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Music Enrichment at Concordia University College

Group Class Concerts at Concordia University College

We are very pleased to again have Concordia University College School of Music  sponsor and host our  group lesson concerts.

Concordia LogoAll group classes who did not perform at our February concerts will be performing between Monday, May 26, and Thursday, May 29.  Ask your teacher for details on your performance, or check out the full May 2014 Group Class Concert Schedule.

These short program concert (running at about 45 minutes each) are open to the public, so please drop in and have a listen to what the Music Enrichment Program is all about.  NOTE: The concert start times will be 7:00 p.m.  Students should arrive at 6:30 p.m. for tuning.

Click here for a Concordia map showing the concert location.  Please note that not all classes will be participating in these concerts.  Contact your teacher for more information.

Singspiration Summer Program at Concordia University College backpack-stand

Concordia would like to invite our Music Enrichment Program students to take part in their summer youth choir program – Singspiration 2014.  This award-winning program offers the chance to sing with a superb conductor, meet friends from across Alberta and Canada, and participate in all kinds of fun activities.  What does singing have to do with playing a string instrument?  Singing is an excellent way to help strengthen your musicianship by providing ear training and building musicality.  Singing in a choir is also an excellent introduction to working in an ensemble setting – like our four levels of enrichment orchestras!  Check out the Singspiration 2014 website for more information, and to register.


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Orchestra Auditions

Orchestra auditions will be held Monday, May 5 to Thursday, May 8 at Victoria School for those wanting to enter a new orchestra for the 2014/15 season. 

Auditions are available for all four of our string orchestras:  Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Singing Strings.  10 minute auditions are available between 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. each night. 

The Orchestra Audition Schedule is as follows: 

  • Monday, May 5 – Singing Strings – Room 1304
  • Tuesday, May 6 – Intermediate / Senior – Room 1304
  • Wednesday, May 7 – Junior – Room 1304
  • Thursday, May 8 – Senior Add-On Night – Room 1249 

We would encourage those interested in auditioning for Senior Orchestra to audition on Tuesday, May 6, but have May 8 available if we run out of spots. 

All Auditions Must Be Booked.  No Walk-Ins, Please. 

To book your child’s audition, please call or leave a message for our Program Coordinator, Annette, at 780-406-7404, or write her at registrar.espa2014@gmail.com.  There are a limited number of spaces each night, so please call soon. 

Also, please contact your orchestra conductor for further details on the audition process.

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Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival

Kiwanis LogoThe Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival is in full swing, and our Music Enrichment Program students are proud to be a part of the excitement.

Catch some of our up-and-coming musicians at one of the following classes:

Saturday, April 26 – Morning
Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre

9:00 a.m. Westbrook Beginner Violin
9:15 a.m. D.S. MacKenzie Beginner Violin
9:30 a.m. Westbrook Violin Level 2
9:50 a.m. Westbrook Cello Beginner
10:05 a.m. George P. Nicholson Violin Level 2
10:25 a.m. D.S. MacKenzie/Victoria Violin Level 3
10:45 a.m. Virginia Park Cello Beginner
11:00 a.m. Esther Starkman Violin Level 2
11:20 a.m. Westbrook Cello Level 2

Saturday, April 26 – Afternoon
Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre

12:30 p.m. Victoria Senior Violin
1:05 p.m. Virginia Park Cello Level 2
1:25 p.m. Victoria Violin Senior 2

Sunday, April 27 – Afternoon
MacEwan Alberta College Campus (Stollery Hall – 409)

12:00 p.m. D.S. MacKenzie Violin 4
12:30 p.m. D.S. MacKenzie Cello Junior/Intermediate
1:00 p.m. D.S. MacKenzie Violin 5
For students and parents/guardians, please contact your instructor or conductor with any questions on your Kiwanis performance.
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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.