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Remember that our Winterfest Concert will be this Sunday, December 14, at 3:00 p.m.

This free event features all four levels of Enrichment Orchestras, and takes place at MacDougall United Church, located at 10025 101 Street, Edmonton.

We are still looking for more donations of items for the Silent Auction that will occur as a part of Winterfest.  Please email us if you have something to share – and remember, all moneys raised always go to toward keeping the 55 year tradition of quality, affordable, instruction in string instruments, vibrantly alive!

Don’t forget…

classes will break for the holiday season after this week, resuming the week of January 5, 2015.  Please note that some teachers have scheduled make-up classes during the winter break – please contact your conductor or instructor for details on your class.

2014 Newsletter 02 web cover

While you are at home enjoying the holidays, remember to take a peek at our Winter Newsletter.

Did you know…

All general meetings of the Edmonton String Players Association (the charity that operates Music Enrichment Program) are open to the public, and we keep all of the Agendas and Minutes right here on our website.  We are happy to hear your ideas and input on how our parent volunteers can work to improve the program – please email us your suggestions, and we will add them to the Agenda for discussion at an upcoming meeting.

Happy Holidays!
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Fundscrip and Regal Order Deadlines

Don’t forget to get your Fundscrip and Regal orders in soon to receive them before December 25.

Fundscrip cutoff

Use our Fundscrip registration code 2HZJ33 to order your gift cards by Saturday, December 13, and get entered to win a $25 gift card of your choice!


Regal cutoff 

Regal Gifts is a great source for unique and personalized gift ideas. By placing your orders at espa.shopregal.ca, a portion of your purchase is donated to our program. No hassle, FAST shipping direct to your door makes this an easy way to shop from home. 


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Giving Tuesday ♥

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday!

ATBcares logo

December 2 is Giving Tuesday - the perfect time to remember your favourite charity (or charities), and get your tax-deductible donations in before the year is over!  This season,  ATB has set aside $150,000 to match 15% of every dollar donated to Alberta, non-denominational charities through their website, ATBCares.com.

Please visit ATBCares.com today and search for “The Edmonton String Players Association” (the registered charity that operates Music Enrichment Program in the Greater Edmonton Area) – and help us keep the tradition of quality, affordable instruction in string music vibrantly alive!  ♥

Tax Receipts are issued for all donations of $25 or more to the Edmonton String Players Association 
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ESPA General Meeting

Cafe Blackbird Logo

The next meeting of the Edmonton String Players Association, which is the registered charity that operates Music Enrichment Program, will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, 2014, at Café Blackbird, in Edmonton’s Crestwood neighbourhood.  Please join us – all are welcome!

Please email suggestions for agenda items by 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 5, to our secretary, Sunita, at secretary.espa2010@gmail.com.

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WayTooBig, WayTooLoud

Music Enrichment Program students have been invited to play in a live concert with Canadian performance artist Michael Bernard Fitzgerald!

Our Junior and Senior orchestra students will join Michael on stage next Thursday, December 4, for the Edmonton leg of his WayTooBig WayTooLoud concert tour.

This fun event is happening soon – check out our pamphlet for more information.

WTBWTL web cover

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Free Concert Tickets Available NOW

Our friends at Edmonton Youth Orchestra have again extended the offer of FREE tickets to EYO concerts for ALL Music Enrichment Program students.

Tickets are available for all Music Enrichment Program students registered in group classes, as well as those in our own 4 levels of Enrichment Orchestras).  Thank you to EYO for sharing our vision of enriching children’s lives through music!

Please click here for more information on the November 30, 2014, concert.  Any Music Enrichment student who would like a free ticket should email Eileen, as soon as possible.  Tickets will be available for pickup at 2 p.m. on the day of the concert.

And coming up even sooner…

The Vaughan String Quartet (with Music Enrichment Program instructor Mattia Berrini) is performing in a FREE concert with clarinetist Amandy Bandeira – this Friday, November 28, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

Part of the 4 and More Series

Holy Trinity Anglican Church
10037 84 Ave NW.  Edmonton

J. Haydn: String Quartet in Eb Major Op. 33 No. 02 “The Joke”
J. Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Vaughn String Quartet


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Winter Newsletter & Call for Silent Auction Items

Brrr… it’s cold outside!  What a great time to curl up with our Winter Newsletter - ready for reading here.

2014 Newsletter 02 web cover

Please especially note our Enrichment Orchestras‘ upcoming  Winterfest concert. This FREE event is happening at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 14, 2014.

We are now accepting donations of items for the Silent Auction that will occur as a part of this event.  Please email us if you have something to share – and remember, all moneys raised always go to toward keeping the 55 year tradition of quality, affordable, instruction in string instruments, vibrantly alive!

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Insurance Orientation & Orchestra Retreat

We are pleased to announce an upcoming overnight retreat for orchestra students at the Bennett Centre (located at 9703 94 St NW, Edmonton) on January 23 – 24, 2015!  This exciting opportunity will include workshops by some excellent Edmonton Area string musicians, and the chance to get to know your orchestra peers in all four levels of Enrichment Orchestras (Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Singing Strings).

Bennett CentreMore details will follow soon, but please note that any parents/guardian who wish to participate in this, or any other, Music Enrichment Program tour or retreat are required to complete a police information check and Abuse Insurance Orientation Session before the event takes place.  The next Abuse Insurance Orientation session is Thursday, November 20 at Victoria School of the Arts, during the regular rehearsal time for Junior/Intermediate/Senior.  We hope to see you there!

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Upcoming EPSB School Closures

Edmonton Public Schools are all closed on Monday, November 10 for Day Off In Lieu and on Monday, November 24 for Professional Development Day.  All normally scheduled classes at EPSB schools for Music Enrichment Program are cancelled for these dates. 

Registration fees pay for classes until the end of May 2015, but not for a specified number of classes.  However, make-up classes may be offered at the discretion of the instructor and the availability of the school or suitable public facility prior to the end of the season. 
Thank you for your patience and support of Music Enrichment Program.
~ Brent Gustafson, Executive Director
Music Enrichment Program
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Fee Payment Deadline – October 31, 2014

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Thank you to all our Music Enrichment Program parents/guardians and adult learners for your commitment to making our 55th season of quality, affordable, instruction in string instruments a success.  As you are aware, our program is operated by the Edmonton String Players Association, which is a registered charity made up of parent volunteers, together with a few devoted alumni and community-at-large members (thank you!)  Although our program is offered at very low cost to students, we do rely on your payment of fees to operate the program – for everything from paying our conductors & instructors, to keeping our instrument inventory in shape.

The deadline for payment of Music Enrichment Program Fees is October 31, 2014.

We are truly devoted to insuring that instruction in string music is available to as many students as possible.  If, for some reason, you are unable to pay your program fees by the deadline, please contact our Executive Director, Brent, by email to: execdir.mep@gmail.com, again by no later than October 31, 2014.

For parents/guardians and students registered only in one of our four levels of enrichment orchestra, but not in a group class for a specific instrument, please note that your post-dated Volunteer Deposit Cheque is also due by October 31, 2014.

As a parent volunteer group, we are, of course, reliant on volunteers to help operate the program.  Volunteering is easy – something as simple as working at one bingo or casino, or assisting at a concert, will fulfill your volunteer requirements and ensure your volunteer deposit cheque is returned to you.  A listing of volunteer activities is available here.

Q:  Why do we ask only our orchestra students for the volunteer deposit?

A:  We actively seek out opportunities for all our Music Enrichment Program students to engage more fully with the vibrant Greater Edmonton Area music community, including participation in concerts and performances.  Our orchestra students in particular, however, benefit from a large number and variety of events that are planned for them – often at no cost.  Last season alone, our orchestras participated in: Afternoon of String Music at U of A (with ASA), Winterfest, performances at Edmonton International Airport, Cello Extravaganza at Edmonton City Hall (with over 80 cellists!), SSO Gala at Hotel MacDonald with Tommy Banks & Chan Wing LeungKiwanis Festival, Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, SSO European Tour to Berlin Prague and ViennaOrchestra Tour to Calgary, Orchestra School Tour, Musicians in the Making at Winspear, Special SSO Year-end Concert with Recording, and Orchestra Extravaganza at City Hall (played for Mayor Don Iveson). Because of the amount of effort we put into these (again, mostly free) concerts and events, we need extra volunteer support from our orchestra parents.

Thank you again for helping keep the tradition of quality, affordable, instruction in string instruments, vibrantly alive!