgow and New York. Also, two of our OrKidstra students and one mentor attended the week's events as part of a documentary that is being made about our program. For more details on the week's events click here.