The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s response to the Vancouver School board’s proposed budget cuts to music programs
The Vancouver Symphony values our long-standing community partnership with the Vancouver School Board (VSB), each year welcoming thousands of elementary school students to our performances, and working on a deeper level in the schools through our VSO Connects program. We are committed to high quality music education for the children of Vancouver, offered by music specialist teachers.
The Vancouver Symphony understands the predicament of the VSB. However, the VSO is once again astonished to hear of the VSB’s proposal to eliminate the Elementary Band and Strings Program given the resounding backlash from the community about proposed cuts to music programs in 2010, 2014, and 2015. We condemn this year’s proposal unequivocally. Despite difficult financial circumstances, music is not an expendable area of instruction in our schools. Elimination of the Elementary Band and Strings Program will deny students critical learning opportunities that help them develop unique skills and connect with one another in a way that no other area of study can provide.
The VSO is also extremely disappointed to see that the VSB has proposed to eliminate the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator position. The Coordinator is a long-time, integral partner of many community arts organizations. Elimination of the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator will lessen opportunities for students not only in band and strings, but in all fine and performing arts disciplines.
We urge the VSB to withdraw these proposals, amend their budget accordingly, and restore and protect the Elementary Band and Strings Program as well as the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator position.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CONCERTS
We welcome your school to join us for our 2015/2016 season Elementary School Concerts! Visit the Orpheum for our intermediate concert Symphonic Sketches of Canada: New Horizons and Hockey! on November 4, 5, or 6 and for our primary concert Magnificent Melodies on February 10, 11, or 15! We will be accepting orders paid in full, or with a non-refundable deposit of 10% from September 8, 2015.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra believes that music is vital and essential to a well-rounded education and enriching life. As part of our commitment to bring the incredible world of symphonic music to people of all ages, we have developed and currently implement eleven education and community programs.
The Vancouver Symphony's programs are guided by the following vision and mission statements:
To continue the development and enhancement of our position among leading fine and performing arts educators, in collaboration with musicians and other music educators, in order to enrich the lives of people in British Columbia.
To develop and offer symphonic music education programs and related experiences, incorporating emerging technologies, that integrate into existing BC Ministry of Education curricula as well as provide lifelong learning for all ages.
THEMES OF VSO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Students from Kindergarten through Grade 7 experience the thrill of live orchestral music
Offering students an opportunity to go behind the scenes with the VSO
Crescendo is a professional development symposium for music specialist teachers.
Concerts for children aged four to eleven and their families! Kids' Koncerts features the full orchestra, and the very best in children’s musical entertainers.
The VSO Kids’ Koncerts Instrument Fair allows children to touch and play real orchestral instruments in the Orpheum lobby beginning one hour before the concert. All instruments are generously provided by Tom Lee music.
A four-concert series for children up to five years of age, focusing on early childhood development through enjoyable and entertaining music education. This series features professional music educators and musicians, Let Your Music Shine! with Lisa & Linda, in their own musical presentations for kids.
Bringing the exciting world of symphonic music to the classroom
Giving students the chance to learn from VSO musicians in a series of interactive clinics
The VSO maintains partnerships with educational and community organizations, through which we aspire to support the growth and appreciation of symphonic music, and to advocate for outstanding music education in schools and community music organizations.
Entertaining events presented by or for VSO volunteers
Supporting numerous charitable organizations across the Lower Mainland
The Vancouver Symphony Society is pleased to have envisioned and created the VSO School of Music, which began offering lessons and programs to students of all ages and ability levels in the fall of 2011. Information on the VSO School of Music, which is a separate not-for-profit society, can be found by clicking on the following link: www.vsoschoolofmusic.ca.