by Allison W.
Music Monday is an annual event organized by the Coalition for Music Education that aims to promote music in schools across Canada. It’s actually the world’s largest single event dedicated to raising awareness for music education. Annually, hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and musicians participate in a simultaneous nationwide concert performance of an original song written by a Canadian artist. This year, Ottawa hosted the beautiful 2017 Showcase Concert in our beloved National Art Centre on Monday, May 1st. Although Cantiamo had the joy of proudly standing on stage during the concert for music education, our involvement in this event began much earlier.
Many months prior to the event, Cantiamo choristers were first handed the scores for Sing It Together, the 2017-2018 Music Monday theme song. Several rehearsal hours were spent learning the rhymes and lyrics to this celebratory Canadian piece. The Cantiamo Girls Choir even made a recording to help school choirs prepare for the big day.
Approximately a month before the event, the Cantiamo Girls Choir spent a couple of with a real sound technician recording the choral part of the official French Audio demo for the Music Monday website. Jackie was given a headset to wear, in true recording booth style. We kept our eyes peeled on Jackie for our cues as we could not hear the backtrack. We also took special care to make sure our French pronunciation was accurate and tried our best to stay in tune since this would become a model for thousands of young singers.
On the morning of Music Monday, the many Training Choir members and some Cantiamo Girls, acting as mentors, made their way to the National Art Centre in the pouring rain prior to the school choirs’ arrival. With the aid of our wonderful parent volunteers, we joined De La Salle’s choirs for a rehearsal under the direction of Robert Filion.
Throughout the day, we were ushered here and there, asked to sing this and that– told to sit and stand at the will of the organizers. Focus was required every second and silenced was a must. Somehow, we even found ourselves intermingled with De La Salle choristers who were singing a different voice part, but, this is expected as part of the organized chaos an event of this amplitude implies.
The Training Choir did a stellar job of being cooperative and professional. They followed directions quickly and efficiently. Their maturity could easily have fooled people into believing they were older than their age.
I was extremely proud of them and, I’m sure Jackie would agree, they should be proud of themselves for promoting such an important cause.