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BIG Cheques, BIG Smiles!


Edmonton String Players Association (ESPA) President Carolyn Dagenais happily accepts the proceeds from the 27th Annual PACE Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts at the year-end Orchestra Extravaganza (L to R: Carolyn Dagenais, Daniel Cournoyer of PACE, Mayor Don Iveson, Michael Peng of PACE).

Thank you Professional Arts Coalition of Alberta & Mayor Don Iveson!

cip cheque presentationOn behalf of ESPA and the Music Enrichment Program, President Carolyn Dagenais and a beaming Executive Director, Brent Gustafson, gratefully accept CIP grant funds from David Dorward, MLA Edmonton-Gold Bar, on behalf of Minister Heather Klimchuk.

Thank you, Alberta!



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Music Enrichment Program Returns to Northeast Edmonton!

Music Enrichment Program Returns to Northeast Edmonton!

After a hiatus of one season, Music Enrichment Program Returns to Dr. Donald Massey School (5435-162 Avenue) and Mount Royal School (11303-55 Street). Beginner Cello classes will now be offered on Thursdays, starting September 18, 2014, with Instructor Amy Nicholson. The Dr. Donald Massey class is from 2:40 to 3:50 p.m. , and the Mount Royal class is from 4:20 to 5:30 p.m., each class 70 minutes long. For only $330 (less than $10/week), these excellent classes will teach the fundamentals of cello fingering, music theory and performing. Classes are once a week until the end of May 2015. Music Enrichment Program has cellos to rent for only $75 for the period of September 2014 to June 2015, and $30 for July and August 2015. The instrument damage deposit is still only $150 (cheque post-dated June 5, 2015).

Parents can register their child at the Registration Page of this website. Deadline for registrations (without prior consent of the instructor) is October 1, 2015.

If you would like your child to “test drive” the Beginner Cello class to see if it is for them, the deadline for withdrawal with a full refund is October 31, 2015. So what are you waiting for? Enrol your child in Beginner Cello at Dr. Donald Massey School or Mount Royal School today!


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Next ESPA Meeting – June 30

Please join us in Meeting Room 7 on the 6th floor of Stanley A. Milner Library, 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014, for a General Meeting of the Edmonton String Players Association – the registered charity that operates the Music Enrichment Program.

Any suggestions for Agenda items may be sent by email to secretary.espa2010@gmail.com, by no later than 5 p.m. Friday, June 27.
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Last Chance! Final Instrument Return Date is Saturday, June 28th

Last Chance!

Our final instrument return date is this Saturday, June 28th between 10am and noon!

We have added another opportunity to return any instruments that have not been rented for the summer months!   Our Instrument Administrator, Angela Nice will be on hand Saturday, June 28th between 10 am and Noon, to handle all instrument returns and exchanges.

Please contact Angela by emailing her at mep.instrument.adm.2014@gmail.com to confirm the location and your attendance.

If you are unable to attend our “Last Chance” return date, please contact Angela to meet at an alternate, mutually convenient time.


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Edmonton String Players Association is pleased to announce…

Edmonton String Players Association is pleased to announce that the Senior Orchestra’s new Conductor for the 2014/15 season is … Michael Zakhary!

Michael brings 10 years of excellence as a distinguished professional violinist from his native Egypt, as well as being an experienced children’s string orchestra conductor. From 2008 to 2013, Michael was the conductor of both the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Youth and Junior Orchestras. During the 2013/14 season, Michael instructed Music Enrichment Program’s Beginner Violin class at Afton School. For 2014/15, in addition to conducting Senior Orchestra, Michael will be teaching eight classes for M.E.P. in both violin and viola.

For the 2014/15 season, Senior Orchestra will be moving to a new day, time and place. Starting September 18, Senior Orchestra will be moving to Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Victoria School of the Arts in the Choir Room.

Senior Orchestra is the perfect home for the young string musician serious about advancing in their abilities. Our orchestra offers more individualized attention in a smaller, more exclusive setting and substantial classical string pieces carefully selected to challenge the students based on their assessed abilities. Senior Orchestra is all about developing students at R.C.M. Levels 5 and 6 into well-rounded musicians before transitioning them further to our Singing Strings Orchestra. Registrations are being received now for Senior Orchestra’s 2014/15 season with auditions scheduled for the week of September 2 to 5, 2014. Please contact our Registrar, Annette Gustafson, to both register your student and book your Senior Orchestra audition.

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Viola Returns to North Edmonton! Guitar Arrives in St. Albert!

Viola Lessons Come Back to North Edmonton!

Guitar Lessons Come to St. Albert!

Exciting changes are coming to Music Enrichment Program for our 2014/15 season – our 55th!

For the first time in many years, viola lessons will be offered in north Edmonton, thanks to two new host schools – Caernarvon and Westglen!  On Tuesdays starting September 16, Beginner Viola classes will be held at Caernarvon School (14820-118 Street) from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. and at Westglen School (10950-127 Street) from 5:20 to 6:30 p.m.  (Westglen has historic ties with M.E.P. as the alma mater of our friend and supporter, Tommy Banks.)  Beginner Viola class only costs $160 for the season (less than $5 per 70 minute weekly class).  Rental violas are available for only $75 for the season.

AND for the first time…ever, guitar lessons will be offered in St. Albert.  On Tuesdays starting September 16, Beginner Guitar classes will be held at École Vital Grandin (39 Sunset Boulevard) from 5:50 to 7:00 p.m.  Beginner Guitar classes cost only $330 for the season (less than $10 per 70 minute weekly class).

Please go now to our Registration Page to sign up your student today!

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Spring Check-in

With classes winding up, it’s time to check in to see what’s happening with the Music Enrichment Program.  Anyone who did not receive our Spring Newsletter at the recent orchestra tours and group class concerts can read it online here.

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for information on instrument returns, free viola for orchestra, and everything else Music Enrichment!

Several amazing FREE concerts are still coming up for fans of string music:

Our highest level ensemble, Singing Strings Orchestra, will be performing their entire season’s repertoire from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday June 1, 2014, at Knox-Metropolitan United Church (8307 – 109 Street, Edmonton).

This highly talented group of students will be having the performance professionally recorded for an upcoming CD release!

Finally, don’t forget to check in at Edmonton’s City Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, 2014 for our Orchestra Extravaganza!  This FREE event will feature Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson‘s presentation of the proceeds from the 27th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts.

Orchestra Extravaganza 2014 poster

Thank you again to the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE) for choosing us as this year’s MCA partner charity.  The funds received from the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts will go a long way to helping keep our program strong.

We are looking forward to an amazing 55th season of Music Enrichment in the Greater Edmonton Area…

Please remember to register your promising young student – or adult learner – today!

Full Schedule of classes available on website.  All classes are subject to adequate registrations.

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Instrument Returns!

Instrument Rental Returns

For those wishing to return instruments over the summer, our return schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, June 1st – Noon to 3pm
  • Tuesday, June 3rd – 6pm to 8pm
  • Monday, June 9th – Noon to 3pm and then again from 6pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday, June 10th – Noon to 3pm and then again from 6pm to 8pm
  • Saturday, June 14th – 10 am to Noon
  • Tuesday, June 17th – Noon to 3pm and then again from 6pm to 8pm

Please confirm by emailing Angela at mep.instrument.adm.2014@gmail.com or calling (780) 945-7139 to obtain the address of the storage location and confirm time spot.

If you prefer to extend your rental over the summer, or would like to arrange alternate return times, please contact Angela at mep.instrument.adm.2014@gmail.com

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Special Year End Concert for Singing Strings

A special, Year-End Concert of our Singing Strings Orchestra is being held on Sunday, June 1 from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m.

Please join us at Knox-Metropolitan United Church (8307-109 Street) on June 1st!  This extended concert will feature the finest pieces of our elite-level orchestra under the baton on Conductor Petar Dundjerski.  This concert is being recorded live for Singing String’s upcoming CD release, so please attend and enjoy this musical celebration.  Admission is free, but we will have a donation box at the door to help defray the facility rental costs.

Also, our volunteer staff will be available in person after the concert to receive your 2014/15 season registrations for all Music Enrichment Program orchestras and classes.  Registration forms will be available so remember your cheque book and enroll your child for our exciting 55th season!

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Violas are free in our orchestras for 2014/15

Violas are Free in Our Orchestras in 2014/15!!

The viola is both one of the most beautiful musical instruments and the most underappreciated.  Music Enrichment Program wants to encourage eager students to take up the viola this year.

For the first five viola students registered to play in any of our four orchestras, there will be no registration fee charged in 2014/15 for the orchestra component of their registration fees.  If you register to play viola in Junior, Intermediate, Senior or Singing Strings Orchestra, you will not be charged any fee to play in these orchestras.  This is only for the first 5 viola players in each orchestra, so register your viola student today!

Viola class instruction has also been discounted in 2014/15.  Beginner viola class registration is only $160 (less than $5/lesson) for a season worth of musical adventure.  We currently have Beginner Viola scheduled for both Esther Starkman School and George P. Nicholson School on the southside, with new locations to be announced over the next few months.