Sistema Winnipeg held its first holiday concert last evening at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.
More than 80 youngsters from grades one to four took part in the program, from the Seven Oaks and Winnipeg School Divisions. Students in Sistema Elwick and Sistema King Edward sang and played for more than an hour, to the crowd’s delight.
The concert, hosted by well-known Manitoba performer Al Simmons, showcased the Sistema Winnipeg program, which is lead by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and funded in part by the Winnipeg Foundation.
Sistema Winnipeg is a program that affects social change through music. It began last year with Elwick Community School in the Seven Oaks School Division and expanded to include King Edward School in the Winnipeg School Division in 2012.
Sistema Winnipeg is a free, daily after-school program that inspires children to meet their full potential. They learn how to play an instrument and experience the joy of being part of an orchestra. Designed to be fun and engaging, the program helps each child develop as a person and learn valuable skills while growing musically.
Inspired by the El Sistema model from Venezuela, which was developed more than 35 years ago, Sistema exploded on the orchestra scene just a few years ago. The mission is to promote the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras.
Sistema Winnipeg students meet every day after school from 3:30pm-6:30pm. The Sistema students learn in an ensemble-based learning environment that values teamwork, artistic excellence and having fun. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra staff and volunteers deliver the program locally, which is funded by dozens of individual donors and organizations, including The Winnipeg Foundation.
If last night’s concert is any indication of the program’s impact and success, Sistema Winnipeg looks to have a bright future. One of the many highlights of the concert was the group’s rendition of Ode to Joy, which brought down the house.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!