The Cantiamo Girls Choir and the Training Choir participated in Music Monday again this year with the finale concert held in the grand foyer of the Ottawa City Hall. Music Monday is held on the first Monday in May and is an annual Canadian celebration of the power of music education. This is the ninth year of Music Mondays, thanks to the leadership of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.
This year the celebration extended 400 km up into space! Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield joined in the celebration from the International Space Station in a live video concert. The theme song, “I.S.S. – Is Somebody Singing,” was written by Commander Hadfield and Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies.
The two Cantiamo choirs were joined by the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers, Ottawa Children’s Choir, and the school choirs of Henry Larsen Public School, March Academy, and Joan of Arc Academy.
During the rehearsal, Jackie warned the 300 young choristers that “during performances, things don’t always go as planned, and, as musicians, we have to be adaptable and think on our feet.” After all, the concert would involve live satellite feed from the International Space Station and a simultaneous concert link with the main venue in the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
During the concert, the choristers were assembled in front of a giant screen with their eyes on Jackie as she perched on a balcony above the screen. As it turned out the link did have technical difficulties – sadly, the audio and video cut in and out. During the performance of “I.S.S. – Is Somebody Singing,” it must have been frustrating and disappointing for the 300 young choristers, yet they still sang, heeding Jackie’s earlier advice, and they performed with grace. Music does indeed teach adaptive thinking on ones feet!
Afterwards the massed choir had a second opportunity to perform the song which they did beautifully as true young musicians.
To find out more about Music Monday, the power of music education, and to watch the great video, visit www.musicmonday.ca. Our thanks go to the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, the National Arts Centre, the City of Ottawa, Jackie and Laura Hawley, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the teachers of the participating schools.
– Julie Gourley