Fostering a love of music

Mentoring young musicians is one of the mandates of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra (GSO); thus the launch of the GSOKids Club in the fall of 2012 comes as no surprise. Building on the success of the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra, this free, season-long program was designed for children between 6 and 12 years of age. Recent grants from the Foundation have helped to get both the Youth and Kids program off the ground.

"We have been so pleased with this latest program," says Catherine Molina, General Manager of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. The program’s structure invites students and their parents to a 40-minute workshop that starts just after the concert begins. After intermission, they head into the River Run Centre’s main hall to listen to the second half of the program and see the player who led their session performing in the orchestra.

“I think it’s a really great idea what the GSO is doing,” comments one parent. “My kids so look forward to these events and I thoroughly enjoy watching them interact with the musicians.”

“I couldn’t believe that GSO has a program where my kids and I can attend a symphony performance that is geared to introduce young people to the orchestra at no charge,” comments another parent. “Attending these presentations and seeing the young Suzuki string players on stage performing with the symphony has inspired us to sign up for violin lessons this fall.”

This season focused on the different sections of the orchestra – strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. GSOKids Club members received a membership badge and written materials before every session on the composers, and the instrument family.

“We believe that this new project will both ensure the continued success of the youth orchestra and offer children between the ages of 6-12 a unique opportunity to experience how an orchestra works,” reports Catherine.