El Sistema Aeolian
El Sistema Aeolian with Featured Guests Forest City School for Talent Education Senior Orchestra
El Sistema is a 36 year old award winning social program for children and youth. It is in 26 countries and London’s Aeolian launch is amongst the first few in Canada. The El Sistema Aeolian Orchestra had their first session on November 8, 2011. They performed a concert on December 14, 2011 featuring the George Laidlaw Trio, Marion Miller and Clark Bryan. They meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 6:00 at Aeolian Hall. This first group were all drawn from neighbouring Lorne Avenue School. The orchestra members are all in Grade 5 and 6. As part of the afternoon session they are given a snack as they arrive and they are fed a full supper half way through the session. The meal, the instrument and the instruction are all provided free of charge.
Rationale for this concert:
Part of the El Sistema philosophy is that the students should perform as often as possible and be exposed to more advanced musicians in their pursuit of musical excellence. As a result, the orchestra of El Sistema Aeolian performs a concert every month featuring professional and accomplished musicians from London and area. The FCTE Senior Orchestra is the most advanced string orchestra in London made up of 35 young musicians who have been studying their string instrument privately for 6 to 10 years on average. They rehearse as an orchestra once a week for an hour and perform challenging, professional level string orchestra repertoire. The collaboration of the two groups is possible because both are directed by Stephen Wolsley who has specially arranged 4 pieces for this concert. The FCTE orchestra will accompany the ESA orchestra in a new harmonization of Perpetual Motion by Suzuki. The ESA orchestra will perform simplified parts to perform with the FCTE orchestra in Beauty and the Beast by Menkin and Asturias by Albeniz. In Canon by Pachelbel, the ESA orchestra will perform the opening passacaglia passage while the FCTE performs the rest of this familiar piece.
This concert is significant as it blends a traditionally trained orchestra with an El Sistema ensemble. The El Sistema Aeolian approach is to meet 3 days a week for 2 ½ hours at a time. It is truly music immersion and the results are remarkable- come and see!