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Welcome to our New Team & Next ESPA Meeting

The Edmonton String Players Association, which is the registered charity that operates the Music Enrichment Program, is very pleased to introduce our new administration team.

Annette Gustafson is joining us as Program Co-ordiantor.  Annette is now our key contact for everything Music Enrichment Program - from fielding questions from parents and students, to handling registrations for our group classes.  Annette will also help keep all classes running smoothly by working with host schools to make sure their needs are met, and even arranging substitute teachers for when an instructor or conductor needs one.  Please feel free to email Annette with your questions today.

Angela Nice will be taking over as our Instrument Administrator.  Angela will help will all things related to our instruments, from arranging rentals to making sure that every class has a ready supply of strings on hand – just in case!  Angela is our former ESPA Secretary, and she will be resigning from this post to take on her new duties.  Accordingly, we are now on the lookout for a new Secretary to join our executive.  Please email President Carolyn Dagenais if you are interested in this position, or know someone who may be.

Finally, we are very pleased to have Brent Gustafson come on as our Executive Director.  Brent has volunteered countless hours of his time to the Music Enrichment Program already, both through spearheading last seasons transition of MEP from a public school program to a community based organization, as well as in taking a hands-on role in getting last season’s programming set and running smoothly.  We are extremely fortunate to have Brent’s help again for the 2014/15 season.

violin2We are very excited to have such a devoted team working to keep the Music Enrichment Program vibrantly alive.

We will be formally welcoming our new team at our next ESPA meeting, which will take place next Thursday, April 24.  We will meet at Victoria School, outside of the doors to Intermediate Orchestra, at 6:45 p.m.


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Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts – Special Ticket Offer

27th Mayor's Celebration of the ArtsThe 27th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, brought to us by the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE), is just 2 weeks away!

We are honoured to be this year’s MCA partner charity, and look forward to experiencing an exciting art-filled evening.  This year’s line-up features numerous local artists – musicians, actors, visual artists, dancers and more, and takes place Monday, April 28, 2014, at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre.

As all proceeds from this year’s event will be going to our very own Music Enrichment Program, we encourage you to support this event by purchasing tickets, or asking your place of work about becoming purchasing a block of 10 tickets to become a Corporate Challenger.

We are pleased to announce that PACE has also released a limited number of 2 for 1 tickets for active PACE members (which we are), and these are now available for Music Enrichment Program students and parents/guardians.  Should you wish to purchase 2 for 1 tickets, please email us on or before Wednesday, April 16, so I can forward our request to PACE .  Once again, these tickets are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so do not delay.


Please note that we are also looking for volunteers to help us continue making follow-up phone calls on behalf of PACE.  If you are able to commit to a block of 10 names/phone numbers (or more), please email us.  This is a wonderful way for us to show PACE our commitment, and our gratitude, as partner charity.

Photo Credit: Darren Kirby (view licence)
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Calgary Orchestra Tour – May 2 & 3


2783774024_965337d259_zNow that our Singing Strings Orchestra is back from their European Tour, it is time for our three other up-and-coming orchestras to have some fun.  Junior, Intermediate and Senior Orchestras will be embarking on a two day tour to Calgary, sponsored by the Alberta Strings Association (ASA).

ASA logo

Thank you ASA for giving our Music Enrichment Program orchestra students the chance to meet their peers in Calgary and take part in workshops, concerts, and other exciting events (like bowling!)  Check out the itinerary to see what’s happening and when.

All orchestra parents and guardians:  please note that if you haven’t already done so, the deadline to submit your Tour Consent Form is Thursday, April 17.  Please contact your conductor for further details.

Photo Credit: RAF-YYC (view licence)

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Reminder – ESPA Meeting April 6

Violin Pic

Don’t forget to join us in Meeting Room 7, on the 6th floor of Stanley A. Milner Library (7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton), at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, 2014 for a meeting of the Edmonton String Players Association (ESPA).  See our proposed agenda here.

Who is ESPA?  We are the registered charity that administers the Music Enrichment Program, and we rely on our volunteers, most of whom are parents of students in the program, to help with all aspects of the Music Enrichment Program – from fundraising, to organizing tours and concerts.  We are committed to keeping quality, affordable instruction in string instruments in the Greater Edmonton Area Vibrantly Alive.

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass (view licence)

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Music Enrichment Program 2014/15 Season Registrations Now Open!

DSC02203The Edmonton String Players Association (ESPA) is very pleased to announce the opening of registrations for the 2014/15 Season of the Music Enrichment Program.  We are pleased to offer our budding musicians a full slate of classes in violin, viola, cello and bass, as well as four levels of enrichment orchestras.  For this season, we have also added a beginner guitar class at Virginia Park school.  Please take a look at our class schedule, and submit your online registration here.  Registration is quick and easy – we accept credit card or PayPals payments online, and also accept cheques mailed to:

photo 5Music Enrichment Program
c/o The Edmonton String Players Association
214, 10301 – 104 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1B9

For instrument deposits and orchestra-only volunteer deposits, post-dated cheques should also be mailed to the address above.

ESPA is a registered charity that relies heavily on volunteers, and we need your help to ensure that the Music Enrichment Program stays vibrantly alive.  Volunteering with ESPA is easy – from serving on the executive or an approved committee, to chaperoning events, to helping with fundraising initiatives (like selling chocolates, or working at a bingo or casino) – we have many fun ways for you to get involved.  As a charity, we are also able to provide donation receipts any contribution you make of $20 or more (not applicable to program fees).  Please contact us today for more information.

Please note that classes are subject to adequate registrations.
Photo Credit:  Jeffrey Cromwell

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Edmonton String Players Association Meeting

The next meeting of the Edmonton String Players Association, which is the registered charity that operates the Music Enrichment Program, will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, 2014.  This meeting will occur in Meeting Room 7, on the 6th floor of Stanley A. Milner Library (located at 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB).  On the Agenda will be next season’s schedule, May concerts for our group classes and orchestras, and the May orchestra tour to Calgary (Junior, Intermediate and Senior orchestra only).  If you would like to add items to the agenda, please email secretary.espa2010@gmail.com.

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Spring Break – No Classes


Just a reminder to all our Music Enrichment Program students and parents – there will be no classes over Spring Break (March 31 – April 4, 2014).
Our busy parent volunteers at the Edmonton String Players Association are working hard on finalizing next seasons’ Music Enrichment Program schedule, and are aiming to open up our online registrations for the 2014/15 season in April.

Check in soon to see what classes are available in your area.


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Singing Strings Gala with Tommy Banks & Chan Wing Leung

March 16 Gala Poster

Singing Strings Orchestra is honoured to help kick-off Hong Kong Week with a musical celebration featuring special guests Tommy Banks and Chan Wing Leung.

Join us for some light refreshments, excellent music, and the proclamation of Hong Kong Week by the City of Edmonton Mayor’s office, along with special greetings from the Province of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and representatives of the Government of Hong Kong – all in support of the Music Enrichment Program, and our tradition of providing quality, affordable instruction in string instruments in the Greater Edmonton Area.

We will also be featuring a fabulous Silent Auction in support of the SSO’s upcoming European Tour.

Singing Strings Orchestra is also excited to announce the  destination for their next international tour (you guessed it) – Hong KongChina!

Tickets are going fast – don’t hesitate to buy yours  today!


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27th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts

Mayor's Celebration for the Arts

Nominate an individual or business for the 2014 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts!

Mayor Don Iveson and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE) are pleased to announce the 27th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts on Monday, April 28, 2014 at the Winspear Centre.

The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts is an annual event designed to acknowledge and celebrate Edmonton’s arts community and partnerships between business and the arts.

You can nominate individuals or businesses for the awards listed below. Click the name of an award to view a tip sheet for nominations. The deadline for the following categories has been extended:


Award for Innovative Support by a Business for the Arts

Of particular interest to our Music Enrichment Program participants, parents, host schools, and supporters will be the CN Award for Youth Artist, which is open to ALL young artists attending a Greater Edmonton Area junior or senior high (Grades 7 through 12), and includes a phenomenal $2,500 cash prize!

Don’t hesitate to submit your nominations TODAY – each of these categories will automatically close once the requisite number of nominations has been received.

For questions, please email admin@pacedmonton.com

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Upcoming Tours & A Note to Chaperones


We are quickly approaching Spring Break – which for our Singing Strings Orchestra means the long-awaited European Tour.  Singing Strings will perform concert dates in Berlin, Prague, and Vienna – the heart of strings music – plus have a little time to enjoy sight-seeing and experience a taste of European culture at its finest.  Check out the SSO Tour Itinerary to see what they will be up to for 10 exciting days. 

ASA logoWe are also very happy to announce an Alberta Strings Association sponsored tour to Calgary for our three lower-level orchestras: Junior, Intermediate, and Senior.  These three orchestras will embark on their trip to Calgary on May 2 & 3, and join with Calgary peers for workshops, concerts, and yes, bowling!  We are in the process of finalizing details of this tour, and will have more information shortly.

For all parents who are considering becoming chaperones for either tour, please join us Victoria School this Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. for a mandatory insurance orientation seminar.  Please note that this short, 1/2 hour seminar is necessary for ALL parent chaperones, and includes a police check, plus useful information on what to do in the unlikely circumstance of an incident occurring.  Please do not delay in attending at this seminar – we do not know when the next one will be taking place, and would like as many parents as possible to be ready to become chaperones.

Please email president.espa2010@gmail.com for more information.

photo credit: Dennis Jarvis