CORINNE FITZHERBERT THE VICTORIA STAR
A new year has started for Sistema Tobique Centre with aspiring young musicians eager to become part of the orchestral program.
Sistema NB is part of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and provides children with an opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument through free, daily, after-school instruction.
There now are eight centres in the province with Edmundston, Hillsborough and Miramichi being the most recent additions. More than 700 children are involved throughout New Brunswick.
Sistema is being held at Andover Elementary School this year and centre director Dave Halpine said the program continues to grow. The more experienced members of the program form the Allegro Orchestra while more recent members are called the Andante Players.
“We’ve got quite a large group now and we have quite a few new children who have joined this year,”he said.
Halpine said Sistema Tobique has students who have reached middle school age and continue to be involved in the orchestra. He envisions them being mentors and helpers for their younger counterparts.
“We have some very accomplished young musicians,”he said.
Six of those dedicated orchestra members had the opportunity to perform at the Pops NB concert held in Moncton over the summer.Pops NB brings together the best musicians from Sistema NB to perform with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. Sistema is credited by the NBYO as being“transformational for individuals and society”as the children develop confidence and self-esteem while becoming skilled musicians.
The mission of the program is “to promote the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras in order to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential and to acquire values that favour their growth and have a positive impact on their lives and society.”
Each year, new students as young as Grade 1 join the program and begin their musical journey. Before the first-year students receive their real instruments, they make and paint papier-mâché replicas. The recent warm weather allowed youngsters to be outside at Andover Elementary, painting and crafting their violins and cellos.