Guest Blog: Playing it Forward

Meeting with young people and making music ever more accessible are priorities for the Orchestre Métropolitain. Each year, the OM sparks wonder in more than 11,000 young people across Montreal through an educational program with two initiatives: The OM at School and Playing it Forward.

The OM at School provides an opportunity for meaningful encounters between students and musicians, in the form of workshops held in schools, and by welcoming school groups to rehearsals and concerts. Last December, the art works of some 15 kindergarten students at École Notre-Dame-des-Neiges embellished the foyer of the Maison symphonique. The students, who attended the dress rehearsal, were able to see their works on display, and to present one as a gift to conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In preparation for the outing, the students had learned about Schumann’s Piano Concerto, one of the works on the program, and were paid a visit by the OM’s artistic partner, conductor Nicolas Ellis, who answered their questions.

Playing it Forward aims to provide a forum for young musicians and to support their development through mentoring, master classes and other activities. The OM Preludesmusical performances given by young and talented musicians as a prologue to OM concerts, is an example. The young performers then attend the concert free of charge and a few have the privilege of presenting flowers on stage to the conductors and soloists we welcome. Another Playing It Forward project is the creation of the OMNI competition. Devoted to young musicians between 7 and 17, the competition gives entrants the chance to display their talent in a relaxed setting that encourages connections between young people who share the same passion, and discussion with professional musicians. These initiatives are inspiring, not only for the young people involved but also for the OM musicians, who find them a source of great pride.

Thank you to Laura Eaton at the Orchestre Métropolitain for guest blogging for us.

Comparative Report 2017-18

Thanks to our master statistician, C. Stephen Smith, and the efforts of orchestra people coast to coast, Orchestras Canada has just published the 2017-18 Comparative Report. Each year, Steve collects financial information and audience numbers from member orchestras and produces a detailed Comparative Report, which is then shared with participating orchestras.

Summary information by region and by budget is available in the Resources section of our website.

Compared to the previous year, 2017-18 fiscal results demonstrated an overall strengthening of orchestras, with a 7.5% increase in revenues, and the overall ‘national debt’ of orchestras dropping to under $2 Million, the lowest since this report started in the 2004-05 season. Orchestras have also been more efficient with an overall 4.5% decrease in the amount spent by orchestras per audience member reached.